Prospective Life Cycle Inventory Datasets for Conventional and Hybrid-Electric Aircraft Technologies

Thonemann N, Saavedra-Rubio K, Pierrat E, Dudka K, Bangoura M, Baumann N, Bentheimer C, Caliandro P, De Breuker R, De Ruiter C, Di Stasio M, Elleby J, Lemoine BEM, März M, Marciello V, Meindl M, Nicolosi F, Ruocco M, Sala B, Scharling Tromer Dragsdahl AL, Vezzini A, Wang Z, Wannemacher T, Zettelmeier J, Laurent A (2023)

Publication Type: Journal article

Publication year: 2023



DOI: 10.2139/ssrn.4537185

Open Access Link:



Hybrid-electric aircraft are often perceived as a potential solution to decarbonize short-haul flights and enhance aviation sustainability. However, making hybrid-electric aircraft a reality should be backed by robust environmental impact analysis because the necessary technology development is investment, time, and research-heavy. In this study, we thus developed a total of 45 prospective life cycle inventories (LCI) for conventional and hybrid electric aircraft configurations and technologies for 2030, 2040, and 2050. The LCI datasets were built following a systematic approach that ensures data harmonization, using scientific literature, industry expert knowledge, and primary data from several industry sources. They cover all relevant systems to model the environmental impacts of flying 200 to 600 nmi with a 50 PAX aircraft from cradle to gate using the ATR42 as a reference aircraft. Additional information for the end-of-life and uncertainty analysis is also provided. The systems in scope include airframe, powertrain, power electronics and drives, batteries, fuel cells, hydrogen onboard storage, airport systems, and battery charging stations. As a test of the datasets, the carbon footprint of the conventional aircraft built from our generated data was consistent with the one obtained using the short-haul aircraft from the ecoinvent v3.8 LCI database. Nonetheless, the disaggregation of the developed LCI datasets is more than ten times more detailed than currently existing ones, and they integrate a prospective dimension. As such, they, therefore, unlock the modeling of the potential environmental impacts of conventional and future aircraft fueled by kerosene or alternative aviation fuels, future hybrid-electric aircraft using batteries, and future hybrid-electric aircraft using hydrogen as fuel in combination with batteries. In that sense, our results contribute to fostering the development of environmentally sounder technology roadmaps for regional aviation.

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Thonemann, N., Saavedra-Rubio, K., Pierrat, E., Dudka, K., Bangoura, M., Baumann, N.,... Laurent, A. (2023). Prospective Life Cycle Inventory Datasets for Conventional and Hybrid-Electric Aircraft Technologies. Social Science Research Network.


Thonemann, Nils, et al. "Prospective Life Cycle Inventory Datasets for Conventional and Hybrid-Electric Aircraft Technologies." Social Science Research Network (2023).

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