Prof. Kenichi Rinoie
The University of Tokyo

Lecture Title: Study of Hydrogen Aircraft from Engineering and Operational Perspectives

Lecture Summary/Abstract:
To realize a decarbonized society, research efforts in various fields, including the aviation industry, are focused on the reduction of carbon dioxide emissions to virtually zero by 2050. Hydrogen aircraft constitute one of the solutions to realize carbon-neutral aircraft. Owing to the lower volumetric energy density of liquid hydrogen than that of conventional jet fuels, the configuration of hydrogen aircraft is affected by the location and size of the liquid hydrogen tank. Thus, to consider the feasibility of hydrogen aircraft, simultaneously designing not only a hydrogen propulsion system but also an airframe is imperative. Hence, a tool that can conceptually design an airframe equipped with a hydrogen fuel propulsion system was constructed. In this presentation, the specifications of hydrogen aircraft that satisfy the given design requirements using this conceptual design tool were discussed. Two propulsion systems were considered in this tool: In one system, hydrogen fuel was burned directly in the gas turbine engine, and in the other system, electric power obtained from a hydrogen fuel cell was used to drive an electric fan to obtain thrust. Meanwhile, from the operational viewpoint in realizing hydrogen-powered aircraft, several factors that are relating to the aircraft operation must be considered. Therefore, in the second part of this presentation, the operational issues that need to be considered when developing and designing hydrogen aircraft were discussed.

Kenichi Rinoie is a Professor at the Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics, the University of Tokyo. He received his doctoral degree from the University of Tokyo in 1988. Before joining the current department, he worked at the National Aerospace Laboratory of Japan (NAL) until 1993. His major research topics are aircraft conceptual design and separated flow aerodynamics. He served as the president of Japan Society for Aeronautical and Space Sciences (JSASS) in FY2013. He is currently a Council member and a Programme Committee member of International Council of the Aeronautical Sciences (ICAS). He is also an Associate Editor of the Aeronautical Journal. He is a Fellow of the Royal Aeronautical Society and a Chartered Engineer (UK).