Estimating Takeoff Thrust Settings for Airport Emissions Inventories

The takeoff phase contributes a large fraction of ground-level nitrogen oxides (NOₓ) emissions from aircraft. Although takeoffs represent only a small proportion of the total flight landing-takeoff cycle, the emission rate is high because both the emission index (grams NOₓ per kilogram of fuel) and fuel flow (kilograms per second) increase with thrust for most aircraft types, so that the NOₓ emission rate is roughly proportional to the square of the thrust. This also means that the emission rate is very sensitive to the thrust used. Although NOₓ emissions are particularly sensitive to thrust, fuel use (and therefore carbon dioxide, hydrocarbons, and particulate matter) are also thrust-dependent. The current practice for modeling airport emissions assumes full (100 percent) takeoff thrust, yet operators often use reduced takeoff thrust settings, primarily to prolong engine life. The extent of this thrust reduction is limited by operational regulations, but may be as much as 25 percent for U.S. operators and greater for some foreign flag carriers. It is likely that the accuracy of emissions inventories could be improved by using takeoff thrust settings that better reflect actual operator practice. Research is needed to develop a method for estimating aircraft takeoff thrust settings for a wide variety of commercial and general aviation aircraft, suitable for use in preparing airport emissions inventories. The objective of this research is to develop a guidebook, with an associated takeoff thrust-setting estimator tool, to help airports and their stakeholders more accurately reflect aircraft takeoff thrust settings used to calculate airport emissions inventories.


  • English


  • Status: Completed
  • Funding: $449998.00
  • Contract Numbers:

    Project 02-41

  • Sponsor Organizations:

    Federal Aviation Administration

    800 Independence Avenue, SW
    Washington, DC  United States  20591

    Airport Cooperative Research Program

    Transportation Research Board
    500 Fifth Street, NW
    Washington, DC    20001
  • Performing Organizations:


  • Principal Investigators:

    Fordham, Damon

  • Start Date: 20120901
  • Expected Completion Date: 0
  • Actual Completion Date: 20140731
  • Source Data: RiP Project 37891

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01546024
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: Transportation Research Board
  • Contract Numbers: Project 02-41
  • Files: TRB, RiP
  • Created Date: Dec 2 2014 1:01AM