In addition to researching the design of aircraft and propulsion concepts, developing new testing methods for these concepts is also an important part of the NOVAIR project. This concerns research into the use of scale models, which is expected to result in considerable savings.
Knowledge about the effects of tests with a scaled model obtained in NLR’s own SMARD research project can be used to develop a set of instruments for a scale model for the NOVAIR project. Initially, this will be a model of an existing, commonly used aircraft type built by Airbus. This aspect also overlaps with another project that is part of the Clean Sky 2 Large Passenger Aircraft programme – SCALAIR, that is also being conducted by NLR. While the set of instruments is developed by NOVAIR, the actual scale model will be built within SCALAIR. The scaled test method will be validated using the model of the aircraft and actual flight data. This validation is scheduled for late 2020. After that, a radically new aircraft configuration will be tested over a two-year period. If everything goes according to plan, this project will be completed in December 2022. That time will be used to produce a synthesis of the HEP-based radical aircraft design and the development of the set of instruments for building a scale model.
Within the Airbus-led NOVAIR project, NLR collaborates with different partners to develop the aircraft concepts and test methods. In addition, NLR’s various departments have an expansive knowledge base that will be used for the project. When electric aircraft will be taken into actual operation is impossible to predict, so Jentink was neither willing nor able to give us a date. However, it is highly likely we will see some form of electric aircraft become a reality one day.
More information: Henk Jentink