Programme Development of air and space vehicles
For business and the government, NLR accrues knowledge about the development of innovative products for air and space vehicles. With this knowledge, we want to enable the Dutch aerospace industry to have a competitive share from 2025 – 2050 in the development and production of the next generation low emission aircraft, in programmes for the next generation helicopters, in new small satellites, launchers and space applications, and in new flight concepts. NLR also wants to build knowledge to support Defence in the evaluation of military aircraft when purchasing new types, and in assessing the effects of new technologies on aviation safety.
The programme’s principal focus is on developing lightweight materials and structures for aerospace, innovative electronics, systems and instruments.
One part of the programme blazing the trail towards the future positioning of the Dutch aviation sector is the delivery of a technology demonstrator in 2025. This is a deforming wingflap with integrated state and condition monitoring that increases the efficiency of a new platform and avoids unnecessary maintenance. Development of this showcase will commence in 2023.
Key areas for 2023
- Developing affordable and applicable technology for the Dutch manufacturing industry to make aviation more sustainable
Technology development for aerospace craft is ongoing for reducing fossil emissions, more sustainable civil production and end-of-life, shortening development and production times, and reducing costs. The first European programmes (Clean Aviation) are expected to launch projects that focus strongly on reducing fossil emissions from regional and short to medium-haul aircraft.
- Developing affordable and effective technology for Dutch manufacturing industry and operators to achieve military objectives
Cooperation will commence in 2023 for building up NLR’s technology base for a robust innovation capability for aircraft with military objectives. This cooperation focuses on the Dutch Ministry of Defence, Dutch manufacturing and European cooperation, including Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO) within the EU and the European Defence Fund.
- Accumulating knowledge for Dutch civil and military operators, manufacturing industry and authorities for making concept choices about future aircraft and aircraft under development.
Building up knowledge about tilt-rotor aircraft from 2022 will be continued, as will knowledge accumulation about applications of simulation for certification in helicopters. We are also targeting the start of new projects in 2023 for civil developments, such as e.g. disruptive concepts as envisaged in Horizon Europe’s Clean Aviation programme. The key projects include ATTILA and ROCS. Relevant knowledge partners are Leonardo, Technobis Fibre Technologies, DNW, DLR and other international suppliers, research centres and universities.
- Developing affordable and effective technology that will improve the competitive position of the Dutch aerospace industry.
Enhancing the role of Dutch manufacturing industry as a preferred supplier will continue in 2023. New projects are being targeted with the aim of reducing costs. Additionally, Dutch industry – and new players within it – will be assisted through technological know-how that will help them introduce their products into the space market. Key technological developments are happening in thermal control, instrument control and data processing.
Relevant knowledge partners and users include several dozen Dutch manufacturing industrials, including SMEs and clusters of companies. There is also collaboration with knowledge partners and potential users in the supply chain, involving dozens of companies right up to aircraft manufacturers such as Airbus. Other knowledge partners are research centres, including EREA partners such as DLR, and Dutch and international universities such as Delft University of Technology.