Smart Fixed Wing Aircraft - SFWA

SWFA Light JetNLR participates in the Integrated Technology Demonstrator (ITD) projects ‘Smart Fixed Wing Aircraft’, ‘Systems for Green Operations’, Green Rotor-Craft’ and ‘Eco-Design’ and the Technology Evaluator.

Smart Fixed Wing Aircraft
In SFWA, the NLR focuses its activities on developing a series of designs for the wings and tails of large aircraft and business jets that include a range of Clean Sky technologies. The aim is to create technology demonstrators, which are planned for their maiden flights around 2015. With the other members in SFWA, NLR is working on a new smart flap technology that involves a new composite flap on the wing’s trailing edge, is calculating the flap’s aerodynamic and structural properties in order to complement the expertise made available by the airframe industry, and is working on innovative cabling concepts and on achieving environmental objectives by means of counter-rotating open rotor technology.

Systems for Green Operations
With its partners in SGO, NLR is researching the lightweight starter/ generator systems, for application in helicopters. This research involves applying new technologies that are based on permanent magnets, power electronics and advanced control algorithms, which give the starter/generator system a higher efficiency or lower weight than the current systems. Moreover, maintenance costs are reduced. In addition NLR is working on noise modelling for fixed-wing aircraft trajectory optimisation and on Continuous Descent Operations based on the Time and Energy Management Operations concept: a new environmental-friendly way of flying where high airport capacity is pursued. The link to SESAR activities is monitored by the SGO ITD.

Green Rotor-Craft
In GRC, NLR is developing a helicopter optimisation environment, including noise and fuel consumption (CO2 emissions). In this simulation environment, noise and low-emission helicopter procedures are developed. With the other members in GRC, NLR is also working on the optimisation of composite low-noise rotor blades. Our contribution is based on tests in the wind tunnel on a model blade, as well as on a helicopter model, in order to lower fuselage drag and, hence, fuel consumption rates.

In ED, NLR studies the properties and possible applications of fibres and matrix materials (resin systems) made from organic materials. Interior aircraft panels seem a potentially interesting application, given the organic fibres’ excellent acoustic dampening properties. In this domain, NLR is working on ‘ecolonomic’ manufacturing processes (ecologically and economically responsible processes) on improving possibilities for recycling and on developing Life Cycle Analysis tools.

Technology Evaluator
In TE, NLR is responsible for the evaluations to be conducted at airport level, aiming to quantify Clean Sky benefits for the full range of European airports. To this end, airport categories have been defined, and illustrative airports have been selected for each category. These illustrative airports are modelled, including their operations to ensure a realistic airport (simulation) environment. Within this environment air traffic at and around the airport is simulated. Based on this simulated air traffic, noise levels and emissions in the vicinity of the airport are calculated, using aircraft models and data provided by the ITDs. Moreover, this simulation exercise also allows the investigation of the impact of Clean Sky technologies on airport throughput and delays, which considerably increases the fidelity of the assessment.

What does NLR offer the Clean Sky partners?
Besides the deployment of broad aviation knowledge, NLR has big test and simulation facilities for evaluation, verification and validation. For many of the various technologies presently under development, NLR collaborates with national and international clusters comprised of SMEs, industrial partners and universities. NLR thus strengthens the innovative position of the Clean Sky partners and the Integrated Technology Demonstrators, by offering suitable experimental and simulation capabilities both to the current members of Clean Sky and to the partners being selected via Calls for Proposals.

NLRs Netherlands partners in Clear Sky are Aeronamic, Fokker Aerostructures, Axxiflex, Microflown Technologies, Airborne, Fokker Elmo, University of Twente, Delft University of Technology and KIN Machinebouw.