In this research project, technology bricks for the immediate next generation of medium-range aircraft and their interactions are investigated.
The overall objective of the joint project AVACON (Advanced Aircraft Concepts) is the investigation of innovate aircraft configurations in order to show potentials with respect to fuel efficiency, especially for the medium range market segment. The project consortium consists of a total of eight partners, which combine the competences of industry, research entities and academia. A core aspect of the project is the integration of ultra-high bypass ratio engines, which are not only mounted in a conventional fashion under the wing, but due to their size also over the wing and on the fuselage. In addition, further promising technology bricks are integrated into the innovative aircraft configurations, taking into account their interdisciplinary interactions.
In this context, the Institute of Aerospace Systems at RWTH Aachen University is working on the aspects of integrating a hybrid laminar flow control (HLFC) system, taking into account the effects on the preliminary aircraft design. The aim is to reduce the friction drag and thus fuel consumption and environmental pollution. The ILR can rely on already existing expertise regarding the integration of hybrid laminar flow control within the in-house aircraft design environment MICADO. For aerodynamic evaluation a process exists, which combines a 2D flow solver with a 3D transition prediction module using various transformation rules. In order to maintain the balance between the levels of detail required in the preliminary design, a detailed design of the HLFC system is also carried out, taking into account the aerodynamic boundary conditions as well as necessary suction distributions. Within AVACON, the existing expertise will initially be expanded to include the ability to assess different aircraft configurations. For this purpose, the originally turbulent aircraft configurations are equipped with an HLFC system in order to holistically assess the potential of such a retrofit design. The aim is to identify a suitable compromise between the aerodynamic advantages and the additional masses and power offtakes of the necessary HLFC systems. Furthermore, innovative design methods are being developed in order to incorporate laminarity as an additional boundary condition already in the preliminary wing design. This promises the full exploitation of the potential of HLFC.
The project is funded by the German Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs and Energy as part of the Federal Aviation Research Programme LuFo V-3.