The proposed project tackled a CfP from the JTI-GRA ITD. Is focused on the experimental optimisation of a regional aircraft configuration and a subsequent optimisation of take-off/landing configuration. The regional aircraft has a wing designed for natural laminar flow, fuselage-mounted engines and a T-tail. Open configurational questions that are addressed tackle wing-tip devices and their performance, engine positions as well as tail-plane position and settings. In order to account for the fuselage-mounted engine the model included a working propulsion system designed to fit the real engines. This first test-phase focused on the configurational questions; the second test-phase tackled the optimisation of the HLD-devices by testing different configurations.
Therefore, apart from the modular aircraft configuration the different control surfaces, HLD devices used for assessing the landing-configuration and stability and control issues for the different configurations included actuators to allow continuous setting and fast wind-tunnel tests. Pressure tubes, sensors and a balance system to measure engine thrust were introduced into the aircraft model, too.
The consortium for this proposal consisted of 5 partners which were chosen according to their experience in different fields needed in this proposal. The consortium was well balanced, including SMEs, University and Industry.
The work proposed in this proposal covered the total design, including solutions for actuators, propulsion system, the manufacturing of the model, its Ground-Vibration-Test and the Wind-Tunnel Test as well as the final subsequent modifications needed to operate the model in subsequent tests as required in the CfP. Thus, the work was structured in four different work-package, dealing with Management, Design & Manufacturing, Tests and Final Modifications.
In ESICAPIA an aerodynamic characterisation of a Green Regional Aircraft configuration comprising laminar-flow technology as well as rear-mounted turbofans was performed by means of wind-tunnel tests, with a special emphasis on innovative solutions for high-lift devices. In order to achieve this a consortium of four partners was built and implemented. These four partners were:
- IBK-Innovation in charge of project management and model design and data post-processing.
- University of Bristol for loads-calculations, data post-processing and dynamic characterization.
- RUAG for developing an engine simulator allowing to simulate the rear-mounted turbofan.
- EUROTECH (replacing the initial consortium member REVOIND).
In order to perform the test-activities specific requirements for the tests and the WT-model needed to be defined. Due to the fact that the model was large (span of 4.9m) all activities needed to be planned with care including logistics onsite in the WT. The WT was chosen to be the RUAG Large-Wind Tunnel in Emmen.
During the project IBK designed a wind-tunnel model with a strong emphasis on reducing time for configurational changes. This included solutions for actuated devices, which could work together with a hinge-moment measurement solution. In order to optimise and de-risk activities the design and manufacturing of the ESICAPIA-Model was done on strong cooperation with the EASIER project thus taking into account acoustic requirements, like
- Different configuration in the WT (dorsal vs. ventral), model needs to be rotated.
- Landing-gear bay to be realized in a way that is representative of real acoustics were taken into account upfront and did not lead to a design solution that would impact either test.
Due to the replacement of the initial model manufacturer, a project adaptation was necessary. As a result, the model was simplified, thus removing control-device actuation. The model was delivered to the Wind-Tunnel in Emmen in Q4/2016.
After model availability the tests were performed in the RUAG-Wind-Tunnel using a test-matrix, including both powered and unpowered tests, jointly defined together with the Topic Manager. The Wind-Tunnel tests were performed as planned, allowing a characterization of the noise acting on the wing and analyzing the effect of low-noise technologies developed with the GRA-consortium.
As a final outcome the project can present the aerodynamic characterization of the GRA-configuration.