The efficiency gains offered by ultra-high aspect ratio wings are key to increase the sustainability of air travel as the volume of passengers continues to grow. However, a fully viable and deployable solution has not yet been proposed due to technological, certification and operational limits, which are mainly due to complex aeroelastic behaviour and constraints from both manufacturing methods and airport infrastructure.
This project is centred around the idea that future-generation aircraft with ultra-high-aspect-ratio wings is conceivable with forward-looking technologies and physics-based multidisciplinary analysis and optimization approaches. Critically, RHEA will introduce a paradigm shift towards robust design methods, inherently built with a quantitative management of uncertainties in both operating conditions as well as model predictive capabilities. The project will also introduce a number of carefully selected technologies into the aero-structural design process of novel aircraft configurations. Multidisciplinary designs optimization of representative aircraft will address short-range, medium range and long-range missions.