Future achievements

Clean Sky's projects are helping to dramatically slash the air industry's CO2, other gases and noise footprints by developing new engine architectures, improved wing aerodynamics, lighter composite structures, smarter trajectories, and more electrical on-board energy.

While some technologies can be assessed during their development phase at component or system level, many key technologies will need to be validated via dedicated test programmes, involving large-scale ground or in-flight demonstration installations: this is the major goal of Clean Sky. These demonstrators integrate several technologies at a major system level or at aircraft level, enabling them to be tested in a relevant operating environment.

To date, more than 30 main demonstrators of different sizes, some of which are in a technical sequence, are being developed at a very high technological maturity level. In the following section the most significant and representative demonstrators from each ITD are presented with the highlights of their content.

The timeline below shows some examples of cutting-edge technologies leading to those results.

Achievements

Achieved Planned

Airbus Helicopters
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RACER – Fast Rotorcraft IADP (Airbus Helicopters)

 

Objectives:

  • To investigate advanced low-noise flight trajectory procedures 
  • To demonstrate mission capability, including faster Emergency Medical Service and Search And Rescue

Main outcomes:

  • Evaluation of new compound helicopter configuration, in particular box-wing with pusher propeller, to address key potential missions like EMS and SAR
  • Assessment of key low-noise flight procedures up to TRL6, to pave the way to high speed helicopter services within and between cities 

Expected benefits:

  • Validation of key technology concepts for embodiment on future high speed compound helicopter
Next Generation Civil TiltRotor
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Next Generation Civil TiltRotor – Fast Rotorcraft IADP (Leonardo Helicopters)

 

Objectives:

  • The design and validation of a next generation civil tiltrotor technology configuration and its architectures conceptes through full scale flight demonstration and rig test in operational conditions
  • To investigate engine installation and flight trajectory optimization to reduce CO2 emissions
  • Demonstate the use of new materials and processes that support eco-design objectives

Main outcomes:

  • Evaluation of technology concepts by flight test to TRL6, in particular advanced wing  and efficient nacelle Architectures, optimized tail configuration, a fixed engine - split gearbox drivetrain concept and  an advanced modular distributed flight control system
  • Assessment of key enabling technologies to TRL4 through rig test 

Expected benefits:

  • Validation of key technology concepts for embodiment on future high speed tiltrotor aircraft
     
Regional Aircraft IADP
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Integrated Technologies Demonstrator FTB#2 - Regional Aircraft IADP

 

Objectives:

  • Airbus Defense & Space and Partners Low weight structures, EMA actuation

Main Features:

  • Innovative composite wingbox with Out of Autoclave Techs:
    • LRI (Liquid Resin Infusion) 
    • Thermoplastics (in situ consolidation process)
  • Advanced control surfaces (Composite Winglet, Advanced Aileron and Spoiler, Multi-functional Flap) 
  • Control system towards semi-morphing wing approach management supported by More Electrical Aircraft.
  • Actuation system based on EMAs and HVDC electrical system for essential loads.
  • Complementary technologies supporting the in-flight demonstrator: 
    • Advances in AM (Additive Manufacturing)
    • Jig-less assembly techniques
    • MQL (Minimum Quantity Lubricant)

Expected Benefits:

  • Implementation Semi-morphing wing concept based on smart control of multiple control surfaces. 
  • Loads alleviation systems for Regional Multimission aircraft concept: MLA and GLA
  • Validation of low cost (jigless, OSD, OSA) and low weight (LRI and thermoplastics) structural technologies
     
Airframe ITD
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On Ground Static Wing - Airframe ITD

 

Objectives: 

  • Innovative structural wing design for future Regional Aircraft 
  • Weight reduction through More integrated structures and New Composite Materials
  • More Electrical Wing
  • Aerodynamic Efficiency
  • Advanced  architecture and more efficient systems integration
  • More efficient Manufacturing 

Main features:

  • Out of Autoclave manufacturing  
    • Thermoplastics In Situ Consolidation
    • Liquid Resin Infusion 
  • One Shot manufacturing process allowed by high structure integration
  • New Assembly Process: Jig-less process, New Shimming, One Shot Drilling, One Way Assembly, ...
  • New architecture of Flight Controls for multipe controls configuration for Aerodynamic optimization 
  • Primary flight controls driven by electromechanical actuators
  • High Voltage  network integration

Expected benefits:

  • 20-25% Loads Alleviation (WRBM)
  • Lift Increase w/o Drag Penalties and Increase A/C control performance and reliability
  • 10% Weight reduction
  • 30% Reduction Lead time
  • 40% NRC saving Tooling
  • 10% RC Manufacturing reduction

Main outcomes:

  • TRL6 on Out of Autoclave Manufacturing processes for Thermoplastic in Situ Consolidation and Liquid Resin Infusion applied to Complex Structures 
  • TRL6 for Design capabilities of highly integrated complex strutures in composite materials for OoA and One Shot approach
  • TRL6 High Voltage network integration and New Fligh Controls architecture driven by electromechanic actuators
     
Regional IADP
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Adaptive Wing Integrated Demonstrator (Regional FTB#1 & OWB) - Regional IADP

 

Objectives:

  • The C27J Multirole Aircraft  FTB#1 (Flying Test Bed #1)  will be modified at the end of year 2021 for the Adaptive wing Technologies demonstration in flight demonstration. 
  • A full scale regional aircraft composite Outer Wing Box (OWB) demonstrator will test on ground the wing innovative structural technologies integration

Main Features:

  • Installation of Wing tip Movables Structures (Morphing Wing Let and Innovative Wing Tip) integrated with actuations and sensors
  • C27J  integration and In flight operation of an Active Loads Control and Alleviation System (LC&AS) including Advanced Actuation and Controls (EMA, Sensors, Control Laws) 
  • Full scale regional aircraft composite Outer Wing Box  including:
    • 1 Stiffened Upper Panel in Liquid Resin Infusion including a removable panel
    • 1 Stiffened Lower Panel in Liquid Resin Infusion
    • 19 Infused Ribs 
    • 1 Infused Front Spar
    • 1 Infused Rear Spar

Expected Benefits:

  • Implementation of Load Control and Alleviation technologies and integrated solutions to improve A/C wing efficiency and fatigue life 
  • Validation of design and of innovative low cost and low weight structural technologies
     
Airframe ITD
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Rotorless Tail for RACER Demonstrator - Airframe ITD

 

Objectives: 

  • Innovative structural Rear Fuselage design for Fast Rotorcraft- RACER Demo 
  • Weight reduction through More integrated structures and New Composite Materials
  • Aerodynamic Efficiency-Drag Reduction-Noise Emission and CO2
  • Advanced  architecture and more efficient systems integration
  • More efficient Manufacturing 

Main features:

  • Out of Autoclave manufacturing -  Resin Transfer Moulding
  • One Shot manufacturing process allowed by high structure integration
  • Additive Manufacturing Processes implementation in related and non-related parts
  • New architecture of Tail Boom in order to achieve an Aerodynamic optimization
  • New architecture for Empennage in order to optimize the performances of the control surfaces
  • Control Surfaces driven by electromechanical actuators

Expected benefits:

  • Asymmetrical Boom Cross Section 
    • Improved Anti-torque in Hover ≈10% 
    • No Penalty Forward Flight 
    • Reduce Downloads 
  • Double Tilted Vertical Stabilizers 
    • Minimization of wake impact 
    • Small horizontal surface-Reduced drag with dihedral 
    • Contributes to the longitudinal Stability of the Demonstrator 
    • Moves fins away from the rotor head wake 

Main outcomes:

  • TRL6 for Design capabilities of highly integrated complex structures in composite materials for OoA and One Shot approach
  • TRL6 Additive Manufacturing for related parts focus on Flight Control Surfaces Structures
     
Regional IADP
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Fuselage / Pax Cabin Integrated Demonstrator - Regional IADP

 

Objectives:

  • Structural static and fatigue tests on full scale demonstrator to validate the integration of innovative low cost and low weight manufacturing, assembling and NDI technologies.
  • Full scale vibro-acoustic, comfort, thermal tests and systems integration to assess and validate innovation based on an human-centered-design approach.

Main Features:

  • Length ≈ 7300 mm, Diameter ≈ 3450 mm.
  • 3 composite super panels configuration with co-cured composite omega stringers.
  • Integration of Frames and Shear ties, Window frames, Pressure bulkheads, Floor Grid, Fitting/Joints, Doors.
  • Thermoset, Thermoplastic, Infusion technologies applied to different structural items.
  • Panels including artificial manufacturing defects and damages due to tool drop and hail impacts.
  • Flight attendant seat, Galley, Lavatory, EC Seat, Service Area
  • Thermo-Acoustic Insulation, 
  • Lining, Stowage Bin
  • Lighting & Cabin Layout

Expected Benefits:

  • Structural Weight reduction (wrt GRA Demo).
  • Manufacturing Recurring Cost reduction (wrt GRA Demo).
  • Maintenance Improvement.
  • Implementation of new eco-compatible materials and processes
  • Improvement of cabin comfort and wellbeing.
  • Cabin Interiors Weight reduction (wrt ATR scaled).
  • Cabin Interiors Manufacturing Recurring Cost reduction (wrt ATR scaled).
  • Implementation of new eco-compatible materials and processes.
     
Airframe ITD
-

Full Scale Mock-up of BJ Office Centered Cabin - Airframe ITD

 

Objectives: 

  • To achieve an improved and optimized BJ passenger cabin comfort increasing passenger’s well-being to relax and efficiency to work during travel

Main features:

  • Use of an innovative process of elaboration of new cabin architecture and layout with tools and methods for human factor and ergonomic measurements
  • Monuments with high modularity and innovative ergonomics such as side furniture, independent seating, etc.
  • Equipment incorporating high technology and high performance (including weight saving)

Expected benefits:

  • For passengers, turning the travelling time into effective productive time and allowing the passenger to be ready for a good full day
  • Monument and furniture weight saving 

Main outcomes:

  • Full scale mock-up of an innovative business jet cabin
  • Scientific evaluation of the cabin through man in the loop process
     
Airframe ITD
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Components for REG Fuselage - Airframe ITD

 

Objectives: 

  • Structural static and fatigue tests on major fuselage structural items to validate innovative low cost and low weight manufacturing technologies and SHM systems

Main features:

  • Co-bonded and co-cured stiffened panels in thermoset prepreg materials
  • Fitting in thermoset material for RTM
  • Window frame in thermoplastic material for thermo-forming and compression moulding
  • Floor beam in thermoset material for liquid resin infusion
  • Pressure bulkhead joint in thermoset material for liquid resin infusion
  • Frame in thermoset material for RTM
  • SHM systems based on PZT DuraAct transducers, optical fibres draw tower gratings (DTGs),  micro-structured optical fibres (MOFBGs)

Expected benefits: 

  • Structural Weight reduction (wrt CS-GRA ITD major structural items)
  • Manufacturing Recurring Cost reduction (wrt CS-GRA ITD major structural items)
  • Maintenance Improvement
  • Implementation of new eco-compatible materials and processes

Main outcomes:

  • Manufacturing trials destructively and not destructively characterized for process assessment
  • SHM installation procedures established and tested at coupon level for each selected SHM technology
     
Airframe ITD
-

On Ground Composite Cockpit - Airframe ITD

 

Objectives: 

  • Innovative structural Composite Cockpit design for future Regional Aircraft 
  • Weight reduction through More integrated structures and New Composite Materials
  • Reduction of energy consumption for the components manufacturing
  • Reducing waste materials and increasing recycling capacity
  • Reduction of use and consumption of auxiliary materials and chemical liquids
  • REACH Compliance

Main features:

  • Manufacturing processes of complex structures and integrated in "One Shot" 
  • Multi-functional stiffened Skins, incorporating dissimilar materials
  • Flat and curved stiffened Skins in thermoplastics ISC (In Situ Consolidation)
  • Liquid resin infusion (LRI process Out of Autoclave) both for solid laminates and for primary structure
  • Innovative testing techniques for Composite Cockpit Structure modelling and material characterization
  • Innovative SHMS   

Expected benefits:

  • 10% Weight reduction
  • 15% Cost Saving
  • 18% Lead Time reduction full manufacturing

Main outcomes:

  • TRL4 for One Shot manufacturing processed for composite  Complex Structures 
  • TRL4 for Design capabilities of highly integrated complex structures in Multifunctional composite materials for One Shot approach
     
Airframe ITD
-

Major components for REG human centered cabin - Airframe ITD

 

Objectives: 

  • Improved and optimized passenger cabin environment in terms of comfort and wellbeing by means of innovative and integrated technologies and design approaches for a regional aircraft major interiors items

Main features: 

  • Development, integration and validation of innovative technologies and solutions to improve the physical cabin environment in terms of comfort on board focusing on Human Factors, Noise&Vibration and Green Materials for Regional Aircraft

Expected benefits: 

  • To set Human Centered Design Approach where the cabin comfort is the “center-of-gravity” to develop the aircraft interior, including Noise&Vibration abatement in the cabin and improving use of Environmental Friendly Materials

Main outcomes:

  • Design of Conceptual Layout Models and stylistic concepts of major cabin items
  • Definition of experimental protocols for each cabin item addressing passenger and crew needs
  • Full Scale stressed major cabin items for regional aircraft interiors
     
Regional IADP
-

Iron Bird Demonstrator (Leonardo Aircraft) - Regional IADP

 

Objectives

  • Integrate FCS, ELG and EPGDS technologies up to TRL 5
  • Support the FCS Load Control/Load Alleviation (LC/LA) system design
  • Inter-system integration activity and verification
  • Full-scale systems representation related to the actual FTB#1 configuration

Main Features

  • ELG: nose and main landing gear test benches
  • FCS: Aileron, Wingtip and Winglet test benches
  • EPGDS: design and develop an innovative strategy for an highly decentralized, modular and flexible “smart-grid” based network, saving weight for electrical machines integration
  • Each test bench will be composed by relevant EACU(s), EMA(s) and Counter Load System
  • Availability of remaining actuators simulations to have a full aircraft representation
  • Possibility to inject EMAs degradations and faults, simulating their progression with time and usage in a representative operational scenario
  • Simplified cockpit simulator to provide the FCCs with the pilot inceptors and trim commands.

Expected Benefits

  • Integrate technologies up to TRL 5
  • Obtain the Permit to Fly for FCS Winglet and Wingtip surfaces
  • Propaedeutic activities for FTB#1
     
Airframe ITD
-

Business Jet Composite Wing Root Box - Airframe ITD

 

Objectives: 

  • Explore innovative structural wing design for future business jets

Main features:

  • Innovative material: high performance carbon fibres / epoxy matrix
  • Innovative manufacturing processes: Fibre Placement
  • Distortion prediction during manufacturing of big composite parts (stiffened panels)
  • Design of highly loaded composite box (Landing Gear Box etc.)

Main outcomes:

  • Methodologies and know-how to design heavy loaded low weight composite box, including specific design topics such as stiffeners run-out design or introduction of metallic ribs or fittings in a composite box
  • Methodologies and know-how to predict composite parts distortion from manufacturing

Expected benefits:

  • Weight reduction: -10% compared to a metallic Wing Root Box on the same A/C
  • Cost reduction: -10% compared to a metallic Wing Root Box on the same A/C
  • Global Warming Potential reduction: -60% compared to a metallic Wing Root Box on the same A/C
  • Get rid of Cr6
  • Extended life duration (better corrosion resistance)
     
Airframe ITD
-

Future Metallic Cargo Door - Airframe ITD

 

 

Objectives:

  • Weight reduction >5%
  • Cost Reduction up to 50%
  • Evaluate Environmentally friendly manufacture processes (Reduce Manufacture Footprint)

Main features of door:

  • Electrical operation
  • Metallic bonded structural skeleton
  • Complete redesign of existing cargo doors
    • Innovative lift, lock & latch concept
    • Reduced part count

Expected benefits:

  • Environmental:
    • 20% Reduction of organic solvents in paint
    • Chromate free pretreatment and primer
    • Electric operation (no hydraulics)
    • No chemical milling
    • Reduced fuel burn (lower weight)
  • Safer, easier door operation
  • Reduced maintenance cost
  • Reduced manufacture cost

Main outcomes:

  • Fully operational electrically powered cargo door demonstrator assembled into the LPA fuselage (TRL5 demonstration)
  • Enabler for low cost and environmentally friendly manufacture processes which can be implemented into today’s aircraft manufacture
     

 

RACER – Fast Rotorcraft IADP
-

RACER – Fast Rotorcraft IADP (Airbus Helicopters)

 

Objectives:

  • Design and validation of a new configuration (box-wing with pusher propeller) civil compound helicopter configuration , through full scale flight demonstration and rig test in operational conditions
  • Perform an exploratory flight test campaign, supporting validation of advanced simulations used in design phase
  • Demonstrate ambitious environmental objectives (CO2, NOX, noise reduction), with cooperative flight test campaign
  • Demonstrate the use of new materials and processes that support eco-design objectives

Main outcomes:

  • Exploratory evaluation of new compound helicopter configuration by flight test to TRL6, in particular box-wing  and pusher propeller architecture, asymmetric tail-boom, new generation H-empennage configuration, and  advanced flight control system
  • Assessment of key supporting technologies to TRL4 through rig test, applied on structure, mechanical systems, and on-board systems

Expected benefits:

  • Validation of new compound helicopter architecture, open the way to low-noise flight procedures and mission capability, for embodiment on potential future high speed compound helicopter
     
Regional Aircraft IADP
-

Integrated Technologies Demonstrator FTB#2 - Regional Aircraft IADP

 

Objectives:

  • Airbus Defense & Space and Partners Semi-morphing wing concepts, multifunctional high lift

Main Features:

  • Innovative composite wingbox with Out of Autoclave Techs:
    • LRI (Liquid Resin Infusion) 
    • Thermoplastics (in situ consolidation process)
  • Advanced control surfaces (Composite Winglet, Advanced Aileron and Spoiler, Multi-functional Flap) 
  • Control system towards semi-morphing wing approach management supported by More Electrical Aircraft
  • Actuation system based on EMAs and HVDC electrical system for essential loads
  • Complementary technologies supporting the in-flight demonstrator: 
    • Advances in AM (Additive Manufacturing)
    • Jig-less assembly techniques
    • MQL (Minimum Quantity Lubricant)

Expected Benefits:

  • Implementation Semi-morphing wing concept based on smart control of multiple control surfaces 
  • Loads alleviation systems for Regional Multimission aircraft concept: MLA and GLA
  • Validation of low cost (jigless, OSD, OSA) and low weight (LRI and thermoplastics) structural technologies
     
Laminar Nacelle Virtual Demonstrator - Airframe ITD
-

Laminar Nacelle Virtual Demonstrator - Airframe ITD

 

Objectives: 

  • Investigation of Natural Laminar Flow concept for business jet nacelles

Main features:

  • Increased maturity of laminar nacelle technology: aero-shape, nacelle access doors…
  • Consolidation of the design & architecture of a laminar nacelle taking into account maintenance constraints
  • Use of acoustic liners with a laminar B.L. at the nacelle entrance

Expected benefits:

  • Deliver a significant a/c drag reduction through NLF technologies applied to nacelle: ~0.5-1.0%
  • Lateral external noise reduction

Main outcomes:

  • Conceptual design of a laminar nacelle and assessment of feasibility
  • Virtual evaluation of benefits brought by the laminar nacelle concept
     

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