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Project Context and Objectives:

This proposal main objective is to approach an innovative and reliable solution for the design, manufacturing , set up and commissioning and performance & analysis of the structural test of the port and starboard outer wing sections needed for flight tests of natural laminar flow on the SFWA flight test demonstrator under Clean Sky Program.

The challenge of this proposal is to define the test method necessary to demonstrate that major components tests can be performed on flight test aircraft.

Currently wing bend test methods are destructive, incurring in high cost. The main goal of this proposal is to develop a NON-DESTRUCTIVE method for wing bend tests, innovating in minimum test bench-wing interfaces, Non destructive inspection methods (infrared thermography) and wireless data recording.

The main goals is to prove that some of the technical solution applied to perform this test are reliable enough to be applied from now on for future aircraft test full scale and fatigue parts test. The main improvements are:

- Use of High Precision Servo-controlled Winches (HPSW) instead hydraulics jacks to perform bending up test. These elements will avoid hydraulics means to perform tests and use of electrical devices, making it cleaner and safety than nowadays.
- Use of IR technics: Infrared Thermography (IRT) as a Non Destructive Test tool is a fast system of inspection which can complement the conventional methods of NDT (ultrasounds, radiography, eddy-current, magnetic particles, tap-coin) where these ones have difficulties or are simply unsuitable, as sometimes it happens in the aeronautics industry. As NDT technique, IRT is theoretically suitable for every type of materials. It can be applied to inspect compound materials as well as metallic materials, what makes this technique be more versatile than many other conventional methods (in addition to its manageability and applicability in production and maintenance labours).

Wireless data acquisition system: For this kind of test it will be investigated and implemented a contactless system for deflection measurement.

The system will be based on local GPS system but not only. The main idea is provide a 3D map of the deflecting surface in order to be easily compared with FEM models.

The aim is to implement contactless measuring systems, besides the main idea to install the local GPS system other measuring techniques can be used.

A second objective of this work package could be the utilization of a distributed and wireless acquisition system. Traditionally the use of wireless data acquisition systems had been avoided mainly due to limitations into the transmissions rates due to the inherent bandwidth limitation associated with the standards used in the past. However the last advances in the wireless protocols and the new industry standards could lead to new opportunities in this field.

Vision systems: The use of a group of high resolution cameras placed on the test tool structure will be used to measure the deformation deltas of the wing structure. This devices will be complemented by the use of light projection to be able to analyze the contrast shadows in the surface of the element that will give information of the deformation cycles.

This works also requires a pre acquired data of witness deformations to be able to recognize those patrons in the real structure.

Project Results:

Passing Conceptual review of the 3D models designed to perform BLADE Bending Up test.

Location, by means of finite elements studie,s of the best A340 MSN001 wing ribs to fix the aircraft to the ground for security reason to avoid undesirable movements during test execution.

Definition of the basic HPSW parameters and dimensions, as well as control system architecture. Running into the first Winch performance test.

Definition and selection of the Wireless data Acquisition System more suitable for this project.

Develop of LINCE tool, a remote acquisition reception system in order to be able to follow test performance from any place with internet access for authorized users.

IR test successfully conducted

Potential Impact:

The WISDOM project addresses the JTI-CS-2012-02-SFWA-03-010 topic “BLADE wing structural test to derive test data for subsequent validation of GFEM modeling” within the SFWA ITD of Clean Sky. Therefore, the project will contribute to this ITD expected environmental impact which consists of putting greener products into the market that:

• Reduce the medium and long range aircraft fuel burn and aircraft emissions by around 10 to 20%.
• Reduce the medium and long range aircraft noise by 5 to 10 dB.

Furthermore, the project will contribute in terms of socio-economic impact to ACARE’s latest goal of making the European aircraft industry meet society’s needs and win global leadership.

Impact of the project on the environment

Many studies have concluded the effectiveness of optimizing wing shape in order to delay transition from laminar to turbulent flow and thus reduce aircraft drag. Thus, estimations of a 20% reduction in drag through NLF technology have been presented. Benefits associated to drag reduction are a decrease in fuel burn a well as aircraft emissions and noise. Possible fuel savings of up to 30% for subsonic commercial aircraft have been suggested through successful NLF system development. An equivalent amount of reduction in CO2 emissions per passenger and km could be expected. A 58% decrease in NOx emissions and 16 dB reduction in noise (together with a 44% decrease in fuel burn) through combination of advanced composites, LF and very high bypass turbofans has been proved by Boeing SUGAR team on a 737 size airliner.

Socio-economic impact of the project

Air transport is a strategic sector for the Europe economy. Studies have shown that this industry accounts for approximately 2.5% of GDP, creates over 3 million jobs (direct and indirect) and contributes in excess of 30Bn to a positive trade balance for Europe. Moreover, based on projected growth over the next twenty years air transport could contribute an additional 1.8% of GDP. However, gradual worsening of the global economic situation, euro-dollar exchange rate, cost of oil and emerging new competitors are forcing the European aerospace sector to continuous efforts to maintain its position. Since despite extensive research both in Europe and in the US no usable LF control system has yet found its way on to commercial aircrafts, the WISDOM project will provide increased and differentiated technological capabilities to the European aircraft industry. The expected results will not only benefit aircraft manufacturers’ competitiveness but also their suppliers’, many of them SME’s who are experiencing a fierce concurrence from low cost competitors. The project will also contribute to sustainable growth requested by European citizens since highly qualified jobs will be maintained or created to fabricate new environmentally friendly products.

Steps that will be needed to bring about the expected impacts

The effective contribution of the WISDOM project to the SFWA ITD expected impacts will require validation after inspection of the designed and fabricated tools and rigs.

Fabrication will be defined according to design inputs. Quality of the provided solution is guaranteed by the personnel expertise and the defined work plan. The resources committed consists of experienced designers and manufacturers of aircraft sub-components, tooling and test benches as well as research agents which will provide technology support for innovation related activities. Concerning innovation, a threefold approach which addresses all issues that may require from it (fabrication, joining and assembly) is foreseen. Once the sub-components have been validated, they will be transported to AERNNOVA facilities for final wing assembly. Only when flight tests are operated the achievement of the definitive impacts will be confirmed and quantified.