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Tilt Rotor INlet Innovative Design And Testing

Project description

Aerodynamic optimisation of aircraft air intakes

The EU-funded TRINIDAT project will tackle the aerodynamics of an existing intake geometry and the improvement of intake performance by using optimisation tools based on computational fluid dynamics. This will result in revamped high-performance intake shapes to be applied to next-generation civil tiltrotor configurations. A tiltrotor aircraft can operate as a helicopter or rotate its engines and fly like a fixed-wing aeroplane. The project will enhance the flow steadiness and uniformity of engines’ air intake systems in order to conform to engine manufacturer requirements. In addition to optimising the aerodynamic performance of intakes, the project will also identify icing and snow situations to be taken into account for certification.


The TRINIDAT project adresses the aerodynamic characterization of an already available intake geometry (as supplied by ITD) and optimization of the intake performance by using CFD based optimization tools leading to redesigned high performance intake shapes to be implemented on the Next Generation Civil Tilt Rotor (NGCTR) configuration. A purpose of the optimization is to improve the flow steadiness and uniformity at the Air Intake Plane of the engines such as to comply with the requirements put forward by the engine manufacturer. The initial characterization and optimization will rely on dedicated CFD studies, the final validation will be made with full size model tests in DNW-LLF 6x6 wind tunnel, allowing reliable testing at full scale Mach and Reynolds conditions. For efficient testing of basic and optimized left hand and right hand intake geometries in airplane, helicopter and intermediate Extreme Short Take-Off and Landing mode, a modular wind tunnel model equipped with a remotely controlled tilting forward nacelle part will be designed and manufactured. A remotely controlled highly instrumented rotatable rake will be installed in the model to enable detailed and efficient measurement of the flow at the engine air intake plane. Apart from the aerodynamic optimization of the intakes, the project will also identify icing and snow conditions to be considered for certification and will subsequently analyse the ice and snow effects on the nacelle inlets and ducts to provide early input for anti icing measures that might be needed for NGCTR.
The partners of the consortium, gathering renowned Research Centres (NLR, DNW), 2 Industrials (Deharde, ALTRAN), 1 SME (ADSE) and 1 University (UT), will use their complementary expertise and facilities to provide an optimized inlet geometry for NGCTR, based on CFD and wind tunnel analysis, with high potential for certification in snow/icing conditions.
The TRINIDAT project will last 39 months for a total budget of 3,346,397€.


Net EU contribution
€ 945 391,25
1059 CM Amsterdam

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West-Nederland Noord-Holland Groot-Amsterdam
Activity type
Research Organisations
Total cost
€ 945 391,25

Participants (5)