Skip to main content

Light weight, impact resistant, canopy for fast compound rotorcraft

Periodic Reporting for period 3 - FastCan (Light weight, impact resistant, canopy for fast compound rotorcraft)

Reporting period: 2019-08-01 to 2020-12-31

The main objective of this project is to enhance the competitiveness of the European aviation industry on the international market place by enhancing and leveraging innovation capability across Europe's aeronautical sector, involving all actors across the full innovation chain.
The main consideration for KLK Motorsport and Gerg to join this project was to open up new market possibilities in the aviation industry. Our goal is to become an established and valued partner in the European market for the design, development and manufacturing of innovative aerospace components and systems.
This project should allow us to demonstrate our extensive experience and capabilities in the field of cutting-edge composite solutions from the concept stage to the finished product.
Introducing proven and innovative design and manufacturing technologies from different fields such as motorsport and the automotive world to the aviation industry can bring a competitive edge to the European market place.

Final Period and Conclusion:
In this third and final reporting period the FastCan consortium is pleased to report that we have achieved all our goals:

- KLK Motorsport has finished and provided the required permit to flight documentation and supported Gerg M&F during the manufacturing process.
- Gerg M&F has built the flightworthy Canopy Structure as specified on time and on budget and delivered the hardware to AH in Donauwörth for final assembly.

The canopy structure itself has successfully demonstrated innovative manufacturing technologies, high functional integration as well as our lightweight design approach from motorsport.
The most challenging aspect of the program on the design side was the fulfilment of the CS29 bird strike requirements. The high speeds attainable by the RACER are unlike any other helicopter posed a significant challenge for the structure.
KLK Motorsport has invested a lot of time and energy to set-up and develop the simulation models for the dynamic bird strike simulations.
Those tools are needed to reliably simulate and optimise the CFRP laminate lay-up of the canopy to fulfil the strength, stiffness and weight requirements.

For Gerg M&F the Canopy manufacturing was a great chance to proof being capable of implement Aircraft manufacturing and documentation standards and even put the complexity for composite-components on a new level.
The high grade of integration of functionality in the RACER Canopy is unmatched. Combining a composite hollow-core-structure with both, monolithic and sandwich-structures is unique in the manufacturing of flying composite parts.
Therefore some special manufacturing-techniques was adapted to meet flight worthy requirements.

KLK Motorsport and Gerg M&F are both grateful for the opportunity provided by CS2 under the Horizon 2020 programme and pleased with the results achieved.
Both companies were able to demonstrate their respective abilities to the core partners, especially Airbus Helicopters and recommend themselves for future projects.
"Project Start to Baseline review
- Analysis of given canopy design and interface status from AH
- Development of canopy concept with higher integration and innovative manufacturing concept.
- Definition of tooling and layup concept
- Component testing for FEA material property validation
- Canopy design in compliance with the SSS and technical design requirements
- Interface definition of adjoining components incorporated and defined
- FEA bird model validation for CS29 bird strike simulation
- FEA stress analysis (operating load cases, bird strike, misuse load cases)
- Weight and CoG analysis

Baseline review to PDR
- Detail design of Canopy structure in compliance with the SSS and technical design requirements
- FEA optimisation of laminate structure for all load cases
- Further detailing and harmonization of interface definitions
- Detailed sizing hypothesis and model validation
- Weight and CoG analysis
- RC compliance analysis
- Quality and configuration management plan
Result: PDR passed with open actions

PDR to CDR
- Detail design of Canopy structure in compliance with the SSS and technical design requirements
- FEA optimisation of laminate structure for all load cases (static and dynamic)
- Manufacturing of test parts for bird strike tests
- Create and finalised SSDD
- Create stress substantiation report
- Specify manufacturing process and harmonize with AH
- Define materials and supplier
- Prepare documentation of all manufacturing steps
- ECO Design Report: Upstream LCA
Result: Fastcan held the CDR, closed all major actions until end of reporting period and passed the CDR successfully

- Tooling drop data released on the 21.06.19


Final Period:

KLK Motorsport finalised the design of the canopy structure after the CDR. All required load cases were simulated with FEA and the canopy material lay-up optimised accordingly.
For all carbon fibre parts (Canopy, Nose shell, Radome and Longeron) lay-up manuals or ply books were created which describe each individual ply for the manufacturing process.
Additionally, manufacturing drawings for individual components were created where appropriate.
KLK Motorsport prepared and delivered the required SSDD (System/Subsystem Design Description) and FMECA Report to AH.
An extensive, 250-page stress substantiation report was written documenting and summarising the evaluation and optimization of the canopy and the front fuselage for the CS2 Racer program.
This document, together with the DDP (Declaration of Design and Performance) was the basis for the successful permit to flight approval by AH.

Gerg M&F was responsible for the desing and manufacturing of the tooling and for the manufacturing of a flight worthy front fuselage in a ""Ready to assembly"" condition. During PDR and CDR GERG was supporting with concepts to ensure the producability of the front fuselage.
After the Tooling drop data release on the 21.06.19 the main work for Gerg M&F started. Gerg M&F manufactured all jigs, tools and parts in its facilities in Hohenthann Germany.

With regards to our exploitation plan, we, as FastCan, would have liked to exhibit a mock up canopy on a fare and/or present our findings during a conference.
Unfortunately for one, the COVID situation changed all that and for our part, our budget was already critical. We therefor decided to invest all our energy and remaining budget into the development, permit to flight documentation, manufacturing support and the manufacturing of the flight worthy canopy structure."
This project should enable KLK/Gerg to optimise, mature and prove proprietary and innovative design processes and manufacturing technologies for new aerospace applications.
The goal is to provide a cutting-edge technologies demonstrator that successfully applies motorsport and automotive know how to the aviation industry.
This technology transfer serves to improve and complement existing industry procedures for structural CFRP components.
The goal is to design and manufacture lightweight fuselage components with higher function integration more economically and in a shorter time frame.
In the medium term the potential of this technology can be applied not just to individual components, but potentially to the complete airframe.
Flightworthy Canopy Structure including Nose and Radome
Canopy Structure including Nose, Radome and avionic bay beams
Finished Canopy ready for delivery to AH
Flightworthy Canopy Structure and Canopy Tooling