Paris Air Show 2019 Preview

viernes, 14 de junio de 2019

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[video & photo] How the albatross is inspiring next generation of aircraft wings




press release

https://youtu.be/9Ujp46SHAXI




Airbus engineers have developed a scale-model aeroplane with the first in-flight, flapping wing-tips that could revolutionise aircraft wing-design.


The aerospace giant has drawn on nature to develop its ‘semi-aeroelastic hinge’ concept to reduce drag and overall wing weight, while combating the effects of turbulence and wind gusts.

Known as AlbatrossOne, the remote-controlled aircraft has already taken its first flights to prove the concept and the team will now conduct further testing before the demonstrator, based on the manufacturer’s A321 plane, is scaled-up further.

“While hinged wing-tips are not new – military jets employ them to allow greater storage capacity on aircraft carriers – the Airbus demonstrator is the first aircraft to trial in-flight, freely-flapping wing-tips to relieve the effects of wind gusts and turbulence,” explained Airbus engineer Tom Wilson, based in Filton, north Bristol, UK.

“We drew inspiration from nature – the albatross marine bird locks its wings at the shoulder for long-distance soaring but unlocks them when wind-gusts occur or manoeuvering is required.

“The AlbatrossOne model will explore the benefits of unlockable, freely-flapping wing-tips – accounting for a up to a third of the length of the wing – to react autonomously during in-flight turbulence and lessen the load on the wing at its base, so reducing the need for heavily reinforced wing boxes.”

Jean-Brice Dumont, Airbus’ Executive Vice-President of Engineering, said the project showed “how nature can inspire us”. He said: “When there is a wind gust or turbulence, the wing of a conventional aircraft transmits huge loads to the fuselage, so the base of the wing must be heavily strengthened, adding weight to the aircraft.

“Allowing the wing-tips to react and flex to gusts reduces the loads and allows us to make lighter and longer wings – the longer the wing, the less drag it creates up to an optimum, so there are potentially more fuel efficiencies to exploit.”

The first test flights of the AlbatrossOne demonstrator, developed by Airbus engineers in Filton, were concluded in February after a 20-month development programme. Speaking in Toulouse, Dumont said AlbatrossOne was the “first Filton aircraft since Concorde”.

It has been constructed from carbonfibre and glassfibre-reinforced polymers, as well as components from additive-layer manufacturing.

Initial testing of AlbatrossOne has examined the demonstrator’s stability with the wing-tips locked and completely unlocked, says fellow Filton engineer James Kirk.

“The next step is to conduct further tests to combine the two modes, allowing the wing-tips to unlock during flight and to examine the transition,” he added.

The team presented their research at the International Forum on Aeroelasticity and Structural Dynamics conference in the United States this week.

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Airbus tests its Network for the Sky on a A310 MRTT aircraft



press release

Airbus has successfully completed a flight demonstration of a connected airborne battlespace scenario, centred on a MRTT aircraft. The test was carried out as part of the development of Airbus’ Network for the Sky (NFTS) programme. This follows on from last August’s demonstration in Canada of secure mobile communications using a stratospheric balloon to simulate a HAPS (High Altitude Pseudo Satellite), such as Airbus’ Zephyr UAV (Unmanned Aerial Vehicle).

NFTS combines various technologies - satellite and ground communications, air-to-ground, ground-to-air and air-to-air tactical links, 5G mobile communications and laser connections - in a resilient, unified, secure, highly interoperable, mesh network. Aircraft, UAVs and helicopters currently use networks with limited bandwidth and interoperability, and often little resilience. NFTS will allow them to form an integral part of high-speed military networks.

“This unique demonstration is a significant milestone in realising our vision of secure connectivity, which will enable the future air combat cloud and enhance real time execution of military missions,” said Evert Dudok, Head of Communications, Intelligence & Security at Airbus Defence and Space.

The demonstration scenario simulates the establishment of multi-Mbit/s, wideband communication links between ground forces operatives, a fighter jet, a MRTT, and a combined air operations centre (CAOC) on the ground. Both the operatives and jet fighter had to send video in real time to provide enhanced real-time situational awareness and receive instructions from the CAOC in return.

The operative located in Getafe (Spain) was equipped with a standard handheld radio for NATO forces (ROVER). The fighter was deployed to obtain imagery of the area of interest and act as a communications node between the operative and the MRTT flying at 30,000 feet within a 150 km radius in secure airspace. Communications were thus relayed between the fighter jet and the MRTT, via a wideband LOS (line-of-sight) data link. The MRTT then routed the video along with its own communications via a wideband satellite link to an space teleport near Washington, D.C. The communications flow was then returned to Europe via a terrestrial link to the CAOC.

This complex scenario demonstrates the real-time operation of secure end-to-end communications across different networks and technologies: ground-air tactical link, air-air wideband link between two aircrafts, air-satellite relay and terrestrial networks. This type of configuration, known as a ‘hybrid network’, represents the future of military communications and meets the needs of armed forces to be able to use a wide range of networks while allowing these to be managed dynamically and transparently. The solutions developed by Airbus thus allow secure IP (Internet Protocol) communications to be established, links to be reconfigured in real time and the available bandwidth to be allocated to data links based on operational priorities.

For this demonstration an MRTT aircraft has been equipped with Janus, Airbus’ new tri-band (Ku-Ka-MilKa) satellite antenna, as well as the latest version of the Proteus satellite modem, which is highly resilient against interference and jamming, and Airbus’ aircraft links integration management system (ALIMS).

This exercise paves the way for the development of the core capability for SMART MRTT connectivity, which will allow the MRTT to act as a high-end communication node. Network for the Sky (NFTS) sets the foundation for the connected airborne battlespace, with the objective to offer a full operational capability by 2020. The NFTS programme is part of Airbus’ Future Air Power project and is fully aligned with the development of the European Future Combat Air System (FCAS).

www.nfts.airbus.com

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