Key Enabling Technologies

Conceptual wing studies
  • Structural and multidisciplinary optimization studies for indicating the optimal, structural configuration of the wing.
  • Architecture studies including structural arrangement and allocation of the flight control system and trade-offs for a complete wing.
  • Thorough mock-up of structural arrangement for pioneering wing concepts.
Demonstration platform

Wing box, high lift devices, control surfaces, and load alleviation devices focusing on the center section as a demonstration platform, namely:

  • Integrated Centre section wing box structure with the inner Propulsion stage: Pylon-to-pylon torsion box concept representative of a more ambitious tip-to-tip concept. Multi-spar concept, access manholes and panels, sustainable aviation fuel, and integrated fuel vent systems.
  • Inner section Leading Edges and integration of inductive ice protection system. Multifunctionality: erosion, impact, lightning, ice protection, morphing concepts, functional tests, Bird strike tests (virtual or real)
  • Inner section flap and high lift solutions: Integrated flap solutions and multifunctionality application to flap
Processing of thermoplastic composites
  • In situ consolidation for integrated flap skin and leading-edge applications.
  • Thermoplastic welding and co-consolidation for Integration.
  • Bonding technologies exploration toward certifiable solutions.
Key processing technologies
Low-cost-high integrated Out-of-Autoclave (OoA) technologies.  
Dry fiber placement and liquid resin infusion for integrated multi-spar torsion box.

To deliver an innovative Hybrid Electric Regional aircraft (HER) wing toward the specified fuel burn and mass reduction targets, several key technologies must be deployed. Below are presented all the proposed enabling technologies and the contribution of each one of them to the HERWINGT Objectives.

1. New materials selection for aeronautical use: Research the available material database to identify existing materials with practical applications to the project goals
2. Development of new structural concepts and architectures: Research on potential structural enhancements to accomplish new challenges derived from new aerodynamic requirements within a weight reduction commitment scenario
3. Liquid Resin Infusion (LRI) for sandwich-monolithic High Structural Integration: Research on manufacturing techniques derived Out of Autoclave (OoA) LRI to join in a single manufacturing step sandwich of different cores and solid laminates using the same type of carbon dry fiber in a continuous lay-up.
4. LRI Thermoset for monolithic multifunctional substrate integration: Research on manufacturing techniques derived from OoA LRI to join in a single manufacturing step different materials (i.e., metallic mesh, glass, fabric tapes) in different layers to constitute a solid laminate (multifunctional substrate).
5. LRI with modified epoxy resin to increase glass transition temperature (Tg) and lighting strike performances: Research to combine the same manufacturing technique but using, eventually, resin with higher viscosity
6. Resin Transfer Molding (RTM) Thermoset "One shot": Research on manufacturing proposal involving the production of a portion of the wing box located at the wingtip but joining the upper skin, the lower skin, and the trailing edges as spars in one manufacturing shot.
7. Thermoplastic In-Situ Consolidation (ISC) for low curvature monolithic structural integration: Maturation of manufacturing technique "In situ consolidation" (consolidate tow during deposition with fiber placement) for higher speed ratio in the order of 4,5 m/min.
8. Thermoplastic ISC for high curvature monolithic structural integration: Research to develop ISC during deposition for high curvature structural element deposition although with speed in therange of 1 to 2 m/min.
9. Thermoplastic ISC for multifunctional monolithic highcurvature structural integration: Similar research, already described as OoA LRI, for different types of materials /layers but using thermoplastics resin and ISC as a manufacturing integration process
10. Thermoplastic Welding for repairs and structural integration: Research to develop an alternative manufacturing process for thermoplastics structural integration to be extended to different types of repairs where the technique becomes suitable and Thermoplastic co-consolidation for complex thicken parts.
11. Thermoplastic (TP) Continuous forming and over-molding: Research involving the manufacturing of unlimited lengths of structural profiles to be used as stiffeners for different types of skins.
12. High-rate Automatic fiber placement for TP: Same as ISC described previously but to ensure only lay-up with minor consolidation to be finished afterward in a second step.
13. Fast-curing thermoset: Research to explore manufacturing alternatives with various materials for a faster cure cycle.
14. Structural Health Monitoring Systems (SHMS) for structural integrity prevention: Monitoring of the structure in order to detect damages
15. Non-destructive testing for highly integrated structure: Technology that enables a first overview of the structural quality and detects damage or defect location for further detailed exploration, if necessary, based on the results.
16. Ice Protection System Structural Integration: Research to enable the possibility of integration into the substrate (primary or secondary structure) based on the requirements stated by the Integration of Ice Protection System (IPS) to ensure its correct functionality.
17. Erosion protection: Research to investigate the integration of materials to accomplish this type of requirement considering its impact on the overall functionality of the affected structure from the whole mechanical point of view and systems requirements perspective.
18. New Sensors, Sealants, and Materials technologies for Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF): Research on materials and sensors with specific applications to fuel tanks.
19. Aerodynamic drag reduction due to high aspect ratio: Research to assess the pros and cons of various aspects of wing ratio.
20. Aerodynamic drag reduction due to the morphing of the Leading Edge (LE) and the flap: Research to assess the pros and cons of various morphing wing structures related to the LE and flap.
21. Aerodynamic drag reduction due to morphing control surfaces: Research to assess the pros and cons of various wing control surfaces.
22. Aerodynamic drag improvement and load alleviation due to flight control laws optimization: Assessment of the various improvements related to aerodynamic drag and load alleviation for flight control laws.
23. Control of external surface wing tolerances in the benefit of improved laminarity: Research to assess the capability of highly integrated structures to reduce shape tolerances on external skin. This way are minimized the factors that could potentially contribute to laminar vorticity.
24. Virtual testing: Research to select the most suitable commercial tools to validate the optimized design in real-life structure size.

The maturation plan of the above-mentioned key enabling technologies results in a set of fifteen demonstrators (D1-D15) which are described in detail under "Innovation > Demonstrators".