Development of an unmanned high altitude solar-powered aircraft for long endurance aerial positioning at intermediate latitudes. Flight testing of the SOLITAIR proof-of-concept model aircraft with adjustable solar panels for optimum solar radiation absorption (cooperation with Technical University of Munich).
The Institute (Experimental Flight Control and Measurement System), Eurocopter Deutschland (EC 135 Airframe Modifications and Certification), Liebherr Aerospace (Fly-by-Light Control Actuators and Core Computer) became the key players for system design and integration of the new Active Control Technology and Flying Helicopter Simulator (ACT/FHS) based on a EC 135 host helicopter. This project - later dubbed HESTOR (Helicopter Simulator for Technology, Operations and Research) - is sponsored by the Ministry of Defense (BMVg) and managed by DLR under contract of the German Procurement Agency (BWB). First flight with integrated systems is planned for the year 2000 (additional partners within DLR: Institute of Flight Guidance and Flight Department).
Prototype design and demonstration of innovative active pilot control inceptor/sidestick MAGSI (Magnetically force loaded Sidestick, cooperation with Technical University of Braunschweig).
Enhanced and synthetic vision flight tests with ATTAS using head-up and flat panel displays. Flight evaluation and demonstration of an advanced display concept with 3-D terrain presentation on a large flat panel display. In total, 35 flights with 20 airline pilots were conducted at Frankfurt airport. Head-Up Display (HUD) demonstration of low level flights for future large transport aircraft (cooperation with TU Darmstadt, VDO, Dasa, Honeywell).
Ground-based (FFA FOSIM) and in-flight simulation (ATTAS) studies of aircraft-pilot coupling (APC) phenomena. Test data were gathered to validate the new DLR stability criterion OLOP (Open-Loop-Onset-Parameter) for predicting pilot-in-the-loop oscillations. Flight critical APC problems are often strongly related to control surface rate saturation effects. The OLOP criterion has already been applied in national and international aircraft industry projects (cooperation with US NRC, NASA H.Q., FFA, Saab, and WTD 61).
Mathematical model development for Dornier 328-110 Level-D Training Simulator. Reversible manual flight control dynamics and propeller slipstream interference effects challenged the complex nonlinear modeling and validation process. FAA Level-D certification was achieved (cooperation with Fairchild/Dornier).
Development and flight testing of a Small Autonomous Parafoil Landing Experiment (ALEX) for the investigation of GNC concepts for autonomous landing. Research focuses also on low-cost instrumentation and system identification of non-rigid parafoil-payload systems (cooperation with Technical University of Braunschweig).
Development support for the VFW 614 ATD (Advanced Technologies Demonstrator) of Dasa-DA. ATD is the attempt of the German Aerospace Industry to develop, flight test, and certify a full digital fly-by-wire flight control system without mechanical back-up. The Institute provided scientific and engineering support regarding handling qualities analysis, flight control law design, sensor calibration, telemetry setup, and flight test preparation.
W. Kröll, Chairman of the DLR Executive Board (right), and G. Schröder, Ministerpresident of Lower Saxony, now Chancellor of the Federal Republic (center), being briefed on HESTOR (ACT/FHS) host helicopter EC 135