The development, testing and production of new aircraft and helicopters is associated with considerable temporal and financial risks due to the product and manufacturing complexity. In order to accelerate the introduction of innovative technologies for more economical, more environmentally friendly and safer air vehicles and to better control the technological risks involved, DLR’s guiding concept "The Virtual Product" (LK6) aims at virtualizing the design, development and manufacturing processes, including the definition of an appropriate validation strategy.
DLR’s internal research project VicToria, which started July 1, 2016 and had its kick-off meeting July 6, 2016, deals with laying the foundations for the comprehensive digital description and development of aircraft and helicopters, taking advantage of modern materials, improved physical modeling, multidisciplinary simulation and optimization on high performance computers while taking into account relevant physical effects. In addition to highly parallel, highly accurate solvers for fluid/structure coupled simulations also rapid methods for designing and optimizing engines and the overall vehicle will be used. Furthermore, an integrated load process that is satisfying the needs of multidisciplinary optimization will be established. Verification and validation is done wherever possible with the help of wind tunnel experiments, flight tests with DLR’s A320 ATRA and the numerical simulation of real flight tests (“virtual flight testing”). The virtual model of the flying vehicle will also be used for feeding DLR’s flight simulator AVES with data.
With this complete digital representation of the product with all its functionalities and characteristics, it will be possible to set up a “digital twin” that can be used to assess and make use of the potential of new technologies in a virtual design environment by performing trade-off studies and to estimate the impact of new technologies in terms of, for example, weight, fuel burn or environmental impact.
A total of 12 DLR institutes and facilities participates in this project which runs until the end of 2019 and is managed by the institute of Aerodynamics and Flow Technology.