High aspect ratio, flexible, ultra-efficient wings, as well as significantly faster and more efficient design processes integrating all disciplines, are key elements for achieving the goals of the Flightpath 2050 agenda. Currently limits in technology and simulation methods exist with respect to this complex multidisciplinary design process.
The INTELWI research project funded by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi) is investigating an "intelligent wing" for future commercial aircraft that responds as far as possible autonomously to external influences such as maneuvers and gusts with active and passive load alleviation. Such an "intelligent wing" is considered to be a consistent next development step for future commercial aircraft and should contribute decisively to securing the future competitiveness of Airbus as an aircraft manufacturer and the system providers as the supplier industry. The performance increase and thus significantly reduced fuel consumption of new aircraft is another key objective. The project is based on a number of existing research results including sensor, control and actuator technology and multidisciplinary simulation methods for wings and combines these in an overall design.
The Institute of Aerodynamics and Flow Technology leads the subproject and will investigate selected technologies (load alleviation, flutter suppression, "health"/load monitoring, efficient systems, flight control) and simulation methods for a high aspect ratio, sensor-equipped, actively controlled wing. By means of use case studies, the maximum achievable performance (mass, drag, lift, failures, maintenance intervals) will be evaluated in an integrated design by seven DLR-Institutes. A special focus is put on the interaction of the disciplines with the wing and aircraft systems. Highly accurate and fast simulation methods will be used to improve and accelerate the development process and thus to advance the digitalization across disciplines. DLR will develop methods from the field of Model-Based System Engineering (MBSE) for the network. In INTELWI-DLR the Institute of Aerodynamics and Flow Technology designs, analyses and evaluates a load-adaptive wing and necessary aerodynamic load alleviation technologies in a multidisciplinary context. Compared to a reference aircraft the total potential of fuel and CO2 savings will be demonstrated by means of the integrated synergy of a preliminary draft of the wing, dimensioning of the structure and rules for the load adaption by all involved institutes.