DLR (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0).
The research project NEUTRON is investigating technologies, designs and materials that will enable the future use of hybrid-electric propulsion systems in helicopters. These efforts are made with the aim of reducing CO2 emissions.
For this purpose, various adaptations to the helicopter airframe are necessary.
The use of electrical energy storage systems in addition to conventional tanks results in new certification-relevant requirements with regard to crash safety. As part of the project, DLR is working with project partners to develop and evaluate concepts for the integration of batteries in the helicopter structure to demonstrate appropriate solutions for the crash load case.
In the area of the upper airframe a new design concept is to be realised through the use of a ceramic material developed within the project. Therefore, DLR develops in cooperation an engine deck in lightweight design, which considers requirements of a possible later certification process. In addition to design and dimensioning of the structure, DLR is developing and implementing a semi-automated manufacturing process. This aims to build a full-scale demonstrator, which will be validated and evaluated in a final test.