The air transport sector is and will continue to face enormous economic and environmental challenges over the coming years, and these require innovative and sustainable ideas and approaches. In cooperation with the US National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR) is inviting students to design a hydrogen-powered short- to medium-range aircraft for 150 passengers, taking into account its effects on the atmosphere and including an overall energy analysis. Against the backdrop of the 'Green Deal' in the EU and the aviation and hydrogen strategies of the German government, the designs should take an in-depth approach to the challenging current issues in aircraft design, in order to shape the aeronautics technologies of the future with the participants' own ideas and visions. The organisers are actively seeking revolutionary new ideas. Join in by submitting your concept.
DLR sets the task for students in Germany. Interested students can register for the competition through their university supervisor by 14 March 2021. This year's task will be presented to all of the teams at a virtual kick-off event in March 2021. The background to the assignment will also be covered in greater depth at this point. Entrants then have until 18 July 2021 to develop their aircraft concepts and overall approach. These will be presented to DLR at a joint final event (either virtually or in person, if the COVID-19 situation allows), with the winning team selected by a jury. The jury will be made up of Professor Rolf Henke and the institute directors within DLR's aeronautics research field. If the COVID-19 situation and the regulations in force allow, all of the award-winning teams will also be able to present their designs to the national aeronautics research community at the German Aerospace Congress 2021. In addition, it is planned to give the winning German team the opportunity to present their design at a NASA Design Challenge Symposium, if it takes place.
The NASA/DLR Design Challenge 2021 is live. The challenge is:
|To design a hydrogen-powered short- to medium-range aircraft for 150 passengers, taking its effects on the atmosphere into account and including an overall energy analysis.|
- All of the critical systems must be designed with redundancy;
- Hydrogen is to be used as the fuel (combustion and/or fuel cells). Batteries may be used for assistance;
- DLR will provide the motor characteristics.
|Number of passengers||150|
|Passenger weight||80 kg per passenger plus 25 kg baggage|
|Take-off field length (TOFL)||<= 1700 m|
|Crew||80 kg (flight deck and cabin)|
|Cruise speed||Ma = 0.7|
|Approach speed||<= 130 kts|
|Range||>= 2000 km|
|Diversion range||200 NM|
|Altitude||>= 3000 m|
|Entry into service (EIS)||2035|
|Fuel||H2 / LH2|
1) 600 km, optimised for lowest climate impact
2) 2000 km, optimised for lowest climate impact and maximum cost-effectiveness
The jury will select the winners based on independent opinions from experts.
- Chair: Professor Rolf Henke
- Members of the jury: Institute directors from DLR's aeronautics research field
|1 February 2021||Pre-publication of the assignment|
|By 14 March 2021||Registration via email to the supervising professor|
|18 March 2021||Virtual kick-off meeting|
|April or May 2021||Q&A session to answer questions about the assignment, held virtually|
|Submission 18 July 2021||Draft competition reports in English (maximum 25 pages, may include content from the candidate’s own Bachelor’s and Master's theses)|
|End of August||Final meeting expected at DLR, presentation of work and announcement of the winning team – virtually or at an in-person event (COVID-19 permitting)|
|31 August – 2 September 2021||Presentation of winning projects at the German Aerospace Congress in Bremen (COVID-19 permitting)|
|September/October 2021||Participation of the winning team in NASA's Design Challenge Symposium (COVID-19 permitting)|