JAXA, ONERA and DLR signed an agreement for trilateral cooperation on rotorcraft on 18 June 2019 during the Paris Air Show at Le Bourget. This trilateral research agreement will investigate optimisation methods for the creation of a new generation of rotorcraft blades. This new four-year cooperation will focus on multi-objective optimisation of main rotor blades in hover and forward flight, including aerodynamic and aeroacoustic performances.
Each of the partners has many years of experience in the field of rotorcraft design. ONERA and DLR supported Airbus Helicopters in the development of the RACER compound helicopter, JAXA is pursuing a compound strategy to enlarge their range of rotorcraft. JAXA has also worked with ONERA on rotor optimisation in a previous cooperation, while another collaboration with DLR examined simulation techniques for helicopter rotors. The next logical step is to bring all three partners together to further extend their rotor optimisation expertise.
DLR, JAXA and ONERA have been working closely together in aviation research for more than 15 years, with helicopter research being a central pillar of their joint activities. In addition, the partners cooperate in areas such as aeroelasticity, supersonic technologies and propulsion technologies for future electric aircraft.
Optical rotor measurement methods: Successful cooperation with NASA continues
At the Paris Air Show on 19 June 2019, DLR and NASA also agreed to extend the 'Experimental Optical Methods Applied to Rotorcraft' cooperation agreement, which has been in place since 2015, until the end of 2021. DLR and NASA plan to use several optical measurement methods to determine the transition point between laminar and turbulent boundary layer flow on rotor blades and to precisely characterise the vortex field geometry of a rotor in forward flight.