20. February 2020
The new star of aeronautics research

IS­TAR has its of­fi­cial roll­out in Braun­schweig

ISTAR in front of the DLR hangar in Braunschweig
IS­TAR in front of the DLR hangar in Braun­schweig
Image 1/5, Credit: © DLR. All rights reserved

ISTAR in front of the DLR hangar in Braunschweig

The Fal­con 2000LX IS­TAR (In-flight Sys­tems & Tech­nol­o­gy Air­borne Re­search) air­craft is based at DLR Braun­schweig.
IS­TAR ad­dress­es tech­nol­o­gy, sim­u­la­tion and dig­i­tal­i­sa­tion – state­ment by DLR Ex­ec­u­tive Board Mem­ber Rolf Henke
Video 2/5, Credit: DLR (CC-BY 3.0)

ISTAR addresses technology, simulation and digitalisation – statement by DLR Executive Board Member Rolf Henke

Length: 00:00:57
"To­day, a new era has dawned at DLR. With IS­TAR – which ad­dress­es tech­nol­o­gy, sim­u­la­tion and dig­i­tal­i­sa­tion – we will shape the fu­ture of air trans­port," said Rolf Henke, DLR Ex­ec­u­tive Board Mem­ber for Aero­nau­tics, on the day the new DLR re­search air­craft was of­fi­cial­ly rolled out.
ISTAR landing in Braunschweig for the first time
IS­TAR land­ing in Braun­schweig for the first time
Image 3/5, Credit: Jörg Graupner (CC-BY-3.0)

ISTAR landing in Braunschweig for the first time

On 31 Jan­uary 2020, the DLR re­search air­craft IS­TAR land­ed at Braun­schweig re­search air­port for the first time.
Parking the ISTAR research aircraft at DLR
Park­ing the IS­TAR re­search air­craft at DLR
Image 4/5, Credit: © DLR. All rights reserved

Parking the ISTAR research aircraft at DLR

The Fal­con 2000LX IS­TAR (In-flight Sys­tems & Tech­nol­o­gy Air­borne Re­search) air­craft marks the be­gin­ning of a new era in DLR aero­nau­tics re­search.
A new home for ISTAR in the hangar at DLR Braunschweig
A new home for IS­TAR in the hangar at DLR Braun­schweig
Image 5/5, Credit: © DLR. All rights reserved

A new home for ISTAR in the hangar at DLR Braunschweig

The Fal­con 2000LX IS­TAR (In-flight Sys­tems & Tech­nol­o­gy Air­borne Re­search) air­craft will be ful­ly op­er­a­tional as a fly­ing sim­u­la­tor by the mid-2020s and will ad­vance the dig­i­tal­i­sa­tion of air trans­port by cre­at­ing a dig­i­tal twin.
  • Handover in the hangar of DLR’s Flight Experiments facility in Braunschweig together with representatives from science, industry, government and the media.
  • Commissioning with first flight tests and further development of ISTAR begins.
  • ISTAR joins the largest civil research aircraft fleet in Europe with a total of 11 aircraft and helicopters.
  • Focal points: Aeronautics, digitalisation

On 20 February 2020, a new chapter in German aviation history began at the German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR) facility in Braunschweig. The Falcon 2000LX research aircraft ISTAR (In-flight Systems and Technology Airborne Research) was presented to the public for the first time and handed over to DLR by the manufacturer, Dassault, at the official roll-out. This marked the starting point for the first flight tests and the further development of ISTAR. By the mid-2020s, the research aircraft will be fully operational as a flying simulator, while the digitalisation of air transport will be advanced through the creation of a digital twin.

"Our new ISTAR will allow us to work on new technologies, simulate new aircraft and further advance the digitalisation of air transport," says Rolf Henke, DLR Executive Board Member for Aeronautics Research. "After nine years of planning and development, today marks the start of a new era for aeronautics research at DLR."

"The new ISTAR airborne research platform is a realistic flight test system that is needed for the development of new, environmentally friendly, efficient aircraft, propulsion systems and assistance technologies. With ISTAR, we can advance the technologies necessary for climate-neutral flight in a systematic way,' says Thomas Jarzombek, the German Federal Government Coordinator of Aerospace Policy.

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Video: DLR research aircraft ISTAR – a new star in the sky of aeronautical research
From ATTAS to ATRA to the youngest member of the DLR research fleet – ISTAR. Its name stands for ‘In-flight Systems and Technology Airborne Research’. It is a flying simulator and the next evolutionary step in modern airborne research.
Credit: DLR

The handover, which took place in the hangar at the DLR Flight Experiments facility, was attended by numerous representatives of scientific research, industry, government and the media. The speakers and discussion partners looked to the future of ISTAR and back at DLR’s history of aeronautics research. For example, the flying simulator VFW-614 Advanced Technologies Testing Aircraft System (ATTAS) was stationed at the Braunschweig site until 2012.

Following preliminary work at the Dassault plant in Bordeaux, ISTAR will now be fitted with a basic measurement system for collecting and delivering a range of flight test data. In addition, the aircraft will be equipped with workstations for flight test engineers, who will control experiments and monitor flight parameters. The HighFly (High speed inflight validation) project is the first step in the construction of this research facility and marks the start of initial research work and research flights in the fields of aerodynamics, aeroelasticity, structures and propulsion systems. Two further conversion phases at Dassault are planned for 2023 and the mid-2020s, bringing ISTAR to full operational capability.

Once fully developed, ISTAR will be able to test the flight characteristics of new aircraft designs, whether real or virtual, crewed or uncrewed, under real operating conditions. The digital twin of ISTAR, which is also planned, will be a digital description of the aircraft. This will be used to track and plan modifications, maintenance, repairs and operational activities. The new research aircraft is based at DLR's Flight Experiments facility in Braunschweig and is now part of the largest civilian research fleet in Europe, with a total of 11 aircraft and helicopters.

The ISTAR purchase agreement was signed at the ILA Berlin Air Show in April 2018, in the presence of German Federal Chancellor Angela Merkel. The first phase of modification work at Dassault followed immediately thereafter. In future, the aircraft will be used for DLR research work and will also be made available to other German and European research institutions, aircraft manufacturers and suppliers.

Contact
  • Falk Dambowsky
    Ed­i­tor
    Ger­man Aerospace Cen­ter (DLR)
    Me­dia Re­la­tions
    Telephone: +49 2203 601-3959
    Fax: +49 2203 601-3249
    Linder Höhe
    51147 Cologne
    Contact
  • Gerald Ernst
    Ger­man Aerospace Cen­ter (DLR)
    Flight Ex­per­i­ments
    Telephone: +49 531 295-2846
    Lilienthalplatz 7
    38108 Braunschweig
    Contact

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