Research aircraft

DLR ATRA research aircraft
DLR ATRA research aircraft
Image 1/21, Credit: DLR (CC-BY 3.0)

DLR ATRA research aircraft

The Airbus A320-232 D-ATRA, DLR's largest fleet member, has been in operation since the end of 2008.

Research aircraft A320 ATRA
Research aircraft A320 ATRA
Image 2/21, Credit: DLR (CC-BY 3.0)

Research aircraft A320 ATRA

DLR’s research aircraft A320 ATRA (Advanced Technology Research Aircraft) is a modern and flexible flight testing platform that sets a new benchmark for flying test beds in European aerospace research – and not just because of its size.

Two planes in flight
Joint research flights over Germany
Image 3/21, Credit: DLR/NASA/Friz.

Joint research flights over Germany

NASA’s ‘airborne laboratory’ flies close behind the DLR A320 Advanced Technology Research Aircraft (ATRA), flying through the Airbus’ exhaust plume. On board, scientists measure the composition of the exhaust stream and analyse the effects of biofuels like HEFA on the formation of soot particles and ice crystals.

ATRA at low altitude
ATRA at low altitude over the Magdeburg Cochstedt Airport
Image 4/21, Credit: DLR/Marek Kruszewski (CC-BY 3.0).

ATRA at low altitude over the Magdeburg Cochstedt Airport

The DLR ATRA research aircraft flies at around 15 metres above the airport grounds with its landing gear retracted.

HALO in a hangar
HALO in the hangar at the airport in Tainan, southern Taiwan
Image 5/21, Credit: DLR (CC-BY 3.0)

HALO in the hangar at the airport in Tainan, southern Taiwan

HALO in the hangar at the airport in Tainan, southern Taiwan

HALO research aircraft in flight
HALO research aircraft
Image 6/21, Credit: DLR (CC-BY 3.0)

HALO research aircraft

The HALO research aircraft flies all over the world for atmospheric and climate research.

DLR HALO research aircraft in flight
DLR HALO research aircraft
Image 7/21, Credit: DLR (CC-BY 3.0)

DLR HALO research aircraft

The HALO high-altitude research aircraft (High Altitude and Long Range Research Aircraft): starting in late 2008, this modified business jet, a Gulfstream G 550, will join the DLR aircraft fleet in data-gathering flights around the globe.

HALO research aircraft in a snow-covered landscape
HALO research aircraft at Kiruna in northern Sweden
Image 8/21, Credit: DLR/Andreas Minikin.

HALO research aircraft at Kiruna in northern Sweden

At the end of January 2016, atmospheric researchers used the High Altitude Long Range Research Aircraft (HALO) and the Falcon 20E research aircraft to conduct coordinated climate research measurement flights. For the first time, they succeeded in measuring gravity waves and airglow almost in their entirety.

DLR research aircraft Falcon
DLR research aircraft Falcon
Image 9/21, Credit: DLR (CC-BY 3.0)

DLR research aircraft Falcon

The Falcon is the only research aircraft in Europe that is legally able to fly at high altitudes and over long distances in volcanic ash clouds.

The Falcon in flight
The Falcon in flight
Image 10/21, Credit: DLR (CC-BY 3.0)

The Falcon in flight

The DLR research aircraft started operations in 1976 and has been used in numerous scientific research missions.

Falcon flying at low level
Falcon flying at low level
Image 11/21, Credit: GEOMAR.

Falcon flying at low level

The Falcon during a measurement flight in Malaysia.

The cabin of the DLR Falcon
Inside the cabin of the DLR Falcon
Image 12/21, Credit: DLR (CC-BY 3.0)

Inside the cabin of the DLR Falcon

DLR researchers focus on measurements of the biofuel exhaust emissions of soot and sulphur particles, as well as the size and shape of the ice crystals in the condensation trails.

Cessna 208B Grand Caravan in flight
Flying auditorium 'Cessna 208B Grand Caravan'
Image 13/21, Credit: DLR (CC-BY 3.0)

Flying auditorium 'Cessna 208B Grand Caravan'

The Cessna C208B Grand Caravan (registration D-FDLR) was converted into a flying auditorium by the German Aerospace Center's (DLR) Oberpfaffenhofen flight facility.

Cessna 208B Grand Caravan in flight
Cessna 208B Grand Caravan in flight
Image 14/21, Credit: DLR (CC-BY 3.0)

Cessna 208B Grand Caravan in flight

The smallest aircraft of DLR's Oberpfaffenhofen flight facility is a Cessna 208B Grand Caravan, registration D-FDLR. The single-engine turboprop aircraft is mainly used by the German Aerospace Center (DLR) for remote sensing. It is especially well suited for camera flights, such as those with the HRSC (High Resolution Stereo Camera), operated by DLR and also used in space missions.

Do 228-212 research aircraft
Do 228-212 research aircraft
Image 15/21, Credit: DLR (CC-BY 3.0)

Do 228-212 research aircraft

The DO 228-212 is primarily used for remote sensing, but also for marine and atmospheric research.

The DLR research aircraft Do 228-212 CFFU in flight
The DLR research aircraft Do 228-212 CFFU in flight
Image 16/21, Credit: DLR (CC-BY 3.0)

The DLR research aircraft Do 228-212 CFFU in flight

The DLR research aircraft has a length of 16.56 metres (18.7 feet with nose boom), is 4.86 metres in height and has a wingspan of 16.97 metres.

BO 105 against a scree backdrop
BO 105 against a scree backdrop
Image 17/21, Credit: DLR (CC-BY 3.0)

BO 105 against a scree backdrop

The Göttingen-based researchers employed a novel technique to visualise the rotor blade vortices, using the loose scree littering the quarry as a background for their measurement method.

BO 105 flying in the quarry
BO 105 flying in the quarry
Image 18/21, Credit: DLR (CC-BY 3.0)

BO 105 flying in the quarry

DLR BO 105 research helicopter in flight above the lake at the base of the quarry.

ATTAS without its nose boom
ATTAS on 19 February 1985 - without its nose boom
Image 19/21, Credit: DLR (CC-BY 3.0)

ATTAS on 19 February 1985 - without its nose boom

The photo shows the ATTAS research aircraft after its conversion in Lemwerder. In February 1985, the airline company MBB (Messerschmitt-Bolkow-Blohm) conducted a second flight with the modified aircraft. The fuselage had not yet been painted in DLR colours.

ATTAS wearing a 'wing glove'
ATTAS wearing a 'wing glove' in 1987
Image 20/21, Credit: DLR (CC-BY 3.0)

ATTAS wearing a 'wing glove' in 1987

This image shows ATTAS with a changed profile. In 1987 a portion of the right wing was equipped with what is known as 'laminar glove'. A fibre-glass reinforced composite glove was placed on the original aluminum structure. DLR researchers investigated whether longer laminar flow profiles would be possible in commercial aircraft as well. If so, the resistance and thus the fuel consumption could be reduced. Infrared cameras measured the laminar-turbulent boundary layer transition.

LFU 205 in flight
LFU 205
Image 21/21, Credit: DLR (CC-BY 3.0)

LFU 205

The aircraft was developed jointly in the 1960s by DLR and the Leichtflugtechnik-Union (LFU) consortium. The maiden flight took place in 1968. The LFU 205 in service in Brunswick is the prototype of this aircraft and was manufactured as a one-off.

The German Aerospace Center (DLR) operates the largest civilian fleet of research aircraft and helicopters in Europe. The aircraft are stationed at DLR’s sites in Braunschweig and Oberpfaffenhofen.

Media items

  • DLR ATRA research aircraft

    DLR ATRA research aircraft

    Credit: DLR (CC-BY 3.0)  |  Download
    The Airbus A320-232 D-ATRA, DLR's largest fleet member, has been in operation since the end of 2008.
  • Research aircraft A320 ATRA

    Research aircraft A320 ATRA

    Credit: DLR (CC-BY 3.0)  |  Download
    DLR’s research aircraft A320 ATRA (Advanced Technology Research Aircraft) is a modern and flexible flight testing platform that sets a new benchmark for flying test beds in European aerospace research – and not just because of its size.

Articles in which this media item appears

Also appears in these dossiers

More galleries

Use of cookies

OK

Main menu