The Do 728 aircraft cabin test facility is a ground-based test system belonging to the German Aerospace Center (DLR) Institute of Aerodynamics and Flow Technology in Göttingen and is based on the ‘Test Aircraft No. 1’ for the Dornier 728 manufactured by Fairchild Dornier. This was purchased in 2005 from the Fairchild Dornier bankruptcy estate, brought to Göttingen and converted into a test facility. Researchers are using it to investigate innovative, comfortable and energy-efficient ventilation processes and systems for reducing internal noise, as well as human perception of climate, light and noise. In addition, the testing of flight measurement technologies and the validation of numerical computing methods are key aspects of the research.
A complete cabin structure for realistic studies
Unlike custom-made full-scale models, the Do 728 test facility belonging to DLR is characterised by its complete cabin structure, which provides highly realistic conditions for investigations and studies. At the same time, the fact that the test system is ground-based, and therefore does not require a flight permit, makes it possible to install and test new technologies relatively quickly and cost-effectively, including as part of preparations for flight tests.
Innovative ventilation systems were compared with the current technology using different optical and conventional measurement techniques in order to improve thermal comfort and energy efficiency. These include LED light section sensors with high-resolution CCD cameras and optical accessories for Particle Image Velocimetry (PIV), along with laser light section systems for smoke visualisation.
Over 200 temperature and speed sensors are used near thermal passenger models in order to assess and improve passenger comfort. Up to 75 of these thermal mannequins, referred to as ‘thermo-dummies’, are also used in the test vehicle in order to simulate the obstruction and heat dissipation of real passengers during experiments. Surface temperatures are also being investigated using infrared thermography. A panel audio system is being used with the aim of improving comfort by reducing the impact of flight noise. In addition to experimental studies, the Do 728 test vehicle is used for the subjective assessment of thermal comfort using representative groups of test persons.