Conceptual Aircraft Design

Design for a hybrid-electric aircraft with distributed propulsion units

Conceptual Aircraft Design and Analysis

Classical flight physics technologies in propulsion, structures and aerodynamics are key factors for more efficient aircraft with significantly reduced climate impact, but also in terms of noise reduction possibilities. Our Institute is developing and evaluating aerodynamic technologies such as low-drag, high-aspect-ratio wings, propulsion system integration, load reduction and the interactions between them as part of the overall aircraft, all within a fully multidisciplinary context and using rapid, physics-based methods. The Institute’s activities in the field of conceptual aircraft design date back to the 1990s and have been continuously developed since then. Its expertise spans everything from the conceptual and preliminary design of complete aircraft configurations, taking all disciplines into account, through to the detailed aerodynamic design of wings and propellers. Research and development are in particular focused on laminar flow, active flow control and the development of multidisciplinary simulation methods. Our Institute has made valuable contributions towards the development of suitable conceptual aircraft design methods, studies for quieter, more efficient and eco-friendly aircraft, as well as the design and analysis of helicopters and military configurations. Our designs encompass the entire range of future regional aircraft, medium- to long-range airliners and high-altitude research aircraft, while taking account of efficient turbofan and propeller engines in combination with hybrid-electric technologies and distributed propulsion systems. Noise abatement is another important objective. Our designs are making significant contributions to DLR’s key aeronautics concepts, the German government’s aviation strategy and the EU’s Flightpath 2050 agenda and Green Deal, which have all been devised as means for achieving climate-neutral air transport.