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HLFC technology demonstration
ILA Berlin, 2018


HLFC-WIN will open the gate to a completely new wing design offering airlines (as customers) technology that will boost their revenues while significantly reducing the a/c specific fuel consumption (approx. 8%), therefore directly reducing the environmental footprint of aviation. Added-value is primarily generated by the reduction of the required fuel for a given mission, which leads to a significant decrease of the environmental impact of air travel. This will be achieved by integrating novel aerodynamic, systems, materials and manufacturing research results and technologies. The latter, in particular the structural and material technologies, will generate snow-ball effects beyond HLFC wing applications. For instance, the manufacturing capabilities for extremely smooth HLFC surfaces may be capable of reducing drag on turbulent wings as well. For the sub-technologies of an HLFC wing, various promising solutions are available. The overall challenge, tackled by HLFC-WIN, is to further mature and combine these into an integrated package with an overall higher TRL. The demands for a HLFC Wing capable of being serial produced with respect to aerodynamic accuracy and structural complexity will be investigated on a TRL4 level. The results of the design phase will have a significant influence of the near term availability of HLFC technology on A/C in service.

The HLFC-WIN project outputs are ambitious and innovative and will be used to reach TRL4 for Hybrid Laminar Flow Control on wings of mid-to long-haul transport aircraft. Consequently, the HLFC-WIN project will pave the way for the successful operational use of HLFC in commercial aircraft.

HLFC-WIN will extend the knowledge related to HLFC in the following areas:

  • Aerodynamics: HLFC wing aero-design enabling system allocation and integration, maximizing the HLFC system efficiency, Anti-Contamination Device (ACD) design, determination of areas for applying passive and active suction as well as high speed aerodynamic tests

  • Structures: High Speed (HS) driven structures on Leading Edge (LE) and upper cover, High-Lift design to provide shielding. New hybrid structures and Krueger Flaps.

  • Systems: HLFC suction system and Wing Ice Protection System (WIPS)

  • Manufacturing: innovative hybrid metallic- composites materials and processes, junctions, micro-perforated panels with different pitches. Costs assessments. WIPS, Krueger, junction LE- torsion box, suction panels at overall wing structure integration.

  • Integration: WIPS, suction system, anti-contamination assessment, High-lift device, interfaces

  • Tests: Wind tunnel test (WTT) supporting the innovative HLFC system in wings, WIPS and low/high energy impacts virtual testing, structural stiffness test of an HLFC wing

  • Operability: anti-contamination assessments to further assess the technology before commercial deployment.