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The demand for small jet engines to be utilized in gliders and motor gliders increases steadily. The engines are adventageous in various situations, wether to bridge the distance between two thermals or to ensure a safe return to the airfield. The turbines themselves are usually based on ones from the field of model building, but these are often not powerful enough.
E-mobility also enters aviation. The usage of electric motors for aircraft propulsion opens possibilities for completely new aircraft concepts due to the low weight of these machines. Concepts like distributed propulsion become feasible. This leads to configurations where the propeller is not necessarily in the field of view of the pilot at the nose of the aircraft. See e.g. University of Stuttgart electric aircraft e-Genius: e-Genius at IFB.
Due to that and also because of the fact that electric drive systems can indeed be activated, i.e. “switched on”, but at the same time not necessarily need to move, rotate or even make a sound, there is a considerable risk that there are people, animals or objects in the propeller disk area and that they can be injured or damaged accidentally during the run-up of the propeller. This risk is especially high for recreational aircraft which are not always operated from strictly guarded airfields.
In this project the structure of a rotor blade for a small wind turbine (SWT) was developed for the renowned German sailplane manufacturer DG-Flugzeugbau. This SWT specifically designed for low wind conditions has a rotor diameter of 13 m and delivers an output of 10 kW already at wind speeds of 7.5 m/s. within only 5 months and in cooperation with the specialists from DG-Flugzeugbau, HD-Composite and Steinbeis Flugzeug- und Leichtbau GmbH, a completely new structural design approach was realised which reduces the production cost by 75% compared to the original blade! At the same time the weight of the rotor blade could be reduced by 30% which itself contributes already to cost reduction.
Congratulations to the Grob Aircraft AG for the Type Certificate of the new G 120TP. The Grob Aircraft AG is known a worldwide leading manufacturer of professional training aircraft for the military as well for the civil sector. It is an approved Design Organisation according EASA Part 21, Section A, Subpart J, Production Organisation according Part 21, Section A, Subpart G and Maintenance Organisation according Part 145.
a several years development time, the G 120TP was type certified as Grob’s first newly type certified design for more than 10 years. The G 120TP is entirely designed in composites and is powered by a Rolls Royce M250 B17F turboprop engine. With a power of 456 SHP / 380 SHP continuous, the G 120TP achieves excellent performance data. In the context of the CS-23 type certification programme, I was responsible for the timely planning and execution of certification tests on components level, the data analysis and the preparation of the appropriate compliance reports.
The research and development aircraft e-Genius was developed at the Institute for Aircraft Design at the University of Stuttgart to take part in the NASA/CAFE "Green Flight Challenge.
The challenge took place near San Francisco, California USA in 2011.The winner was awarded a sum of US $ 1.5 million by the NASA and the main sponsor Google. The challenging task was to design a fast and at the same time particularly efficient aircraft. One of the conditions, which the aircraft had to fulfil, was a range of 320 km with an average speed of at least 160 km/h. Further, the fuel consumption was supposed to be less than one litre per 100 km and passenger, which equals just less than 9 kWh per 100 km and passenger. The competition was organized by the US-American “Comparative Aircraft Efficiency” (CAFE) Foundation, based in Santa Rosa, California. It was expected to be a top-class competition of the American elite universities and institutes.
For the foot launch capable glider plane “Archaeopteryx“, built by Ruppert Composite in Switzerland, Karl Käser improved and measured the airfoil. The specific characteristic of this design was the consideration of its construction method. The wings of Archaeopteryx are covered with fabric.
Due to the fabric, there’s an additional concavity during flight between the ribs. The exact shape of the airfoil during flight is only given at the ribs. For the project the positions of transition had to be determined during flight using sensors of the IAG of the University of Stuttgart on the prototype.