Section: Partnerships and Cooperations

European Initiatives

FP7 Projet



  • Instrument: Specific Targeted Research Project (STREP)

  • Duration: October 2010 - December 2012

  • Coordinator: University of Bristol

  • Others partners: ___University of Bristol, irias, TU Delft, Politecnico di Milano, Numeca, EADS, DLR, Airbus, University of Cap Town, csir, Optimad___

  • See also: ___http://www.bris.ac.uk/aerodynamics-research/ffast/ ___

  • Abstract: ___The FFAST project aims to develop, implement and assess simulation technologies to accelerate future aircraft design. These technologies will demonstrate a step change in the efficiency and accuracy of the dynamic aeroelastic "loads process" using unique critical load identification methods and reduced order modelling. The outcome from the project will contribute to the industrial need to reduce the number of dynamic loads cases analysed, whilst increasing the accuracy and reducing the cost/time for each unsteady aeroelastic analysis performed compared to the current approach.

    Unsteady loads calculations play an important part across much of the design and development of an aircraft, and have an impact upon the concept and detailed structural design, aerodynamic characteristics, weight, flight control system design, control surface design, performance, etc. They determine the most extreme stress levels and estimate fatigue damage and damage tolerance for a particular design. For this purpose, loads cases due to dynamic gusts and manoeuvres are applied to detailed structural models during the design phase.

    The flight conditions and manoeuvres, which provide the largest aircraft loads, are not known a priori. Therefore the aerodynamic and inertial forces are calculated at a large number of conditions to give an estimate of the maximum loads, and hence stresses, that the structure of the detailed aircraft design will experience in service. Furthermore these analyses have to be repeated every time that there is an update in the aircraft structure. Within the modern civil airframe industry, each of these loads calculation cycles requires more than 6 weeks. This long lead time, together with the multiple times this calculation procedure needs to take place, has a detrimental effect on cost and time to market.

    This discussion of the number of critical loads cases raises two main points. First, the replacement of the current low fidelity models with more accurate aeroelastic simulations is attractive because of the reduced tunnel testing costs and the decreased risk of design modification in the later design phases, however the overall computational costs of the loads process must not increase. Secondly, the new aircraft configurations that will be vital to meet 2020 performance targets are likely to possess design envelope boundaries and therefore critical loads cases that are very different from those previously found on conventional aircraft. Engineering experience, that is currently used to reduce the number of critical loads cases without compromising air safety, cannot be extended to novel configurations.___