SFWA Demonstrators

1. High Speed Smart Wing Flight Demonstrator

The critical validation step for the low drag laminar smart wing will be to proof the performance at typical cruise flight condition, at relevant Mach and Reynolds numbers, at representative cL and pressure distribution, and at a wing article with typical structural features in static and dynamic behaviour, shape, tolerances and quality.

As result of a careful analysis of different alternative flight test vehicle options, the Airbus

A340-300 test aircraft emerged is only viable choice to fulfil all critical requirements at a time.

The smart wing test articles, featuring a different structural concept on either side of the wing, shall replace the existing wings of the test aircraft from the outboard engine through the wing tip.

Owing to the cost and time for this demonstration, the smart wing part of SFWA project is focussing to validate and demonstrate the natural laminar wing concept at large scale. The development and testing of an active “hybrid” laminar flow smart wing, which is “stage two” in the SFWA-ITD technology plan, will be pursued at limited level.

In the current SFWA technology roadmap the flight tests are planned to begin in the third quarter of 2014, following up to seven ground-based “feature” demonstrators in the years 2010 to 2013.

Objective: Large scale flight test of passive and active flow and loads control solutions on all new innovative wings concepts to validate low drag solutions at representative Mach and Reynolds Numbers. It is envisaged to be used at least in two major phases of the project. Selected in April 2009.

2. Low Speed Smart Wing Flight Demonstrator

When developing an all new low drag “smart wing”, based on laminarity, the development and integration of an appropriate low speed concept providing appropriate performance and handling qualities for take-off and landing, need to be included from the beginning on. Even though there are a number of “conventional” low speed technologies viable to be combined with the laminar smart wing, there are other, advanced technologies available at TRL3 with the potential to provide additional performance gains to the smart wing. At this stage, a Dassault F7X business jet is the selected test aircraft vehicle.

Objective: Validation flight testing of High Lift Solution to support and enable the innovative wing /low drag concepts with a full scale demonstrator.

1.1  Smart Flap large scale ground demo/ DA Falcon type Eizjet trailing edge

1.2  Low Speed Vibration Control Flight Test Demonstration/ DA Falcon F7X


Selected April 2010

3. Innovative Engine Demonstrator Flying Test Bed (“CROR engine - demo FTB”)

At the operational launch of CleanSky it was clear that the validation of the CROR engine concept requires a large scale demonstration under operational condition. Coordinated with the engine manufacturers in the SAGE-ITD, a coherent development plan was setup, to prepare a full size ground demonstration engine in SAGE and a suitable flight test demonstration in SFWA.

Based on a careful exploitation of different flight test vehicle options, including a modified Fokker 100 respectively an Airbus A320, the choice was made to use the Airbus A340-600 test aircraft. The major reason is that the resulting aircraft “with CROR engine” will still be able to fly with the current Airbus A340-600 test aircraft certification.

Owing to the complexity of the development work, the amount of resources and cost associated with this exercise, and the required harmonization with the R&T strategy of the involved ITD members, the flight with the CROR engine demo FTB is planned for end of the year 2015.

Objectives: Demonstrate viability of full scale innovative engine concept in operational condition.

Selected April 2010

4. Long Term Technology Flight Demonstrator

A key objective of the maturing of the smart wing in the SFWA-ITD is the proof of the viability of the concept and robust performance under real operational condition, providing the benefits predicted in numerical predictions and obtained in earlier laboratory or ground experiments. To validate the long term robustness of specific systems, like sensors, actuators, but also surface coatings and others, a critical, yet large number of testing in operational, i.e. flight condition are required.

In the course of the development and down selection of the best candidate technologies to contribute to the smart wing, dedicated flight test activities will be prepared and conducted. In cases when only very light modifications on the aircraft are necessary, the plan is to involve in service aircraft, if possible in partnership with airlines through call for proposals.

Objective: Validation of durability and robustness of Smart Wing technologies in operational environmental.

Selection(s) part of technology roadmap.

In Service Transport Aircraft Airbus A300 “Beluga”

Airbus A340-300 long termf light demonstrator with smart surface applications


5. Innovative Empennage Demonstrator

The integration of advanced, innovative propulsion concepts to an aircraft requires a number of optimisations and modifications to achieve the best performance of these engines in combination with many other components of the aircraft.

The integration of advanced turbofan or a CROR engine at the rear fuselage requires major a rethinking of the rear fuselage, in particular in view of aerodynamic aspects, handling quality, but also the handling of static and dynamic loads, issues of noise shielding and certification.

In the early planning phase of SFWA-ITD a dedicated demonstration work package for this objective was anchored in the WBS, with provision to keep it as ground test, and to tailor this test in order to give priority to the other SFWA flight demonstrations, in particular the “CROR engine demo FTB”.

After body full scale ground demonstrator (Dassault)


Objective: Validation of a structural rear empennage concept for noise shielding engine integration on business jets.

6. Advanced Lip Extended Acoustic Panel” Demonstrator

The technology to reduce the Fan noise of large turbofan engine was validated in operational conditions at original scale in a flight test campaign in 2010. After the successful validation in flight, the technology to manufacture the key parts relevant for this technology shall be reviewed and matured to reach TRL6 (activities currently “on-hold” position).

  Airbus A380 ALEAP flight test demonstrator team after successful CleanSky flight test campaign in 2010