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Active flow control system integration into a CFRP flap


Investigations in the past show the considerable potential of active flow control (AFC) to enhance the aircraft aerodynamic performance. This publication describes the work carried out regarding the integration of an AFC system into a CFRP flap for Next Generation Aircraft considering operational aspects. Based on a two-stage fluidic AFC actuator, a system integration concept is developed. Robustness, simplicity and maintainability are the main drivers for the integration work. Using genetic and evolutionary multi-objective optimization the most promising flap concept regarding lightweight design and integration is developed at TU Dresden ILR. This concept is numerically sized and designed in detail. The concept feasibility is shown by a 2-m span full-scale demonstrator at Airbus Group Innovations. This demonstrator is successfully tested regarding system operational capability as well as for static and fatigue performance. To investigate the structural influence of AFC blowout slits within the upper flap surface, an extensive static and dynamic coupon test program is conducted at TU Dresden ILK and TU Braunschweig IFL. In parallel, analytic and numeric methods are used to verify stress concentration within the slotted area by TU Dresden ILR.

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The authors gratefully acknowledge the financial support by the European Union for the project Clean Sky SFWA-WP 1.3.8 AFCIN inside the European Community’s Seventh Framework Program (FP7/2007-2013) for the Clean Sky Joint Technology Initiative. Furthermore, the authors would like to thank Matthias Lengers, Heribert Bieler and Ulrich Scholz (all Airbus Operations GmbH) for their outstanding support. The authors thank the Center for Information Services and High-Performance Computing (ZIH) at TU Dresden for generous allocations of computer time.

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Correspondence to W. Machunze.

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This paper is based on a presentation at the German Aerospace Congress, September 16–18, 2014, Augsburg, Germany.

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Machunze, W., Gessler, A., Fabel, T. et al. Active flow control system integration into a CFRP flap. CEAS Aeronaut J 7, 69–81 (2016).

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  • Active flow control (AFC)
  • Pulsed
  • Unsteady
  • CFRP
  • Flap