• Research Activities

    Aerodynamics and Aeronautics
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Aerodynamics and Aeronautics

Aerodynamics and Aeronautics

- Vehicle aerodynamics
- Dynamic stability
- Airfoil flow stability
- In-air capturing device
- (De-) Icing on slats

Cleansky project MOTHIF (Academic year 2019-2020) develops and tests High Lift devices for small aircrafts. The project has started the selection of several innovative high-lift devices for two different types of SAT aircraft architectures.  At the end of the optimization of the aerodynamic and integration design, the different high-lift devices have been classified based upon the benefits of the high-lift architectures, and the most suitable design has been selected. Wind tunnel validation tests will be performed on a selected SAT Aircraft High Lift devices System.  The validation objective includes the construction of an instrumented model with a segment of wing box including the leading/trailing edge high lift devices, and their aerodynamic characterization by performing tests in the VKI L1-A large wind tunnel.

Cleansky projects CHOPIN aims at reducing fuel consumption through solutions against insect contamination to keep the high efficiency of laminar boundary layers as drag reduction technology. Durable anti-adhesion surface treatment is seen as part of the solution and has been studied VKI in the Cold Wind Tunnel CWT-1 with different type of insects, for self-cleaningness by water droplet impact and erosion resistance against ice impact.

FALcon project receives funding from the EU Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation program. It focuses on launch system reusability technologies, in particular the “in-air capturing” concept for efficient retrieval of rocket stages with the aim of further lowering cost for the next generation of European launchers. The innovative procedure proposed by the German Aerospace Center (DLR) consists in capturing automatically a winged reusable stage by a transport aircraft while still in the air, and towing it back to the landing site. Within the FALcon project a technical concept for a “rocket catcher” is developed and tested using small demonstrators to test autonomous inflight capture and towing. CFD simulations and wind tunnel tests will be carried out at VKI in preparation for the “in-air-capturing” experimental flight demonstration, as well as full-scale “in-air-capturing” CFD simulations of formation flight.

Research on ice accretion on aircraft and wind turbine leading edges continues at VKI since the modification of the Cold Wind Tunnel CWT-1 to an icing wind tunnel. A new ice detection technique has been developed, and a patent-request has been submitted. Fundamental deicing studies are performed in collaboration with SONACA and ONERA. The transfer of this technology to wind turbine blades is the objective of one Romanian Ph.D candidate.

Philippe Planquart

Research Manager

Jeroen van Beeck

Dean, Head of Department, Professor in the Environmental and Applied Fluid Dynamics Department