Michael Tyrrell, Aerospace Manufacturing
Deutsche Aircraft recently completed an extensive wind-tunnel testing campaign for the 328Alpha technology demonstrator, a one-off modification to an existing D328 airframe.
The objective of this programme is to evaluate, develop and flight-test promising technologies that will reduce aviation emissions, such as electric propulsion, fuel cells and liquid hydrogen storage.
The successful completion of the wind tunnel test campaign marks an important milestone for future flight. This test was conducted in the context of the LuFo VI-I (Luftfahrtforschungsprogramm) Civil Aviation Research programme and is partially funded by the German Federal Ministry of Economics and Climate Action (Bundesministerium für Wirtschaft und Klimaschutz or BMWK). With the LuFo VI, the BMWK is striving to develop a sustainable, economical and efficient air transport system of the future.
The objective of this powered-model test was to validate the overall aerodynamic integration of a next-generation electric propulsion system that is being developed with our project partners.
This nine-week campaign evaluated various combinations of propulsive power, stability, control and performance parameters over the expected flight envelope. The outcome of this test confirms prior analysis conducted using state-of-the-art Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) and will allow Deutsche Aircraft to refine an engineering flight simulator.
The 328Alpha was also presented at the E2Flight Emission Free and Electric Flight Conference in September 2023, which was organised by the German Aerospace Center (DLR) and University of Stuttgart. Chief engineer for future projects at Deutsche Aircraft, Riaan Myburgh, presented the latest developments for the 328Alpha demonstrator at the conference.