Stories of Aerospace Engineering

Read interviews and stories of researchers and students at the Faculty of Aerospace Engineering, and discover the scientific questions on which they work and the solutions they present.

Flying in a V

The lorry pulls up very slowly, en route from the Faculty of Aerospace Engineering to Schiphol. The cargo on board is precious: the 3-meter-wide flying scale model of the revolutionary Flying-V aircraft. Chief engineer Malcom Brown: “The Flying V will use far less energy thanks to its aerodynamic V-shape.” At the Faculty of Aerospace Engineering, work has been underway since 2017 on the Flying-V, a revolutionary, energy-efficient aircraft design in which passengers, cargo and fuel are all located in the wing. Computer simulations and wind tunnel tests show that the aircraft uses 20% less fuel than the most modern aircraft of today, the Airbus A350. Flight tests with a flying scale model are needed to test how a flying V actually behaves in the air. Will the aircraft remain stable? What is the ideal angle for take-off and landing? When KLM comes on board as a partner in the spring of 2019, there is suddenly a hard deadline: the model must be ready for the KLM Experience Days in honour of KLM100. Scale model Wing span: 3.06 m Length: 2,76 m Weight: 24,8 kg Material: composite Electronics: control system for drones, measuring and control systems, autopilot Engines: two 4kW electric ‘ducted fan’ engines Batteries: 6 kg LiPo An even bigger challenge than the deadline Malcom Brown, a down-to-earth aerospace engineer from Johannesburg, South Africa, is assigned to get the job done: "What makes building a scale model of such a radically different type of aircraft so special is that we are doing everything for the first time. There is no manual or procedure. We discover and find out while we build. You learn a lot, but a project like this is not always easy to plan. When we started work we found out, however, that we had an even bigger challenge than the strict deadline."The biggest challenge Malcom’s team – consisting of composites expert Frank van Wissen, electronics expert Alberto Ruiz Garcia, CAD designer Daniel Atherstone and two master's students - encounters concerns the weight of the aircraft. Brown: "We struggled a lot to keep the vehicle under 25 kg." The 25 kilogram has nothing to do with the airworthiness of the aircraft, but with the drone laws and regulations. For drones that are heavier than 25 kg, the certification requirements are much stricter and take longer. Brown: “It's very close. For example, we had agreed for the KLM Experience Days that we would paint the aircraft in KLM colors. But even that thin layer of paint can make the aircraft too heavy.” That’s why weight reduction was an important factor in the team’s choices. Lightweight Composite expert Van Wissen, explains the choice for this material: “The structure is made of fiberglass epoxy with foam stiffening forming a strong lightweight sandwich panel. Carbon fiber is used for parts that need extra strength. That makes the scale model light, strong and affordable." The pylons connecting the engines and the landing gear to the scale model were designed by CAD expert Daniel Atherstone: "By using a new version of our design software that has topology optimisation I was able to find the right balance between stiffness and weight." But the team also came across an unexpected set-back: the filler they were planning to use to attach the winglets to the wingtips will make the aircraft just a little too heavy. The nacelle covers for the two electric ducted fan engines mounted on top of the scale model also had to be lightweight. Brown: “The engines are from a German supplier, but we designed the nacelles specifically for this scale model. They now ensure good aerodynamics of the aircraft and engines and they’re lightweight, because we only used one layer of carbon fiber for them.” Control and measurements The scale model has intricate control and measurement electronics on board. Team member Alberto Ruiz Garcia: “We have both on-board control systems that ensure good control of the drone, and sensors and computers that measure and communicate the flight characteristics of the model. There is also an autopilot on the aircraft that can safely return the aircraft in case the pilot loses signal.” To reduce the risks the team chooses to implement an off-the-shelf operating system for drones, but the measuring instruments are tailor-made and the interfaces are designed in-house. Foam balls The team luckily came up with a solution for the heavy winglet filler: “We added polystyrene balls to the filler. A solution that had been used for other types of glue and resin, but never for this particular filler. In the end it enabled us to reduce the weight sufficiently while maintaining the stiffness of the connection.” Current weight of the model: 24.8 kilograms. KLM100 In the end the deadline also worked out well. On September 30, Malcom and Alberto - carefully - brought the scale model to Schiphol with a truck. From 3 to 13 October, around 65,000 people will visit the scale model during the KLM Experience Days. These take place in honour of the 100th anniversary of KLM. Afterwards the scale model will come back to the Aircraft Hall. Precision work is still to be done on the control surfaces on the skin of the model and the batteries will have to be properly connected along with a thorough systems test. Brown: “But the time pressure will stay. Our next deadline is coming up: getting ready for the flight tests. We were always confident that it would work. Brown Malcom Brown M.T.H.Brown@tudelft.nl This is a story from Aerospace Engineering At the Faculty of Aerospace Engineering, work has been underway since 2017 on the Flying-V, a revolutionary, energy-efficient aircraft design in which passengers, cargo and fuel are all located in the wing. Computer simulations and wind tunnel tests show that the aircraft uses 20% less fuel than the most modern aircraft of today, the Airbus A350. Flight tests with a flying scale model are needed to test how a flying V actually behaves in the air. Will the aircraft remain stable? What is the ideal angle for take-off and landing? When KLM comes on board as a partner in the spring of 2019, there is suddenly a hard deadline: the model must be ready for the KLM Experience Days in honour of KLM100. Scale model Wing span: 3.06 m Length: 2,76 m Weight: 24,8 kg Material: composite Electronics: control system for drones, measuring and control systems, autopilot Engines: two 4kW electric ‘ducted fan’ engines Batteries: 6 kg LiPo An even bigger challenge than the deadline Malcom Brown, a down-to-earth aerospace engineer from Johannesburg, South Africa, is assigned to get the job done: "What makes building a scale model of such a radically different type of aircraft so special is that we are doing everything for the first time. There is no manual or procedure. We discover and find out while we build. You learn a lot, but a project like this is not always easy to plan. When we started work we found out, however, that we had an even bigger challenge than the strict deadline."The biggest challenge Malcom’s team – consisting of composites expert Frank van Wissen, electronics expert Alberto Ruiz Garcia, CAD designer Daniel Atherstone and two master's students - encounters concerns the weight of the aircraft. Brown: "We struggled a lot to keep the vehicle under 25 kg." The 25 kilogram has nothing to do with the airworthiness of the aircraft, but with the drone laws and regulations. For drones that are heavier than 25 kg, the certification requirements are much stricter and take longer. Brown: “It's very close. For example, we had agreed for the KLM Experience Days that we would paint the aircraft in KLM colors. But even that thin layer of paint can make the aircraft too heavy.” That’s why weight reduction was an important factor in the team’s choices. Lightweight Composite expert Van Wissen, explains the choice for this material: “The structure is made of fiberglass epoxy with foam stiffening forming a strong lightweight sandwich panel. Carbon fiber is used for parts that need extra strength. That makes the scale model light, strong and affordable." The pylons connecting the engines and the landing gear to the scale model were designed by CAD expert Daniel Atherstone: "By using a new version of our design software that has topology optimisation I was able to find the right balance between stiffness and weight." But the team also came across an unexpected set-back: the filler they were planning to use to attach the winglets to the wingtips will make the aircraft just a little too heavy. The nacelle covers for the two electric ducted fan engines mounted on top of the scale model also had to be lightweight. Brown: “The engines are from a German supplier, but we designed the nacelles specifically for this scale model. They now ensure good aerodynamics of the aircraft and engines and they’re lightweight, because we only used one layer of carbon fiber for them.” Control and measurements The scale model has intricate control and measurement electronics on board. Team member Alberto Ruiz Garcia: “We have both on-board control systems that ensure good control of the drone, and sensors and computers that measure and communicate the flight characteristics of the model. There is also an autopilot on the aircraft that can safely return the aircraft in case the pilot loses signal.” To reduce the risks the team chooses to implement an off-the-shelf operating system for drones, but the measuring instruments are tailor-made and the interfaces are designed in-house. Foam balls The team luckily came up with a solution for the heavy winglet filler: “We added polystyrene balls to the filler. A solution that had been used for other types of glue and resin, but never for this particular filler. In the end it enabled us to reduce the weight sufficiently while maintaining the stiffness of the connection.” Current weight of the model: 24.8 kilograms. KLM100 In the end the deadline also worked out well. On September 30, Malcom and Alberto - carefully - brought the scale model to Schiphol with a truck. From 3 to 13 October, around 65,000 people will visit the scale model during the KLM Experience Days. These take place in honour of the 100th anniversary of KLM. Afterwards the scale model will come back to the Aircraft Hall. Precision work is still to be done on the control surfaces on the skin of the model and the batteries will have to be properly connected along with a thorough systems test. Brown: “But the time pressure will stay. Our next deadline is coming up: getting ready for the flight tests. We were always confident that it would work. Brown Malcom Brown M.T.H.Brown@tudelft.nl This is a story from Aerospace Engineering Related stories Bringing silent aviation closer Roboats in Amsterdam Intelligent, self-floating wind turbines

Flying in a V

The lorry pulls up very slowly, en route from the Faculty of Aerospace Engineering to Schiphol. The cargo on board is precious: the 3-meter-wide flying scale model of the revolutionary Flying-V aircraft. Chief engineer Malcom Brown: “The Flying V will use far less energy thanks to its aerodynamic V-shape.” At the Faculty of Aerospace Engineering, work has been underway since 2017 on the Flying-V, a revolutionary, energy-efficient aircraft design in which passengers, cargo and fuel are all located in the wing. Computer simulations and wind tunnel tests show that the aircraft uses 20% less fuel than the most modern aircraft of today, the Airbus A350. Flight tests with a flying scale model are needed to test how a flying V actually behaves in the air. Will the aircraft remain stable? What is the ideal angle for take-off and landing? When KLM comes on board as a partner in the spring of 2019, there is suddenly a hard deadline: the model must be ready for the KLM Experience Days in honour of KLM100. Scale model Wing span: 3.06 m Length: 2,76 m Weight: 24,8 kg Material: composite Electronics: control system for drones, measuring and control systems, autopilot Engines: two 4kW electric ‘ducted fan’ engines Batteries: 6 kg LiPo An even bigger challenge than the deadline Malcom Brown, a down-to-earth aerospace engineer from Johannesburg, South Africa, is assigned to get the job done: "What makes building a scale model of such a radically different type of aircraft so special is that we are doing everything for the first time. There is no manual or procedure. We discover and find out while we build. You learn a lot, but a project like this is not always easy to plan. When we started work we found out, however, that we had an even bigger challenge than the strict deadline."The biggest challenge Malcom’s team – consisting of composites expert Frank van Wissen, electronics expert Alberto Ruiz Garcia, CAD designer Daniel Atherstone and two master's students - encounters concerns the weight of the aircraft. Brown: "We struggled a lot to keep the vehicle under 25 kg." The 25 kilogram has nothing to do with the airworthiness of the aircraft, but with the drone laws and regulations. For drones that are heavier than 25 kg, the certification requirements are much stricter and take longer. Brown: “It's very close. For example, we had agreed for the KLM Experience Days that we would paint the aircraft in KLM colors. But even that thin layer of paint can make the aircraft too heavy.” That’s why weight reduction was an important factor in the team’s choices. Lightweight Composite expert Van Wissen, explains the choice for this material: “The structure is made of fiberglass epoxy with foam stiffening forming a strong lightweight sandwich panel. Carbon fiber is used for parts that need extra strength. That makes the scale model light, strong and affordable." The pylons connecting the engines and the landing gear to the scale model were designed by CAD expert Daniel Atherstone: "By using a new version of our design software that has topology optimisation I was able to find the right balance between stiffness and weight." But the team also came across an unexpected set-back: the filler they were planning to use to attach the winglets to the wingtips will make the aircraft just a little too heavy. The nacelle covers for the two electric ducted fan engines mounted on top of the scale model also had to be lightweight. Brown: “The engines are from a German supplier, but we designed the nacelles specifically for this scale model. They now ensure good aerodynamics of the aircraft and engines and they’re lightweight, because we only used one layer of carbon fiber for them.” Control and measurements The scale model has intricate control and measurement electronics on board. Team member Alberto Ruiz Garcia: “We have both on-board control systems that ensure good control of the drone, and sensors and computers that measure and communicate the flight characteristics of the model. There is also an autopilot on the aircraft that can safely return the aircraft in case the pilot loses signal.” To reduce the risks the team chooses to implement an off-the-shelf operating system for drones, but the measuring instruments are tailor-made and the interfaces are designed in-house. Foam balls The team luckily came up with a solution for the heavy winglet filler: “We added polystyrene balls to the filler. A solution that had been used for other types of glue and resin, but never for this particular filler. In the end it enabled us to reduce the weight sufficiently while maintaining the stiffness of the connection.” Current weight of the model: 24.8 kilograms. KLM100 In the end the deadline also worked out well. On September 30, Malcom and Alberto - carefully - brought the scale model to Schiphol with a truck. From 3 to 13 October, around 65,000 people will visit the scale model during the KLM Experience Days. These take place in honour of the 100th anniversary of KLM. Afterwards the scale model will come back to the Aircraft Hall. Precision work is still to be done on the control surfaces on the skin of the model and the batteries will have to be properly connected along with a thorough systems test. Brown: “But the time pressure will stay. Our next deadline is coming up: getting ready for the flight tests. We were always confident that it would work. Brown Malcom Brown M.T.H.Brown@tudelft.nl This is a story from Aerospace Engineering At the Faculty of Aerospace Engineering, work has been underway since 2017 on the Flying-V, a revolutionary, energy-efficient aircraft design in which passengers, cargo and fuel are all located in the wing. Computer simulations and wind tunnel tests show that the aircraft uses 20% less fuel than the most modern aircraft of today, the Airbus A350. Flight tests with a flying scale model are needed to test how a flying V actually behaves in the air. Will the aircraft remain stable? What is the ideal angle for take-off and landing? When KLM comes on board as a partner in the spring of 2019, there is suddenly a hard deadline: the model must be ready for the KLM Experience Days in honour of KLM100. Scale model Wing span: 3.06 m Length: 2,76 m Weight: 24,8 kg Material: composite Electronics: control system for drones, measuring and control systems, autopilot Engines: two 4kW electric ‘ducted fan’ engines Batteries: 6 kg LiPo An even bigger challenge than the deadline Malcom Brown, a down-to-earth aerospace engineer from Johannesburg, South Africa, is assigned to get the job done: "What makes building a scale model of such a radically different type of aircraft so special is that we are doing everything for the first time. There is no manual or procedure. We discover and find out while we build. You learn a lot, but a project like this is not always easy to plan. When we started work we found out, however, that we had an even bigger challenge than the strict deadline."The biggest challenge Malcom’s team – consisting of composites expert Frank van Wissen, electronics expert Alberto Ruiz Garcia, CAD designer Daniel Atherstone and two master's students - encounters concerns the weight of the aircraft. Brown: "We struggled a lot to keep the vehicle under 25 kg." The 25 kilogram has nothing to do with the airworthiness of the aircraft, but with the drone laws and regulations. For drones that are heavier than 25 kg, the certification requirements are much stricter and take longer. Brown: “It's very close. For example, we had agreed for the KLM Experience Days that we would paint the aircraft in KLM colors. But even that thin layer of paint can make the aircraft too heavy.” That’s why weight reduction was an important factor in the team’s choices. Lightweight Composite expert Van Wissen, explains the choice for this material: “The structure is made of fiberglass epoxy with foam stiffening forming a strong lightweight sandwich panel. Carbon fiber is used for parts that need extra strength. That makes the scale model light, strong and affordable." The pylons connecting the engines and the landing gear to the scale model were designed by CAD expert Daniel Atherstone: "By using a new version of our design software that has topology optimisation I was able to find the right balance between stiffness and weight." But the team also came across an unexpected set-back: the filler they were planning to use to attach the winglets to the wingtips will make the aircraft just a little too heavy. The nacelle covers for the two electric ducted fan engines mounted on top of the scale model also had to be lightweight. Brown: “The engines are from a German supplier, but we designed the nacelles specifically for this scale model. They now ensure good aerodynamics of the aircraft and engines and they’re lightweight, because we only used one layer of carbon fiber for them.” Control and measurements The scale model has intricate control and measurement electronics on board. Team member Alberto Ruiz Garcia: “We have both on-board control systems that ensure good control of the drone, and sensors and computers that measure and communicate the flight characteristics of the model. There is also an autopilot on the aircraft that can safely return the aircraft in case the pilot loses signal.” To reduce the risks the team chooses to implement an off-the-shelf operating system for drones, but the measuring instruments are tailor-made and the interfaces are designed in-house. Foam balls The team luckily came up with a solution for the heavy winglet filler: “We added polystyrene balls to the filler. A solution that had been used for other types of glue and resin, but never for this particular filler. In the end it enabled us to reduce the weight sufficiently while maintaining the stiffness of the connection.” Current weight of the model: 24.8 kilograms. KLM100 In the end the deadline also worked out well. On September 30, Malcom and Alberto - carefully - brought the scale model to Schiphol with a truck. From 3 to 13 October, around 65,000 people will visit the scale model during the KLM Experience Days. These take place in honour of the 100th anniversary of KLM. Afterwards the scale model will come back to the Aircraft Hall. Precision work is still to be done on the control surfaces on the skin of the model and the batteries will have to be properly connected along with a thorough systems test. Brown: “But the time pressure will stay. Our next deadline is coming up: getting ready for the flight tests. We were always confident that it would work. Brown Malcom Brown M.T.H.Brown@tudelft.nl This is a story from Aerospace Engineering Related stories Bringing silent aviation closer Roboats in Amsterdam Intelligent, self-floating wind turbines

TU Delft’s team Silverwing reaches the finals of the GoFly Prize

By Heather Montague As one of five finalists in the Boeing sponsored GoFly Prize, TU Delft’s own team Silverwing aims to win with its S1 design, a personal flying motorcycle. Although it might seem like something out of a science fiction movie, human flight may soon become a reality. By founding the GoFly Prize, CEO Gwen Lighter set out to stimulate innovation in the development of personal flying devices. The three-phase global competition, announced in November 2017, aims to foster the development of safe, quiet, ultra-compact, near-VTOL (vertical take-off and landing) personal flying devices capable of flying twenty miles while carrying a single person. Making people fly TU Delft’s Silverwing came into being when two aerospace students put together a small team to submit a concept for the first phase of GoFly. When their idea was selected as one of the top ten out of hundreds of entries, Technical Manager Victor Sonneveld, a master’s student, and Team Manager James Murdza (BSc 2018) quickly pulled together a larger multi-disciplinary team. It has since grown to 34 students representing ten nationalities and nearly every faculty at TU Delft. In March, team Silverwing learned they had been chosen as one of the top five designs by GoFly. During this second phase of the competition, teams had to present a more detailed design and built various test set-ups, including a half-scale prototype. The S1, a tailsitter aircraft, rotates 90 degrees to take off and land on its tail, requiring no runway and less space than a car. “It’s basically a flying motorcycle, but what makes it special is that it takes off and lands vertically,” said Ruben Forkink, an aerospace graduate and Silverwing Chief of Partnerships & Business Development. “At the desired altitude you transition from vertical to horizontal flight and then you basically ride it like a motorcycle and transport yourself from A to B. Then you transition back from horizontal flight to land vertically on your tail.” Going beyond the call Although it was not a requirement of the competition, the S1 is battery powered, fully electric and able to fly autonomously. “We’re one of the few teams that opted to go completely electric,” said Nisarg Thakrar, an aerospace master’s student and member of the Silverwing structures team. “From our point of view, to be successful, it has to achieve the modern requirements, being electric and autonomous.” And although the limitations of battery technology make it challenging to carry the required amount of weight, making it autonomous means that the S1 could be used to transport packages, not just people. Students bring a lot to the table As competitions go, the GoFly Prize is unique in that it is open to anybody from anywhere in the world. “What’s really great and what makes us stand out is that we are the only undergrad team in the finals,” said Forkink. The other finalist teams include PhDs, researchers and companies with industry experience. “We have a lot of bachelor’s students on our team so it’s a challenge, but that’s what we really like,” noted Forkink. “We are able to combine the knowledge from all of these faculties and that makes us a real multidisciplinary team.” Putting hands-on education to work The aerospace faculty has played an integral role in Silverwing’s design and development process. According to Forkink, the team has members from all of the different tracks at aerospace, and knowledge gained in the classroom has been useful. “We have students that go to their lecture and 30 minutes later they come here and start working on what they just learned.” And Thakrar believes the master’s programme structures track has been a huge asset in the design of the S1. “We do most of our own work, but we do have limitations and at that point we can consult with professors as well as external parties that help us,” he said. “In my opinion, one of the best ways to be a good engineer is through application, not only through books and this project has been a great way to support that idea.” The final stage Team Silverwing is currently finalising the S1 design to prepare for manufacturing and they hope to have a test flight by the end of this year. In early 2020, they will participate in a final fly-off in the United States. During this last stage of the competition, the aircraft must take off vertically, cover an eleven-kilometre course and then land again vertically. Points will be awarded for low noise levels, size (the smaller the better) and speed. The winning team will receive a US$ 1 million grand prize. "GoFly is excited to see Team Silverwing-- a young team made up of many undergraduates-- competing with established companies and veterans of the industry, and holding their own,” said Lighter. “Team Silverwing brings novel innovation and out-of-the-box thinking to their personal flyer. We look forward to seeing Team Silverwing at the GoFly Final Fly Off next year, and we can’t wait to see them change the world." On April 30, 2019 Silverwing will unveil their award-winning design for the S1 to the general public. Want to see it? Click here .

Flying in a V

The lorry pulls up very slowly, en route from the Faculty of Aerospace Engineering to Schiphol. The cargo on board is precious: the 3-meter-wide flying scale model of the revolutionary Flying-V aircraft. Chief engineer Malcom Brown: “The Flying V will use far less energy thanks to its aerodynamic V-shape.” At the Faculty of Aerospace Engineering, work has been underway since 2017 on the Flying-V, a revolutionary, energy-efficient aircraft design in which passengers, cargo and fuel are all located in the wing. Computer simulations and wind tunnel tests show that the aircraft uses 20% less fuel than the most modern aircraft of today, the Airbus A350. Flight tests with a flying scale model are needed to test how a flying V actually behaves in the air. Will the aircraft remain stable? What is the ideal angle for take-off and landing? When KLM comes on board as a partner in the spring of 2019, there is suddenly a hard deadline: the model must be ready for the KLM Experience Days in honour of KLM100. Scale model Wing span: 3.06 m Length: 2,76 m Weight: 24,8 kg Material: composite Electronics: control system for drones, measuring and control systems, autopilot Engines: two 4kW electric ‘ducted fan’ engines Batteries: 6 kg LiPo An even bigger challenge than the deadline Malcom Brown, a down-to-earth aerospace engineer from Johannesburg, South Africa, is assigned to get the job done: "What makes building a scale model of such a radically different type of aircraft so special is that we are doing everything for the first time. There is no manual or procedure. We discover and find out while we build. You learn a lot, but a project like this is not always easy to plan. When we started work we found out, however, that we had an even bigger challenge than the strict deadline."The biggest challenge Malcom’s team – consisting of composites expert Frank van Wissen, electronics expert Alberto Ruiz Garcia, CAD designer Daniel Atherstone and two master's students - encounters concerns the weight of the aircraft. Brown: "We struggled a lot to keep the vehicle under 25 kg." The 25 kilogram has nothing to do with the airworthiness of the aircraft, but with the drone laws and regulations. For drones that are heavier than 25 kg, the certification requirements are much stricter and take longer. Brown: “It's very close. For example, we had agreed for the KLM Experience Days that we would paint the aircraft in KLM colors. But even that thin layer of paint can make the aircraft too heavy.” That’s why weight reduction was an important factor in the team’s choices. Lightweight Composite expert Van Wissen, explains the choice for this material: “The structure is made of fiberglass epoxy with foam stiffening forming a strong lightweight sandwich panel. Carbon fiber is used for parts that need extra strength. That makes the scale model light, strong and affordable." The pylons connecting the engines and the landing gear to the scale model were designed by CAD expert Daniel Atherstone: "By using a new version of our design software that has topology optimisation I was able to find the right balance between stiffness and weight." But the team also came across an unexpected set-back: the filler they were planning to use to attach the winglets to the wingtips will make the aircraft just a little too heavy. The nacelle covers for the two electric ducted fan engines mounted on top of the scale model also had to be lightweight. Brown: “The engines are from a German supplier, but we designed the nacelles specifically for this scale model. They now ensure good aerodynamics of the aircraft and engines and they’re lightweight, because we only used one layer of carbon fiber for them.” Control and measurements The scale model has intricate control and measurement electronics on board. Team member Alberto Ruiz Garcia: “We have both on-board control systems that ensure good control of the drone, and sensors and computers that measure and communicate the flight characteristics of the model. There is also an autopilot on the aircraft that can safely return the aircraft in case the pilot loses signal.” To reduce the risks the team chooses to implement an off-the-shelf operating system for drones, but the measuring instruments are tailor-made and the interfaces are designed in-house. Foam balls The team luckily came up with a solution for the heavy winglet filler: “We added polystyrene balls to the filler. A solution that had been used for other types of glue and resin, but never for this particular filler. In the end it enabled us to reduce the weight sufficiently while maintaining the stiffness of the connection.” Current weight of the model: 24.8 kilograms. KLM100 In the end the deadline also worked out well. On September 30, Malcom and Alberto - carefully - brought the scale model to Schiphol with a truck. From 3 to 13 October, around 65,000 people will visit the scale model during the KLM Experience Days. These take place in honour of the 100th anniversary of KLM. Afterwards the scale model will come back to the Aircraft Hall. Precision work is still to be done on the control surfaces on the skin of the model and the batteries will have to be properly connected along with a thorough systems test. Brown: “But the time pressure will stay. Our next deadline is coming up: getting ready for the flight tests. We were always confident that it would work. Brown Malcom Brown M.T.H.Brown@tudelft.nl This is a story from Aerospace Engineering At the Faculty of Aerospace Engineering, work has been underway since 2017 on the Flying-V, a revolutionary, energy-efficient aircraft design in which passengers, cargo and fuel are all located in the wing. Computer simulations and wind tunnel tests show that the aircraft uses 20% less fuel than the most modern aircraft of today, the Airbus A350. Flight tests with a flying scale model are needed to test how a flying V actually behaves in the air. Will the aircraft remain stable? What is the ideal angle for take-off and landing? When KLM comes on board as a partner in the spring of 2019, there is suddenly a hard deadline: the model must be ready for the KLM Experience Days in honour of KLM100. Scale model Wing span: 3.06 m Length: 2,76 m Weight: 24,8 kg Material: composite Electronics: control system for drones, measuring and control systems, autopilot Engines: two 4kW electric ‘ducted fan’ engines Batteries: 6 kg LiPo An even bigger challenge than the deadline Malcom Brown, a down-to-earth aerospace engineer from Johannesburg, South Africa, is assigned to get the job done: "What makes building a scale model of such a radically different type of aircraft so special is that we are doing everything for the first time. There is no manual or procedure. We discover and find out while we build. You learn a lot, but a project like this is not always easy to plan. When we started work we found out, however, that we had an even bigger challenge than the strict deadline."The biggest challenge Malcom’s team – consisting of composites expert Frank van Wissen, electronics expert Alberto Ruiz Garcia, CAD designer Daniel Atherstone and two master's students - encounters concerns the weight of the aircraft. Brown: "We struggled a lot to keep the vehicle under 25 kg." The 25 kilogram has nothing to do with the airworthiness of the aircraft, but with the drone laws and regulations. For drones that are heavier than 25 kg, the certification requirements are much stricter and take longer. Brown: “It's very close. For example, we had agreed for the KLM Experience Days that we would paint the aircraft in KLM colors. But even that thin layer of paint can make the aircraft too heavy.” That’s why weight reduction was an important factor in the team’s choices. Lightweight Composite expert Van Wissen, explains the choice for this material: “The structure is made of fiberglass epoxy with foam stiffening forming a strong lightweight sandwich panel. Carbon fiber is used for parts that need extra strength. That makes the scale model light, strong and affordable." The pylons connecting the engines and the landing gear to the scale model were designed by CAD expert Daniel Atherstone: "By using a new version of our design software that has topology optimisation I was able to find the right balance between stiffness and weight." But the team also came across an unexpected set-back: the filler they were planning to use to attach the winglets to the wingtips will make the aircraft just a little too heavy. The nacelle covers for the two electric ducted fan engines mounted on top of the scale model also had to be lightweight. Brown: “The engines are from a German supplier, but we designed the nacelles specifically for this scale model. They now ensure good aerodynamics of the aircraft and engines and they’re lightweight, because we only used one layer of carbon fiber for them.” Control and measurements The scale model has intricate control and measurement electronics on board. Team member Alberto Ruiz Garcia: “We have both on-board control systems that ensure good control of the drone, and sensors and computers that measure and communicate the flight characteristics of the model. There is also an autopilot on the aircraft that can safely return the aircraft in case the pilot loses signal.” To reduce the risks the team chooses to implement an off-the-shelf operating system for drones, but the measuring instruments are tailor-made and the interfaces are designed in-house. Foam balls The team luckily came up with a solution for the heavy winglet filler: “We added polystyrene balls to the filler. A solution that had been used for other types of glue and resin, but never for this particular filler. In the end it enabled us to reduce the weight sufficiently while maintaining the stiffness of the connection.” Current weight of the model: 24.8 kilograms. KLM100 In the end the deadline also worked out well. On September 30, Malcom and Alberto - carefully - brought the scale model to Schiphol with a truck. From 3 to 13 October, around 65,000 people will visit the scale model during the KLM Experience Days. These take place in honour of the 100th anniversary of KLM. Afterwards the scale model will come back to the Aircraft Hall. Precision work is still to be done on the control surfaces on the skin of the model and the batteries will have to be properly connected along with a thorough systems test. Brown: “But the time pressure will stay. Our next deadline is coming up: getting ready for the flight tests. We were always confident that it would work. Brown Malcom Brown M.T.H.Brown@tudelft.nl This is a story from Aerospace Engineering Related stories Bringing silent aviation closer Roboats in Amsterdam Intelligent, self-floating wind turbines

Flying in a V

The lorry pulls up very slowly, en route from the Faculty of Aerospace Engineering to Schiphol. The cargo on board is precious: the 3-meter-wide flying scale model of the revolutionary Flying-V aircraft. Chief engineer Malcom Brown: “The Flying V will use far less energy thanks to its aerodynamic V-shape.” At the Faculty of Aerospace Engineering, work has been underway since 2017 on the Flying-V, a revolutionary, energy-efficient aircraft design in which passengers, cargo and fuel are all located in the wing. Computer simulations and wind tunnel tests show that the aircraft uses 20% less fuel than the most modern aircraft of today, the Airbus A350. Flight tests with a flying scale model are needed to test how a flying V actually behaves in the air. Will the aircraft remain stable? What is the ideal angle for take-off and landing? When KLM comes on board as a partner in the spring of 2019, there is suddenly a hard deadline: the model must be ready for the KLM Experience Days in honour of KLM100. Scale model Wing span: 3.06 m Length: 2,76 m Weight: 24,8 kg Material: composite Electronics: control system for drones, measuring and control systems, autopilot Engines: two 4kW electric ‘ducted fan’ engines Batteries: 6 kg LiPo An even bigger challenge than the deadline Malcom Brown, a down-to-earth aerospace engineer from Johannesburg, South Africa, is assigned to get the job done: "What makes building a scale model of such a radically different type of aircraft so special is that we are doing everything for the first time. There is no manual or procedure. We discover and find out while we build. You learn a lot, but a project like this is not always easy to plan. When we started work we found out, however, that we had an even bigger challenge than the strict deadline."The biggest challenge Malcom’s team – consisting of composites expert Frank van Wissen, electronics expert Alberto Ruiz Garcia, CAD designer Daniel Atherstone and two master's students - encounters concerns the weight of the aircraft. Brown: "We struggled a lot to keep the vehicle under 25 kg." The 25 kilogram has nothing to do with the airworthiness of the aircraft, but with the drone laws and regulations. For drones that are heavier than 25 kg, the certification requirements are much stricter and take longer. Brown: “It's very close. For example, we had agreed for the KLM Experience Days that we would paint the aircraft in KLM colors. But even that thin layer of paint can make the aircraft too heavy.” That’s why weight reduction was an important factor in the team’s choices. Lightweight Composite expert Van Wissen, explains the choice for this material: “The structure is made of fiberglass epoxy with foam stiffening forming a strong lightweight sandwich panel. Carbon fiber is used for parts that need extra strength. That makes the scale model light, strong and affordable." The pylons connecting the engines and the landing gear to the scale model were designed by CAD expert Daniel Atherstone: "By using a new version of our design software that has topology optimisation I was able to find the right balance between stiffness and weight." But the team also came across an unexpected set-back: the filler they were planning to use to attach the winglets to the wingtips will make the aircraft just a little too heavy. The nacelle covers for the two electric ducted fan engines mounted on top of the scale model also had to be lightweight. Brown: “The engines are from a German supplier, but we designed the nacelles specifically for this scale model. They now ensure good aerodynamics of the aircraft and engines and they’re lightweight, because we only used one layer of carbon fiber for them.” Control and measurements The scale model has intricate control and measurement electronics on board. Team member Alberto Ruiz Garcia: “We have both on-board control systems that ensure good control of the drone, and sensors and computers that measure and communicate the flight characteristics of the model. There is also an autopilot on the aircraft that can safely return the aircraft in case the pilot loses signal.” To reduce the risks the team chooses to implement an off-the-shelf operating system for drones, but the measuring instruments are tailor-made and the interfaces are designed in-house. Foam balls The team luckily came up with a solution for the heavy winglet filler: “We added polystyrene balls to the filler. A solution that had been used for other types of glue and resin, but never for this particular filler. In the end it enabled us to reduce the weight sufficiently while maintaining the stiffness of the connection.” Current weight of the model: 24.8 kilograms. KLM100 In the end the deadline also worked out well. On September 30, Malcom and Alberto - carefully - brought the scale model to Schiphol with a truck. From 3 to 13 October, around 65,000 people will visit the scale model during the KLM Experience Days. These take place in honour of the 100th anniversary of KLM. Afterwards the scale model will come back to the Aircraft Hall. Precision work is still to be done on the control surfaces on the skin of the model and the batteries will have to be properly connected along with a thorough systems test. Brown: “But the time pressure will stay. Our next deadline is coming up: getting ready for the flight tests. We were always confident that it would work. Brown Malcom Brown M.T.H.Brown@tudelft.nl This is a story from Aerospace Engineering At the Faculty of Aerospace Engineering, work has been underway since 2017 on the Flying-V, a revolutionary, energy-efficient aircraft design in which passengers, cargo and fuel are all located in the wing. Computer simulations and wind tunnel tests show that the aircraft uses 20% less fuel than the most modern aircraft of today, the Airbus A350. Flight tests with a flying scale model are needed to test how a flying V actually behaves in the air. Will the aircraft remain stable? What is the ideal angle for take-off and landing? When KLM comes on board as a partner in the spring of 2019, there is suddenly a hard deadline: the model must be ready for the KLM Experience Days in honour of KLM100. Scale model Wing span: 3.06 m Length: 2,76 m Weight: 24,8 kg Material: composite Electronics: control system for drones, measuring and control systems, autopilot Engines: two 4kW electric ‘ducted fan’ engines Batteries: 6 kg LiPo An even bigger challenge than the deadline Malcom Brown, a down-to-earth aerospace engineer from Johannesburg, South Africa, is assigned to get the job done: "What makes building a scale model of such a radically different type of aircraft so special is that we are doing everything for the first time. There is no manual or procedure. We discover and find out while we build. You learn a lot, but a project like this is not always easy to plan. When we started work we found out, however, that we had an even bigger challenge than the strict deadline."The biggest challenge Malcom’s team – consisting of composites expert Frank van Wissen, electronics expert Alberto Ruiz Garcia, CAD designer Daniel Atherstone and two master's students - encounters concerns the weight of the aircraft. Brown: "We struggled a lot to keep the vehicle under 25 kg." The 25 kilogram has nothing to do with the airworthiness of the aircraft, but with the drone laws and regulations. For drones that are heavier than 25 kg, the certification requirements are much stricter and take longer. Brown: “It's very close. For example, we had agreed for the KLM Experience Days that we would paint the aircraft in KLM colors. But even that thin layer of paint can make the aircraft too heavy.” That’s why weight reduction was an important factor in the team’s choices. Lightweight Composite expert Van Wissen, explains the choice for this material: “The structure is made of fiberglass epoxy with foam stiffening forming a strong lightweight sandwich panel. Carbon fiber is used for parts that need extra strength. That makes the scale model light, strong and affordable." The pylons connecting the engines and the landing gear to the scale model were designed by CAD expert Daniel Atherstone: "By using a new version of our design software that has topology optimisation I was able to find the right balance between stiffness and weight." But the team also came across an unexpected set-back: the filler they were planning to use to attach the winglets to the wingtips will make the aircraft just a little too heavy. The nacelle covers for the two electric ducted fan engines mounted on top of the scale model also had to be lightweight. Brown: “The engines are from a German supplier, but we designed the nacelles specifically for this scale model. They now ensure good aerodynamics of the aircraft and engines and they’re lightweight, because we only used one layer of carbon fiber for them.” Control and measurements The scale model has intricate control and measurement electronics on board. Team member Alberto Ruiz Garcia: “We have both on-board control systems that ensure good control of the drone, and sensors and computers that measure and communicate the flight characteristics of the model. There is also an autopilot on the aircraft that can safely return the aircraft in case the pilot loses signal.” To reduce the risks the team chooses to implement an off-the-shelf operating system for drones, but the measuring instruments are tailor-made and the interfaces are designed in-house. Foam balls The team luckily came up with a solution for the heavy winglet filler: “We added polystyrene balls to the filler. A solution that had been used for other types of glue and resin, but never for this particular filler. In the end it enabled us to reduce the weight sufficiently while maintaining the stiffness of the connection.” Current weight of the model: 24.8 kilograms. KLM100 In the end the deadline also worked out well. On September 30, Malcom and Alberto - carefully - brought the scale model to Schiphol with a truck. From 3 to 13 October, around 65,000 people will visit the scale model during the KLM Experience Days. These take place in honour of the 100th anniversary of KLM. Afterwards the scale model will come back to the Aircraft Hall. Precision work is still to be done on the control surfaces on the skin of the model and the batteries will have to be properly connected along with a thorough systems test. Brown: “But the time pressure will stay. Our next deadline is coming up: getting ready for the flight tests. We were always confident that it would work. Brown Malcom Brown M.T.H.Brown@tudelft.nl This is a story from Aerospace Engineering Related stories Bringing silent aviation closer Roboats in Amsterdam Intelligent, self-floating wind turbines

TU Delft’s team Silverwing reaches the finals of the GoFly Prize

By Heather Montague As one of five finalists in the Boeing sponsored GoFly Prize, TU Delft’s own team Silverwing aims to win with its S1 design, a personal flying motorcycle. Although it might seem like something out of a science fiction movie, human flight may soon become a reality. By founding the GoFly Prize, CEO Gwen Lighter set out to stimulate innovation in the development of personal flying devices. The three-phase global competition, announced in November 2017, aims to foster the development of safe, quiet, ultra-compact, near-VTOL (vertical take-off and landing) personal flying devices capable of flying twenty miles while carrying a single person. Making people fly TU Delft’s Silverwing came into being when two aerospace students put together a small team to submit a concept for the first phase of GoFly. When their idea was selected as one of the top ten out of hundreds of entries, Technical Manager Victor Sonneveld, a master’s student, and Team Manager James Murdza (BSc 2018) quickly pulled together a larger multi-disciplinary team. It has since grown to 34 students representing ten nationalities and nearly every faculty at TU Delft. In March, team Silverwing learned they had been chosen as one of the top five designs by GoFly. During this second phase of the competition, teams had to present a more detailed design and built various test set-ups, including a half-scale prototype. The S1, a tailsitter aircraft, rotates 90 degrees to take off and land on its tail, requiring no runway and less space than a car. “It’s basically a flying motorcycle, but what makes it special is that it takes off and lands vertically,” said Ruben Forkink, an aerospace graduate and Silverwing Chief of Partnerships & Business Development. “At the desired altitude you transition from vertical to horizontal flight and then you basically ride it like a motorcycle and transport yourself from A to B. Then you transition back from horizontal flight to land vertically on your tail.” Going beyond the call Although it was not a requirement of the competition, the S1 is battery powered, fully electric and able to fly autonomously. “We’re one of the few teams that opted to go completely electric,” said Nisarg Thakrar, an aerospace master’s student and member of the Silverwing structures team. “From our point of view, to be successful, it has to achieve the modern requirements, being electric and autonomous.” And although the limitations of battery technology make it challenging to carry the required amount of weight, making it autonomous means that the S1 could be used to transport packages, not just people. Students bring a lot to the table As competitions go, the GoFly Prize is unique in that it is open to anybody from anywhere in the world. “What’s really great and what makes us stand out is that we are the only undergrad team in the finals,” said Forkink. The other finalist teams include PhDs, researchers and companies with industry experience. “We have a lot of bachelor’s students on our team so it’s a challenge, but that’s what we really like,” noted Forkink. “We are able to combine the knowledge from all of these faculties and that makes us a real multidisciplinary team.” Putting hands-on education to work The aerospace faculty has played an integral role in Silverwing’s design and development process. According to Forkink, the team has members from all of the different tracks at aerospace, and knowledge gained in the classroom has been useful. “We have students that go to their lecture and 30 minutes later they come here and start working on what they just learned.” And Thakrar believes the master’s programme structures track has been a huge asset in the design of the S1. “We do most of our own work, but we do have limitations and at that point we can consult with professors as well as external parties that help us,” he said. “In my opinion, one of the best ways to be a good engineer is through application, not only through books and this project has been a great way to support that idea.” The final stage Team Silverwing is currently finalising the S1 design to prepare for manufacturing and they hope to have a test flight by the end of this year. In early 2020, they will participate in a final fly-off in the United States. During this last stage of the competition, the aircraft must take off vertically, cover an eleven-kilometre course and then land again vertically. Points will be awarded for low noise levels, size (the smaller the better) and speed. The winning team will receive a US$ 1 million grand prize. "GoFly is excited to see Team Silverwing-- a young team made up of many undergraduates-- competing with established companies and veterans of the industry, and holding their own,” said Lighter. “Team Silverwing brings novel innovation and out-of-the-box thinking to their personal flyer. We look forward to seeing Team Silverwing at the GoFly Final Fly Off next year, and we can’t wait to see them change the world." On April 30, 2019 Silverwing will unveil their award-winning design for the S1 to the general public. Want to see it? Click here .

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