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EASN supported projects

Completed Projects / Research projects


CELPACT is an upstream research project concerned with development of breakthrough technologies and design tools for future airframe structures with high efficiency and safety. It has been prioritised by the European Aeronautical Scientific Network EASN. The consortium from five European countries contains seven leading universities with research institutes and aircraft industry partners. The coordination of CELPACT is assigned to DLR (German National Aerospace Research Center) and dr. Alastair Johnson.



Corrosion management concepts utilising the application and integration of corrosion predictive tools for corrosion occurrence and corrosion propagation will be a driver for new technical advances in the field of corrosion maintenance and in development of new structural designs, materials and processes for surface protection. Additional benefits can be expected by reduced time to market for new products.

SICOM will develop a numerical microscale model to simulate localised corrosion of Al-Alloys with regard to microstructure and the micro-electrochemical condition. It will provide corrosion rates of Al-Alloys in the mesoscale of occluded cells by means of numerical calculation as a function of physical and geometrical factors for given macro-environments to simulate crevice corrosion. A numerical model for prediction of galvanic corrosion behaviour will be developed and up-scaled for application to structural elements of aircraft. The influence of surface treatment on modelling results will be included with regard to inhibitor release from protection systems, role of clad layer and oxide degrading effects. A decision support tool will be established to enable exploitation and implementation of the project results in scientific and technical applications.

SICOM will provide models that can become an essential part of future predictive maintenance concepts to avoid unanticipated and unscheduled maintenance with high costs. Data from monitoring systems and non-destructive inspection can be used as model input. Models output will be utilised for the repair decision process or can supply structural integrity concepts and hereby fill the gap between monitoring or inspection and calculation of the structural impact of corrosion. Aircraft development costs will be reduced through saving on testing time and quantity. The prediction models can be combined with expert systems and databases for a more efficient and reliable development and selection of materials.



The scientific and technological objectives of SICOM are:

 I. Definition of modelling parameters that represent corrosion condition and in-service experience of aircraft

II. Development of a numerical micro-scale model to simulate localised corrosion of Al- Alloys with regard to micro-structure and the micro-electrochemical condition

III. Determine the corrosion rate of Al-Alloys in the meso-scale of occluded cells by means of numerical calculation as a function of physical and geometrical factor for given macro-environment.

IV. Development of a basic numerical model for prediction of galvanic corrosion behaviour and upscale it for application to structural elements of aircraft

V. Analysis and integration of the impact of surface treatment of modelling results with regard to inhibition release effect on corrosion rate, clad layer influence and oxide degrading effects.

VI. Development of a decision tool to link different model of different scales and model validation



  • EADS Corporate Research Centre Germany
  • Airbus Deutschland GmbH
  • EADS Corporate Research Centre France
  • Computational Mechanics International Limited
  • Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Testing and Research
  • University of Bourgogne
  • University of Erlangen
  • Sheffield Hallam University
  • University of Patras
  • Warsaw University of Technology




Extended Non-Destructive Testing of Composite Bonds

Even though composite materials are already used in the manufacturing of structural components in aeronautics industry a consequent light-weight design of CFRP primary structures is limited due to a lack of adequate joining technologies. In general, adhesive bonding is the optimum technique for joining CFRP light-weight structures, but difficulties in assessing the bond quality by non-destructive testing (NDT) limit its use for aircraft structural assembly. In consequence certification by the regulation authorities is restrictive. In order to implement robust and reliable quality assurance procedures for adhesive bonding, the main objective of ENCOMB is the identification, development and adaptation of methods suitable for the assessment of the adhesive bond quality. Since the performance of adhesive bonds depends on the physico-chemical properties of adherend surfaces and adhesives, testing methods for adhesive and adherend surface characterisation will also be developed.

The implementation of reliable adhesive bonding processes by advanced quality assurance will lead to an increased use of light-weight composite materials for highly integrated structures minimising rivet based assembly. The expected weight savings for the fuselage airframe are up to 15 %. These weight savings will have further effects on the size and weight of the engines. From the overall weight savings, significant reductions in fuel consumption (direct costs) and hence CO2 emissions per passenger-kilometre will result. In ENCOMB, a multidisciplinary consortium of 14 partners from top-level European research organisations, universities and industries brings together leading experts from all relevant fields. The participation of three major European aircraft manufacturers as well as one SME ensures the consideration of relevant application scenarios, technological specifications and use of the full exploitation potential of the results.

More information is available on the ENCOMB website www.encomb.eu


Innovative Manufacturing of complex Ti sheet component

The INMA project aims at developing an intelligent knowledge-based (KB) flexible manufacturing technology for titanium shaping that will lead to drastically reduce current aircraft development costs incurred by the fabrication of complex titanium sheet components with a minimal environmental impact. In particular, this project aims at strengthening European aircraft industry competitiveness, by transforming the current non-flexible and cost intensive forming processes into a rapid and agile manufacturing process. This brand new technology, based on Asymmetric incremental sheet forming (AISF), will transform the way many titanium sheet aeronautical components such as after pylon fairings, fan blades, exhaust ducts or air collectors are manufactured today. The innovative, cost-efficient and ecological forming technology to shape complex geometries in titanium that will contribute to strengthen the European aircraft industry competitiveness meeting society?s needs.

Currently, aircraft industry uses complicated and cost intensive forming processes to shape complex Ti sheet components, such as deep drawing, hot forming, super plastic forming (SPF) and hydroforming. In some cases parts are even obtained by hand working. These techniques show severe drawbacks which include high costs, long industrialisation phases and high energy consumption rates. On the contrary, main features of the innovative AISF technology to be developed will be an increased flexibility, cost reduction, minimised energy consumption and a speed up in the industrialisation phase.

The major impacts of the results obtained in the INMA project will be:
  • Cost incurred by dedicated tooling will be reduced in a 80%
  • The component lead times will decrease in a 90%
  • Buy-to-fly ratios will be up to a 20% lower

The INMA Consortium is integrated by 2 end-users, 1 equipment provider, 4 research organisations, 3 universities and the EASN association. Participation of industrial partners who will directly exploit the project results will guarantee the impact of the project.

More information is available on the project website www.inmaproject.eu


CREDO - 'Cabin noise Reduction by Experimental and numerical Design Optimization'is a Specific Targeted Research or innovation Project (STREP) within the 6th European Framework Programme, Priority [4] Aeronautics and Space, whose scientific coordinator is the Dept. of Mechanics, Universita' Politecnica delle Marche (It).



Advanced Low-Cost Aircraft Structures


The ALCAS project will maintain and enhance the competitive position of the European Aerospace industry, in the face of significant challenges from strong global competition. The specific aim is to contribute to reducing the operating costs of relevant European aerospace products by 15%, through the cost-effective, full application of carbon fibre composites to aircraft primary structures. The target products range from business jets to large civil airliners.

Project objectives

The objective for airliner platforms is a 20% weight saving, with a zero increase in recurring cost against metallic structures. The wing platform will build on the TANGO outer wing, from the TANGO Fifth Framework Programme (FP5) Technology Platform project, to address the most challenging parts of the inner wing structure, including engine and landing gear attachment. The fuselage platform will investigate the impact of complex fuselage design features, enhanced damage capability and system integration requirements. It is also expected to show that maintenance costs will be reduced, taking advantage of less fatigue and corrosion.

The objective for business jet platforms is a 20-30% reduction in recurring costs, with a 10% weight saving against metallic structures. The wing platform will focus on high-structural integration. Validation will be through design, manufacture and test of a full-scale wing of partial length, and a full-scale rear fuselage with sandwich construction, vertical and horizontal tailplanes and engine attachment, which will consider system installation constraints.
Description of the work

The project is organized into four technical platforms, as outlined below.

"Airliner Wing" covers the design, manufacture and testing of an inner wing and centre box of a large civil airliner, focusing on the centre box to lateral wing root joint, landing gear and pylon integration, and the highly loaded, complex curvature lower cover. The knowledge and experience gained from this platform will build on that gained from the wing platforms during the TANGO project, and will enable the full application of carbon fibre composites to primary wing structures.

"Airliner Fuselage" builds upon the knowledge gained from the TANGO Composite Fuselage platform for current fuselage areas. This platform is the next logical step towards the application of a composite fuselage to a large civil airliner. It covers component tests to address key fuselage challenges and complex design features, including large cut-outs and large damages in curved panels, keel beam and landing gear load introduction, tyre-impact damage, post-buckling and elementary crash analysis.

"Business Jet Wing" covers the application of carbon fibre composites to business jet wings, focusing on reducing costs by combining parts into an integrated wing structure, and includes architecture studies to identify the best wing joint configuration. Current technology is seen as prohibitively expensive for business jet applications, and this research is aimed at developing and validating a cost-effective solution. A business jet-sized wing structure will be designed, manufactured and tested.

The "Business Jet Fuselage" platform covers the research required for the application of carbon fibre composites to business jet fuselages. A double curved rear fuselage with a sandwich shell, vertical/horizontal tailplanes and engine integration will be studied. It will build on the FUBACOMP FP5 project, to provide the knowledge and experience for exploitation in real products. A business jet-sized rear fuselage structure will be designed, manufactured and tested.

Expected results

Expected results include down-selection results showing which innovative technologies offer the best cost/weight benefits for structural applications. It will also provide the knowledge and experience to offer a cost- and weight-effective, full composite wing, and composite business jet fuselage. Specific understanding will be developed on high-point load inputs into composite structures, high structural integration, novel materials and joining technologies, cost effective tooling and damage analysis.

More information can be found under http://alcas.twisoftware.com/index.html


Immersive interface technologies for life-cycle human-oriented activities in interactive aircraft-related virtual products - VISION

Although Virtual Reality (VR) has demonstrated a significant potential for interactive applications on product and process development, the proven quality of the underlying technologies is still far from satisfying the real-life needs of aerospace industrial practice.

VISION objective is to specify and develop key interface features in fundamental cornerstones of VR technology, namely in immersive visualization and interaction, so as to improve the flexibility, the performance and cost efficiency of human-oriented life cycle procedures, related to critical aircraft-related virtual products (e.g. virtual cabin, virtual assembly etc.).

VISION will follow an upstream research approach, in view of improving the underlying VR technologies, which are considered critical for the human-oriented life-cycle use of the future aircraft-related virtual products.  Human factors and their implications in human-machine interaction within the aircraft-related products will be considered in the definition of the technology specification framework.  The approach of VISION will involve :
a)    specific human-oriented developments on visualization and interaction simulation features, such as real-time rendering, global illumination, marker-less body tracking, smart objects interaction and interaction metaphors
b)    an integration of the features in a common IT platform, which will enable the launch of multi-disciplinary activities around a virtual prototype that ensures human immersion in complete context, 
c)    a validation based on test cases, which will consider the simulation of different aspects of the aircraft lifecycle (e.g. virtual assembly operations, immersive tasks execution in cabin by crew or passengers, etc.).

The achievements of VISION will enhance the credibility of the human-in-the loop aircraft-related VR simulations.  They will further enhance the engineering context of the aircraft-related virtual products by enabling their increased use for activities, such as design verification, ergonomics validation, specifications of equipment displays, operational and situational training. They are also expected to improve the human-oriented functionality and usage of these virtual products along their life-cycle.

The project consortium is coordinated by the Laboratory for Manufacturing Systems & Automation (Director Prof G. Chryssolouris), University of Patras, and includes the following organizations:
  • EADS Deutschland GmbH
  • EADS France Innovation Works
  • Universitat des Saarlandes
  • VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland
  • Vienna University of Technology
More information may be found on the project web-site: http://www.project-vision.eu/