At PZL Mielec, a Lockheed Martin Company, has been conducted a flight test with composite engine nacelle on M28 aircraft. The design of the composite engine nacelle, manufactured from innovative technologies is being developed by Łukasiewicz Research Network – Institute of Aviation and seven entities consortium as part of SAT-AM project (More Affordable Small Aircraft Manufacturing) with European Commission co-financing.
On December 2020, PZL Mielec successfully completed flight test with composite engine nacelle on M28 aircraft. It was a very important milestone in the Clean Sky 2 project the aim of which is to develop innovative technologies for the manufacturing of the aircraft structures.
Earlier, at the beginning of 2020, PZL Mielec and their Consortium Partners, conducted a static test of the first composite engine nacelle. After that, Łukasiewicz Research Network – Institute of Aviation and Zakłady Lotnicze Margański & Mysłowski has produced the second copy dedicated for flight test stage.
The successfully completed flight test, confirmed the project assumptions and the suitability of the developed solutions for future structural changes in aviation.
Research and development activities are carried out under CLEAN SKY 2 program financed by European Commission. The goal of performing activities is to develop innovative design processes and manufacturing technologies in order to increase aircraft flight safety while reducing manufacturing costs. The new, composite engine nacelle, developed as part of SAT-AM project, could replace the traditional metal structure, thus reducing the weight of current design by at least 10 %.
As part of project activities, a full scale ground demonstrator of M28 aircraft cabin was built and assembled with use of innovative technologies, such as: friction stir welding, additive manufacturing (aka 3D printing), block structures, high speed machining, out of autoclave composites and superhydrophobic coatings. Application of above-mentioned technologies, results in reduction of parts used by about 35%, reduction in the number of joints, what will cause the significant lead times reduction of production and assembly.
Total project budget is over €9m of which funding from European Commission amounts to €6m.
Deadline of project is planned for the end of 2021 and will be preceded by detailed analysis of performed researches and further activities related to the optimization of design and technological processes of composite engine nacelle.
The SAT-AM project Consortium is composed of eight entities including Łukasiewicz Research Network – Institute of Aviation, Polskie Zakłady Lotnicze Sp. z o.o., Eurotech, Szel-Tech, P.W. “Metrol”, Ultratech, Zakłady Lotnicze Margański & Mysłowski and Italian Aerospace Research Entity (CIRA).
Source: PZL Mielec
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