Claims Reduced Drag, Resulting In Fewer Emissions
Three years after start of the Smart Fixed Wing Aircraft (SFWA)
project, a new unique wing demonstrator is presented for the first
time. Saab says the new wing panel is one of several new features
that will contribute substantially to reduce fuel consumption and
emissions for aircraft in the future. The company has developed the
new Smart Fixed Wing Aircraft (SFWA) wing panel demonstrator, which
is one step closer to achieve Clean Sky's vision; to radically
minimize adverse environmental impact from aviation by 2020.
"Because of the SFWA design, maintenance of laminar air flow is
possible, which decrease the aircrafts total drag by at least 5 %",
says Henrik Aslund, aerodynamicist.
Saab's contribution to the Clean Sky project is highly advanced
technological knowledge. The major challenge is to preserve laminar
air flow and avoid turbulent flow. Air flow is extremely sensitive
to small steps, gaps and waviness which disturbs the laminar flow
and makes it turbulent, thus increasing the friction imposed on the
wing. Saab, being an experienced composite design and manufacturer,
has new unique techniques which make the wing surfaces smooth
enough to maintain laminar flow.
"This new design which also includes an integrated Leading Edge
will impact the ways of building the future aircraft wing, reducing
the time for assembly and enhance the surface quality allowing the
laminar flow to be stable", says Thomas Hellstrom, Project Manager
Clean Sky. As a result of this, SFWA helps reduce drag. This, in
turn, reduces CO2 and NOx emissions as well as fuel consumption and
noise caused by aircraft.
"This is the most complex and highly advanced composite article
built by Saab. The panel has shown very good laminate and surface
quality , which verifies that the design and tooling concept has
proven to work", according to Jonas Bohlin, Sub-project manager,
Clean Sky SFWA, Saab.
A complete wing panel with a length of almost 10 meters will be
built by Saab in Linkoping 2013, and flight tested by Airbus on an
A340 aircraft in France during 2014. The SFWA panel demonstrator
was shown for the first time during Clean Sky's annual meeting on
March 17th in Linkoping, Sweden.