SAFE-LabSustainable Aviation Flight Experiment Lab


T.J. Mulder
Mekelweg 15, 2629 JB Delft

Worldwide aviation climate goals aim for zero emissions in 2050. The Sustainable Aviation Flight Experimental Laboratory is a unique research environment accelerating sustainable aviation solutions by linking fundamental and applied research through ground based testing and in-flight demonstration. The Lab covers the complete innovation chain from design and development to manufacturing, modification, certification and (flight)testing.
One lab with one scientific vision will establish the Netherlands as a forerunner in Europe on the key challenges in sustainable aviation and serves the complete Dutch aviation research and educational community.
Goals (10yrs):
• World class living research laboratory
• Implement and evaluate a (hybrid) propulsion system in general aviation.
• Establish guidelines for hybrid electric technology and other sustainable solutions on commercial transport aircraft
• Develop strategies for refueling infrastructures for Dutch airports

This facility strategically connects and expands two living laboratories and a flight simulator centre with a specific focus on sustainable aviation.

Within this framework the fundamental and applied research is divided in four aligned research programs and development areas:
1) Sustainable solutions: Accelerate energy efficient propulsion system innovations in (general) aviation based on ground testing and in-flight demonstration.
2) Implementation: Modification, Construction, Manufacturing, Maintenance, Certification, Airworthiness, Operation and Test Flights
3) Aircraft and environmental impact characteristics: Aerodynamics, Performance, Control, Handling Qualities, Propulsion, Noise, Emissions, and Contrails....
4) Infrastructure: refueling, recharging or fuel cell replacement stations

The unique feature of the Lab is connecting the living laboratories at Rotterdam The Hague Airport and International Airport Teuge with the existing fixed base Simulator (HMI lab), Full flight SIMONA research Simulator (SRS) at the TU Delft, and the research aircraft Citation II (PH-LAB) at Rotterdam The Hague Airport.

At the two airport locations several flying testbeds are foreseen including the PH-LAB, to cover both general aviation as well as specific innovations in the commercial air transport that demand higher and faster operations;

The Lab consists of offices with working stations for the research departments and test flight organization to study, design, develop innovations, operate and maintain the flying testbeds. Next to flight operations activities, to prepare the flight test plans and ensures safe operation a construction lab to manufacture the sustainable modifications to the flying testbeds is foreseen.

Multiple flying testbeds will be necessary to be able to test innovative sustainable solutions from the range of low and slow flight <150kts@1000ft> up to <350kts@FL430. The specifications of the flying testbeds will be complementary: To study novel low emissino aircraft propulsion one of the testbeds will be modifies to operate with an actual hybrid-electric engine (Multi engine piston aircraft). Furthermore, new cockpit displays will be tested that allow low energy flight, and flying in low noise and low fuel continuous descent approaches (PHLAB). The research simulator will be used in the development and initial validation of these innovations, in preparation for in-flight validation with actual flight tests.

The flying testbeds are multi-mission aircraft, to be fully instrumented and computer equipped to perform a variety of research test flights on sustainable innovations, with a datalink to ground control rooms for real-time data access and control. The modifications will leverage existing flight test instrumentation expertise present at TU Delft.

This will enable research on verifying and quantifying the reduction on environmental impact. Additionally, specialized equipment (such as an acoustic cameras) for the measurement of noise and emissions form an essential part of the experimental hardware. Air quality measurements are foreseen to validate the measurements of the Ruysdael observatory, CESAR and satellites.

Aansluiting bij strategische ontwikkelingen
Kwaliteit van de omgeving
Logistiek en transport in een energieke, innovatieve en duurzame samenleving