Clean Sky technology taking off in Europe.


New York (AirGuideBusiness - Business & Industry Features) Wings that reduce drag and advances in engine technology are contributing to the progress of Europe's Clean Sky initiative. Saab and Aernnova are working together to create a next-generation wing. Europe's Clean Sky joint technology initiative to reduce air transportas environmental footprint continues to progress as various bits of demonstration equipment are coming closer to making first flights. In Sweden, Saab has completed a natural-laminar-flow wing section, designed to reduce drag. Part of the Blade (Breakthrough Laminar Aircraft Demonstrator in Europe) flight demonstrator, it will soon arrive at Spainas Aernnova for the assembly phase of the wing. Airbus plans eventually to install it on its A340-300 MSN001 flight-test aircraft. Engineers designed the demonstrator to increase the length of the airflow that remains laminar (as opposed to turbulent) over the wing. Therefore, they must get rid of the fasteners that usually appear on the upper skin, ensuring optimal smoothness. A major contributor to reducing the number of fasteners involves attaching the leading edge to the rest of the wing skin. Rivets usually go through the skin, down to the substructure, explained Saab engineering manager Jonas Bohlin. On Blade, Saab has integrated the leading edge with the spar and the stringers in a single, co-cured composite architecture. The points that attach the panel to the wing box form part of the underside of the wing skin. As a result, on the outer surface, no fastener or gap will disturb the flow. The carbon-fiber subassembly will form part of the left wing of the...

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