Research at the Institute of Aircraft Design and Lightweight Structures

The institute was founded in 1938. The main research areas are the preliminary design of aircraft and the design and behavior of lightweight structures.

The main research activities in the field of aircraft design are the optimisation and evaluation of different aircraft concepts by an in-house computer program system also used by aircraft industry and DLR. The determination of load-spectra and the flutter-safety improvement of light aircraft are further activities in this field.

In the field of lightweight structures mainly investigations are performed on the static and dynamic strength behaviour of flight constructions, damage tolereance, on the geometrical and physical non-linear behaviour on structures by means of the finite element method and on the fatigue strength of fibre reinforced composites. These works are more and more orientated to numerical simulation and supercomputing to solve questions in structural mechanics. They comprise the integrated aerothermo-mechanical analysis of hypersonic vehicles (rescue vehicle X-38, CRT) and the numerical forecast of the properities of new materials (e.g. fibre-reinforced ceramics and metal laminates, micromechanic modelling). The developed coupling methods are also used for the analysis of aeroelastic problems on future transport aircrafts (e.g. megaliner).

The IFL is involved in several projects funded by national authorities, by the aircraft industry and by the European commission. Most of the latest projects are carried out in close cooperation with the aircraft industry and research institutes (DLR, national and European universities).

A larger part of the institute is an experimental department. The testing machines and instrumental equipment enable the institute to perform many types of material test procedures including static and dynamic testing of light aircraft structures. For numerical investigations high-performance PCs/workstations are available, having a network link to the mainframe computer of the TU Braunschweig the RRZN Hannover and Highperformance Computers in Stuttgart.

  last changed 28.11.2014
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