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Composites and 3Dprinting technologies for an innovative wing to be investigated and developed in Aitiip Technology Centre.

Heron is the third aeronautical project coordinated by Aitiip Technology Centre within the CleanSky framework (Horizon 2020 European programme)

Aeronautics is one of the EU’s key high-tech sectors on the global market, as it provides more than 500,000 jobs and generates a turnover of close to EUR 140 billion. This growing market is also concerned by the climate crisis and the whole sector is researching for innovative and efficient flights that reduce fuel consumption and CO2 production.

This commitment is also addressed by Aitiip Technology Centre, which apply innovative materials and digitalisation production technics bringing solutions to actual and future productions needs in different sectors, as the railway and aeronautic sector.

In this sense a new project is being launched today at Zaragoza, entitled “HERON - Fully controlled RTM tooling and high deposition rate ALM technologies for cost-effective and sustainable manufacturing of hybrid laminar wing demonstrator”. This project, coordinated by Aitiip Technology Centre and framed in the CleanSky-H2020 program research, also accounts with a British SME, Alchemie LTD.

The overall objective of HERON project, which will span for two years and a half, is to develop and manufacture a comprehensive set of innovative, cost-effective and sustainable tooling for RTM processes as well as the use of high deposition rate ALM technologies, aiming at improving the energy and resource efficiency of the manufacturing of a leading edge and trailing edge for integration on aeronautical demonstrator.

Figure 1: Modular RTM tool for HERON leading edge
Figure 1: Modular RTM tool for HERON leading edge

To this end, four innovative technologies and manufacturing approaches will be combined and demonstrated at operational environments in aeronautic sector. In this sense HERON project will end with all the tooling required to manufacture, at the end of the project, a leading and trailing edge to be tested in land with functional checks.

The leading edge will include hybrid laminar flow control (HLFC) surfaces. HLFC is an active drag reduction technology used to delay the transition of air over the aircraft surface from laminar to turbulent flow which has many performance benefits for the aircraft such as fuel consumption reduction.

Berta Gonzalvo, research director at Aitiip Technology Centre stated that “this is the third coordinated project by Aitiip in the aeronautic sector and we are very proud of confirming our commitment within this sector. We started with the automotive sector and now aeronautics and railway are also part of the core of the solutions that we are offering to the whole transport market”.

The team

HERON consortium consists of one research organisation with extensive experience in aeronautical projects and one SME specialised in the formulation and manufacture of Epoxy and Polyurethane Polymer resin systems. The complementary capabilities of the HERON covers all the special skills, capabilities, certification expected for this sector.

Aitiip Technology Centre aims to help companies overcome their current and future technological challenges in a sustainable way. Aitiip performs this thanks to entity commitment, expertise and human talent through innovation and technology leadership.

Aitiip Technology Centre is currently providing tooling and parts to several aeronautical companies (AIRBUS GROUP, GRUPO AERNNOVA, ESA, SERRA AERONAUTICA, AEROTECNIC, GRUPO AERONAUTICO ACITURRI, INDRA, MTORRES and EMBRAER among others). AITIIP facilities are being used for providing innovative large aeronautical parts with quality standards.

Alchemie Ltd is a privately owned SME which has been established for almost 30 years. The company specialise in the formulation and manufacture of Epoxy and Polyurethane Polymer resin systems. The company’s proactive approach to product development has enabled the company to develop bespoke resin systems for specific applications within the Nuclear, Oil and Gas, Automotive, Film, Formula 1, TV and Military industries.

CleanSky program

Clean Sky is the largest European research programme developing innovative, cutting-edge technology aimed at reducing CO2, gas emissions and noise levels produced by aircraft. Funded by the EU’s Horizon 2020 programme, Clean Sky contributes to strengthening European aero-industry collaboration, global leadership and competitiveness.

This project has received funding from the Clean Sky 2 Joint Undertaking (JU) under grant agreement No 831751. The JU receives support from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme and the Clean Sky 2 JU members other than the Union.

 clean-sky  eu

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