Concept and Objectives:

The European Aerospace industry has developed significantly over the past 30 years, with many of its businesses established and recognised worldwide as technical leaders in aerospace engineering and manufacturing. To maintain this position the industry has to continue to develop its technical know-how. The COALESCE2 Project is an industrial collaboration study of new technology and design integration applied to aircraft fixed leading edge structure. A typical short range aircraft will be used as the platform for the studies because this type of product cost efficiency has a much greater significance for both airline and aircraft manufacturers. The predominant research activity will be to explore how the application of newly matured material and process technologies can be used to create new innovative, leading design solutions that offer simplified manufacturing and assembly routes and allow easy access to systems installations housed within the structure. There is also a growing interest in exploring other flight control mechanisms, not just those most common today, to understand whether they would better enable step change in aircraft performance and cost targets to be met. COALESCE2 is incorporating this possibility in its studies through development of structural design concepts that would support alternative mechanisms.

The primary aims are:

  • To determine ways of achieving fixed, leading structural design that is over 30% more cost efficient than the highly fabricated structure that has been standard on aircraft for over 30 years;
  • To examine and develop technology and integrated design options suitable for conventional and less conventional flight control mechanisms and show how they compare in enabling achievement of the challenging cost target;
  • To demonstrate, through simulation, both the manufacturing/assembly process and the structural performance, showing the developed design and technology solutions meeting defined critical criteria. These will include the ability to both house, and have good access, to systems installations.