Concept and Objectives:

The aim of the NOVEMOR (NOvel Air VEhicle Configurations: From Fluttering Wings to MORphing Flight) research project is to investigate novel air vehicle configurations with new lifting concepts and morphing wing solutions to enable cost-effective air transportation. A multidisciplinary analysis and design optimization environment developed in an earlier EU Project (SIMSAC) will be used and improved to include analysis of novel configurations such as the joined-wing concept for improved lift and morphing wing solutions as an integral part of the aircraft conceptual design, rather than just as an add-on later in the design cycle. Such concepts will enable improved aircraft efficiencies, aerodynamic performance, reduced structural loads and lighter weight.

The NOVEMOR project will focus on the following primary objectives:

  1. Design and evaluation of a new aircraft concept, the joined-wing configuration, including structural, aerodynamic and aeroelastic simulations and analysis, flight testing of an aeroelastically scaled remotely piloted vehicle and multidisciplinary design optimization techniques. This configuration will be evaluated against a conventional reference aircraft.
  2. Morphing wing solutions (span and camber strategies and wing-tip devices) will be proposed to enhance lift capabilities and manoeuvering. These will be considered early in the design process, right from the beginning of aircraft design cycle, included in the conceptual design.
  3. Design, testing and evaluation of several adaptive/morphing concepts and mechanisms as part of a conceptual design environment, capable of augmenting performance characteristics in terms of drag reduction, loads reduction, weight and noise impact reduction;
  4. To evaluate the overall benefits of these new concepts in terms of improved lift capabilities.

NOVEMOR Results in brief:

Promising new wing concepts for more efficient air transport

An EU initiative has advanced aircraft lifting technology beyond the state-of-the-art. Modelling and design tools, novel configurations and wind tunnel test procedures should speed up commercialisation of greener aircraft.

Novel wing designs that reduce drag not only support lift but can also reduce fuel consumption and associated costs and emissions. With this in mind, the EU-funded NOVEMOR (Novel air vehicles configurations: From fluttering wings to morphing flight) project set out to improve performance by investigating a novel joined-wing configuration and the use of wings that change their shape.

Project partners examined the benefits and application of morphing technology in aircraft. They proposed morphing wing solutions such as span and camber strategies and wing tip devices to enhance lift capabilities and manoeuvring. Software tools were developed for the design of the morphing concepts and mechanisms.

A reference aircraft was defined to serve as a benchmark for assessing the potential performance benefits of morphing devices and the joined-wing configuration. The morphing mechanisms and concepts were then applied to the newly developed aircraft configurations.

Team members analysed the stability, flight mechanics and aerodynamic performance of all the concepts applied to the regional jet and joined-wing aircraft. No issues were reported. The morphing concepts and joined-wing configuration were successfully validated through wind tunnel tests.

The overall benefits of the concepts were assessed by considering elements such as weight fluctuations and lift and drag.

NOVEMOR outcomes should significantly decrease the costs of design and development as well as aeroplane operation costs and emissions. Perhaps equally important, it will help put the EU in a leadership position regarding efficient and environment friendly air transport.

Public Documents

NOVEMOR Final Report

Open Access

Knowledge-Based Shape Optimization of Morphing Wing for More Efficient Aircraft
Alessandro De Gaspari; Sergio Ricci
Hindawi Publishing Corporation International Journal of Aerospace Engineering, Vol 2015 (2015) 2015

Bench Top Test of a Droop Nose With Compliant Mechanism
Riemenschneider, Johannes; Vasista, Srinivas; Van de Kamp, Bram; Monner, Hans Peter2015