Delft University of Technology – Faculty of Aerospace Engineering

The Faculty of Aerospace Engineering of the Delft University of Technology is the largest Aerospace Engineering faculty in Europe, with 237 academic staff, 85 support staff, 181 PhD candidates and 2395 students (MSc, BSc and Bridging class), covering almost all areas of aerospace engineering both with expertise and laboratory equipment. The faculty has 34% international students and an undergraduate and graduate programmes taught in English. The faculty of aerospace engineering is a member of the European PEGASUS and IDEA League university networks and the worldwide CDIO and GE3 (Global Engineering Education Exchange) networks. Its facilities include the SIMONA Advanced moving base flight simulator, a Cessna Citation II Flying classroom research facility (co-owned with the NLR), a space certified satellite clean room Class 100000 (ISO 8), several wind tunnels ranging from subsonic, transonic up to hypersonic (M6.0-M11) and laboratories for testing & manufacturing aerospace materials and aerospace structures.

The chair of Flight Performance and Propulsion (FPP) aims to train students to become multi-disciplinary engineers that will practice and improve Multidisciplinary Design, Analysis and Optimisation in industry, to search for better aircraft improvement of conventional configurations and investigation on novel concepts, as well as to improve designers’ productivity and life by addressing the unbalanced distribution of repetitive and creative work.

Within is group, the Flight Performance group focuses on advanced and innovative aircraft configurations, novel propulsion concepts, and aircraft engine integration. Our mission is to advance the design of innovative aircraft configurations and propulsion concepts, by exploration of new technologies to obtain novel or improved solutions, advances in flight physics to improve the prediction and simulation of air-vehicle performance, and new methods and tools to improve the quality and effectiveness of the design process. The knowledge and competences within the Flight Performance group are clustered in three key areas: aircraft design & design methodologies, flight mechanics, and propulsion integration.

Major technological advances in flight performance can be realized by new unconventional airplane designs. To support the development of such novel configurations new design methodologies are required that go beyond statistical and analytical methods. To that extent, design support tools are developed at FPP that are able to sustain the evolutionary improvement of current aircraft design, as well as to support the investigation of novel aircraft configurations. Implementation of a multidisciplinary design optimization (MDO) for a full aircraft design is an example of such a design methodology.

FPP will contribute to the IDEaliSM project with the investigation and development of advanced design methods & knowledge based tools to support multidisciplinary design optimization (MDO). FPP’s objectives and expectations within IDEaliSM are the following:

  1. Development of an MDO advisory system to lower the accessibility level of MDO technology in industry. This system will advise non-expert MDO users on the selection of a suitable MDO architecture. Then it will support the user in setting up a given MDO system and, finally, it will enable its dynamic integration in a commercial PIDO (Product Integration and Design Optimization PIDO) system
  2. Development of domain specific languages to support modelling and automatic generation of KBE applications for aircraft and wire-harness design
  3. Investigation of the opportunity of a new generation KBE system development