Apart from our own projects, we pursue a diverse amount of other projects which aren’t necessarily given an fs-designation.
The Solar Powered Sailplane of the University of Stuttgart
As part of flight tests to prepare the airplane for record setting flights, a number of changes were made to the airplane. After a failed takeoff, the Icaré II made a rough landing on an asphalt strip and was heavily damaged. Luckily, the wing, which was the most valuable part of the airplane thanks to the solar panels built into it, remained undamaged.
Since by that time most of the students who were involved with the construction of the airplane already completed their studies and were therefore unavailable, the Institut für Flugzeugbau (IFB, Institute of Aircraft Design) asked the Akaflieg Stuttgart to repair the solar powered aircraft. The next three months were then spent re-manufacturing the tail spar, the tailplane, the frontal fuselage, and other needed parts. Daniel Brauer, the IFB worker responsible for the aircraft, and the majority of active members were involved in repairing the Icaré II. For the reconstruction of the tail spar, a new tube was required. This was built on a massive metal tube with styrofoam ribs and was adjusted to fit the frontal fuselage. To give the empennage the right lever arm, the last piece of the tube was built inside a fuselage segment fixed to a rig. After 14 uninterrupted hours of work and multiple shifts to complete the reconstruction, the fuselage was quickly painted and polished during the last 24 hours before the departure to a fair in Leipzig. The amount of night shifts around the end of the repairs was pretty high. Unfortunately, no pictures exist of the finished fuselage since the whole project had to be finished quickly.
Further information on the solar-powered Icaré II can be found here.
We manufacture instrument panel covers, air ducts, control surface hinges, and other small parts for sailplane manufacturers. Other companies occasionally also request our expertise in the production of fiber composite parts.
Studenten programmieren – Segelflieger profitieren
AdaDMSt was born from a student project done by Michael “Mini” Muser, which was a sub-project from AdaPilot. At the time, we at the Akaflieg Stuttgart, along with the AdaDMSt, were responsible for evaluating results for the DMSt (German Cross-Country Flying Championship) in Baden-Württemberg. To further develop AdaDMSt, Peter Hermann looked for interested students who, as assistant researchers, could learn Ada and program the website and flight optimizations. The goal of this project is to create as simple a method to submit the data of one’s flight as is the case with today’s online contests and as was planned for the DMSt-Online contest this season, but which can’t be expected in the near future. A clear advantage of AdaDMSt is the use of an existing and proven evaluation software.
The Flight Recorder
During flight tests of sailplanes and other light airplanes, simple methods and aids are usually used, which often only give qualitative statements about the flight characteristics and flight performance of the aircraft. Quantitative results, when they can be determined, are usually imprecise and only meaningful if one takes an average value from multiple measurements.
In contrast, flight tests of larger airplanes usually involve more comprehensive measuring devices, which enable engineers and test pilots to record and give the necessary parameters which can complement descriptions of the flight, allowing for a more precise evaluation. Furthermore, the pilot can concentrate more on performing maneuvers instead of focusing on monitoring and documenting data from the instruments, which can also lead to mistakes in data acquisition.
In the context of flight tests and especially for exact modelling, also with regard to the simulation of existing or projected aircraft, such flight tests are indispensable, since the flight-mechanical characteristics of an aircraft cannot exactly be determined by calculation even today. In addition, aircraft can be compared more objectively.
It’s obvious that the equipments and procedures described above cannot easily be applied in the field of light aircraft testing as said equipments are too heavy, too voluminous and, last but not least, too expensive.
The aim of the work presented here was to develop and test a measuring system consisting of sensor packages, signal conditioning, a data acquisition unit, and the necessary software which is specially tailored to the requirements and limitations of light aircraft flight testing. The complete system is designed in such a way that it can be installed in any glider in a relatively short time and requires as few modifications as possible to the airframe of the aircraft.
The present thesis was carried out as a diploma thesis in the Academic Flight Group Stuttgart and was supervised by the IFR (Institute of Flight Mechanics and Control Engineering) of the University of Stuttgart.