Flight Mechanics, Flight Control and Aeroelasticity

FlightSim – Flight Simulation of Innovative Movables

FlightSim is a research project in the joint MOVE.ON project led by Airbus and funded by the German Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology as part of the National Aeronautics Research Program (LuFo IV). The aim is to build and develop a computer-aided tool for evaluating the flight performance and flight characteristics of commercial aircraft with novel high-lift systems.


High-lift aids are used on commercial aircraft for takeoff and landing. These are extended during takeoff to increase the lift coefficient and thus shorten the takeoff distance. During landing, high lift coefficients lead to a reduction in approach and touchdown speeds and can also affect the flyable descent rates and runway angles.

The major cause limiting high lift coefficients is flow separation. Therefore, new high-lift concepts with passive or even active flow control are being investigated for future commercial aircraft, which should ensure that flow separation only occurs at higher angles of attack and higher lift coefficients compared to conventional concepts.

In order to be able to investigate the influences of such new concepts on flight dynamics at an early stage, a computer-aided tool (tool) is being developed as part of this research project. This will be used to compare and evaluate different designs in terms of flight characteristics and flight performance. The results will be used in the design of the high-lift configuration.

Objectives and Methods

The aim of the project is the flight-mechanical evaluation of aircraft with novel and innovative high-lift concepts by means of a computer-aided tool.

In the first phase of the project, criteria will be identified and compiled that will make it possible to examine and evaluate an aircraft in terms of its flight performance and flight characteristics as early as the preliminary design stage. These criteria will be integrated into a software tool that uses, among other things, a flight simulation as the basis for calculating the flight dynamics. The same flight simulation will be implemented in a research flight simulator so that flight simulations with pilots are also possible.

In the second phase of the project, pilot tests will be conducted from which criteria for the design process will be derived. Approaches and departures will be simulated so that the interaction between the modified high-lift system and common, but also novel, approach and departure procedures can be investigated and evaluated.

Tasks of the TU-Berlin

Tasks of the TU Berlin include the following:

  •     In cooperation with the project partners, it will be specified which requirements and criteria are to be considered in the flight mechanical evaluation of flight performance and flight characteristics. Furthermore, it will be determined which parameters of the high-lift configurations are to be considered.
  •     A tool will be created that uses the previously researched criteria to evaluate various aircraft designs with novel control surfaces.
  •     A flight simulation will be incorporated into this tool, which will allow the behavior of the aircraft under investigation and criteria based on it to be calculated in fast time.
  •     This flight simulation will also be implemented on the SEPHIR research flight simulator for studies with pilots in real time.
  •     The tool will be extended to include additional input parameters such as atmospheric disturbances, flight procedures, etc.
  •     Sensitivity studies, Monte Carlo simulations or worst-case scenarios will be performed with DLR's multiobjective parameter synthesis (MOPS) optimization tool, which is part of the tool.

Work Program

AP1/2Definition of the evaluation criteria for flight characteristics
AP3Creation of the simulation environment/tool chain and validation tests
AP4Pilot tests and evaluation of control surfaces

Project Partners

Project partner in the FlightSim project

  • Airbus Operations GmbH
  • EADS Deutschland GmbH (EADS Innovation Works)
  • Technische Universität Berlin

Other partners in the joint project MOVE.ON.

  • Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt e.V. ( Institut für Faserverbundleichtbau und Adaptronik, Braunschweig)
  • GOM mbH; Branschweig
  • Liebherr-Aerospace Lindenberg GmbH (LLI)
  • Technische Universität München
  • Universität Stuttgart
  • Wittenstein A&S
  • ZF Luftfahrt