There has been an increasing need for innovative repair solutions in the aerospace industry, both for metallic and composite structures, to restore structural integrity or to reinforce areas prone to damage. These repair solutions could reduce operating costs by providing easy and low-cost repair procedures, extending economic life significantly while also guaranteeing airworthiness and flight safety.
The AEROPLAN project, which was completed in February 2014, aimed to disseminate (to all the levels of the aeronautical industry) the knowledge generated within EC-funded research projects, focusing on real-life applications and innovative repair solutions.
The outcome of the project will enable the processing and evolution of the knowledge throughout the different Technology Readiness Levels (TRLs), within time, instead of being constrained only to scientific publications and conferences.
Improved aircraft design through innovation
During the last ten years, the European Commission (EC) has funded research projects providing composite-based aircraft repair solutions through the development of innovative elements that could assist in performing safer and more efficient repairs in a faster and more economical way. These innovations have been developed as the main or secondary target of a large number of upstream research projects. Their combination and adaptation into the aeronautical composite repair market is needed to maximise the impact of results facilitated by EC investment.
The research projects funded by the EC include dissemination and exploitation plans which, for the projects already finished, have been successfully concluded. However, research on similar topics (i.e. bonded composite repairs) is fragmented across many projects which mean that there is not an autonomous global overview of advancements available to stakeholders of the aeronautical industry.
The AEROPLAN project has aimed to fill this gap by disseminating the technological innovations from the COMPRES, SENARIO, PLASER, INDUCER, IAPETUS, COMPAIR EXPECT, INDUCTOR, COMPARE and ADVANCED, and targeted all the key players of the aeronautical industry. The project has ensured that both existing aircraft and future designs would benefit from these innovations.
For further information, please visit the project website at www.aeroplanproject.eu.