FSEG LOGO FIRE SAFETY ENGINEERING GROUP The Queen's Anniversary Prize 2002 The British Computer Society IT Awards 2001 The European IST Prize Winner 2003 The Guardian University Awards Winner 2014
The Faculty of Architecture, Computing & Humanities


The second NACRE (New Aircraft Concepts Research) Conference



NACRE is a 30-million Euros European R&T project, partly funded by the European Commission within the Sixth Framework Programme under Thematic Priority 4 Aeronautics and Space. The objective of the research is to create, develop, validate and integrate breakthrough technologies that will enable novel aircraft concept design to provide the aviation sector with significant improvements in aircraft efficiency, environmental performance, comfort and economics. The NACRE consortium gathers 36 organisations from 13 countries in Europe (including Russia).

The project was launched in April 2005 and is scheduled to run for four years. The research work is divided into three multidisciplinary work packages:
I. Wing system & control surfaces
II. Powerplant system design & integration
III. Cabin system & fuselage.

The conference aims to engage with a broad audience, including members of the wider Aeronautical, Scientific and Technology community to raise general awareness about recent technological advances on future aircraft configurations. Delegates will be able to share information on the drivers for research on unconventional aircraft concepts and on the NACRE project achievements to date.




2. TECHNICAL PROGRAMME (summary and abstract)

You can download a detailed technical programme here. In summary, the programme for the conference is:

Tuesday 8th July
18:00 – 21:00 Registration and Cocktail Reception.

Wednesday 9th July
08:00 – 08:30 Registration

08:30 – 08:45 Welcome address
Prof Ed Galea, Chair Local Organising Committee, FSEG University of Greenwich - UK

08:45 – 09:00 Conference Objectives
Dr Laurent Dala, Chair NAG, University of West England - UK

09:00 – 09:30 Keynote Address
Dr Joachim Szodruch, Co-Chair of ACARE, DLR - Germany

09:30 – 10:00 NACRE Highlights
Joao Frota, NACRE project coordinator, Airbus – France
Eric Maury, Stategy and Future Programmes, Airbus - France

10:00 – 10:30 Coffee break

10:30 – 12:30 Session 1

Chairman: Christiane Michaut
Aircraft Strategic Planning and Business Development, ONERA – France

10:30 – 11:00 Market Opportunities for Green Aviation Operations (TBC)
Philippe Jarry, Head of Strategic Marketing, Airbus – France

11:00 – 11:30 Airline Drivers for Future Aircraft Designs
Hal Calamvokis, Strategic Planning Manager, easyJet Airline Co. Ltd – UK

11:30 – 12:00 Novel Aircraft Concepts
João Frota, NACRE Project Coordinator, Airbus – France

12:00 – 12:30 An Innovative Evaluation Platform for New Aircraft Concepts
Peter Schmollgruber, Long Term Design & Systems Integration, ONERA – France

12:30 – 14:00 Lunch

14:00 – 16:00 Session 2

Chairman: Fernando Monge
Fluid Dynamics Branch Director, INTA – Spain

14:00 – 14:30 Unconventional Aircraft Configurations (TBC)
Ilan Kroo, Department of Aeronautics & Astronautics, Stanford University – USA

14:30 – 15.00 Novel Lifting Surfaces
Kevin Nicholls, Wing & Landing Gear Architect, Airbus – UK

15:00 – 15:30 Hybrid Layout Proposal for the High-Passenger Capacity Aircraft
Anatoly Bolsunovsky, TsAGI – Russia

15:30 – 16:00 Flight Test of the BWB X-48B (TBC)
Bob Liebeck, BWB Program Manager, Boeing Phantom Works – USA

16:00 – 16:30 Coffee break

16:30 – 18:00 Session 3

Chairman: Malcolm Smith
Technical Manager, ISVR Consulting, University of Southampton – UK

16:30 – 17:00 The Scope for Reducing the Environmental Impact of Air Travel
John Green, Chairman of Science & Technology Sub-Group, Greener by Design – UK

17:00 – 17:30 Novel Powerplant Installations
John Whurr, Future Programmes Engineering, Rolls Royce – UK

17:30 – 18:00 NACRE Wind Tunnel Test Campaign Dedicated to New Aircraft Concepts Study
Sebastien Aeberli, Acoustics Department, Snecma – France

19:30 -22:00 Conference Dinner in the “Painted Hall”

Thursday 10th July
08:00 – 08:30 Registration

08:30 – 10:00 Session 4

Chairman: Zdobyslaw Goraj
Warsaw University of Technology – Poland

08:30 – 09:00 Novel Fuselage Concepts
Lars Fiedler, Structure Design, Airbus – Germany

09:00 – 09:30 Improvement of Civil Airframes – Modern Trends and Directions
Georgy Zamula, Deputy Director Structures, TsAGI – Russia

09:30 – 10:00 Structural Concepts of Passenger Driven Aircraft (TBC)
Joerg Nickel, Institute of Composite Structures and Adaptive Systems, DLR – Germany

10:00 – 10:30 Coffee break

10:30 – 12:00 Session 5

Chairman: Hans Lobentanzer
Head of Systems Engineering, EADS IW – Germany

10:30 – 11:00 Design of Innovative Cabin Interiors (TBC)
Werner Granzeier, Department of Automotive Engineering and Aircraft Construction,
University of Hamburg – Germany

11:00 – 11:30 Boeing and Cranfield University BWB Airplane Egress Study
Bruce Wallace, Evacuation Systems Engineering, Boeing – USA

11:30 – 12:00 Fire and Evacuation analysis in BWB aircraft configurations: Computer Simulations and a Large-Scale Experimental Study.
Prof Ed Galea, Director Fire Safety Engineering Group, University of Greenwich – UK

12:00 – 12:30 Conference Wrap-up
with Liam Breslin, Head of DG RTD Aeronautics Unit, European Commission – Belgium


Session 1

1d An Innovative Evaluation Platform for New Aircraft Concepts
Peter Schmollgruber, ONERA – France

Aerospace industrials have always developed new airframes and new engines to meet the airline companies demands in terms of passenger capabilities, mission performance and appealing return on investment values. However, in the last decade, additional constraints in term of noise, emissions and fuel consumption forced manufacturers to explore unconventional concepts for next generation air vehicles. Since some of these designs are radically different, current tools and methods, based on a large historical database of numerical simulations, experiments and flight tests are now reaching the boundaries of their utilization envelope with no option for extrapolations without a large amount of uncertainty.

For these reasons, the European project NACRE (New Aircraft Concept REsearch) – a project regrouping thirty-six partners managed by Airbus and half financed by the European Commission - initiated the study of an Innovative Evaluation Platform (IEP). The objective of this flying test platform is to offer engineers and specialists an additional test facility to help in the early design phases of new aeronautical systems in six areas of interest: high-lift devices, flight dynamics, recovery from hazardous conditions, noise assessment, wake vortices and laminar flow.

The first phase of this project (Subtask T141) was the assessment and the feasibility analysis of such a system. During this initial step, studies performed by the research team indicate that the IEP is a scientific answer to both the limitations of current existing methods and the need for a new test platform. Completed by an economical and operational evaluation, T141 concludes that an IEP integrating the concept of modularity for the flying platform offers a technical gain and some profitability in comparison to today’s experimental facilities under the condition of meeting stringent requirements.

Given this conclusion, the consortium decided to design and manufacture an IEP defined as follow:
“The IEP must be a competitive test facility under the form of an Unmanned Flying Platform to be designed and manufactured within NACRE T142 enabling:
- the stability and control parameters identification
- the noise assessment
- the analysis of different recovery procedures in the case of Hazardous Flight Conditions
at a conceptual design level for different aircraft concepts to be tested in T143.”

Because of the complex nature of this system (it is a test facility that flies), the second phase of the project started with an accurate requirement analysis to be sure to capture all the specific aspects of the aerial vehicle and to integrate them in the design. This analysis, based on the decomposition of the flight procedures and the objectives of the IEP generates two matrices that set the way for the design process. During the conceptual design, two distinct rear fuselage configurations have been selected as well as the basic characteristics of the flying platform. From there, the preliminary and detail design and the manufacturing process are carried out carefully considering all design requirement as well as the other non technical constraints of the project.

Currently in the last phases of the IEP manufacturing, all efforts are concentrated on finalizing all the details to be ready for the initial flight trials in Fall 2008.

Session 2

2b NACRE WP2 – Novel Lifting Surfaces
Kevin Nicholls, Airbus UK

The objective of the Novel Lifting Surfaces work package within the NACRE project was to investigate and develop novel wing and empennage integrated concepts. The aim was to contribute to a step change in the affordability and environmental impact of civil aircraft. The studies were essentially split into 3 tasks, each integrating multi-disciplinary work, addressing potential concept show stoppers and highlighting promising avenues for further investigation.

The advanced wing task investigated a high aspect ratio low sweep wing concept plus a forward swept wing concept with natural laminar flow. Both of these concepts have the aim of improving the environmental impact of aircraft. A manufacture driven wing is also being studied with the aim of minimizing costs.

The flying wing task builds on the extensive work within previous research projects such as VELA. It addressed the major issues with the concept including cabin arrangement and evacuation, the structural design and the controllability.

The innovative empennage task investigated double-hinged control concepts with the aim of reducing the wetted area of the empennage. There are also initial studies into the use of morphing to optimise the empennage for the different requirements of the low speed and high-speed flight conditions.

The paper will provide a broad outline of the work carried out within the project and a summary of the main results from the first 3 years of the project. The component design solutions plus the results of the various trade studies have been fed back to the overall aircraft design work package to integrate the results at aircraft level.

2c Hybrid Layout Proposal for the High Passenger Capacity Aircraft
L. Bolsunovsky, N. P. Buzoverya, I. L. Chernyshev, B. L. Gurevich and E. B. Skvortsov,
Central Aero-hydrodynamic Institute (TsAGI) – Russia

Unconventional layouts of the flying vehicles are searched for continuously in the aviation community with the aim to meet the challenges of a new century in efficiency, public acceptability and environmental impact. Flying wing (FW) is one of the most promising concepts, although the problem of the small internal volume prevents the use of the pure FW in favour of the blended-wing-body (BWB). TsAGI has accumulated a large volume of experience with FW concept due to the participation in ISTC grant and more recent European NACRE program.

Another alternative configuration - twin fuselage airliner has an advantage that the maximum wing bending moment is reduced significantly compared to the classical layout. Promising results have been obtained during studies on this layout, but the fears exist that besides some technical problems it will lack passenger appeal. Thus, both schemes have their own pros and cons.

In this article the new unconventional layout of the transport aircraft is proposed, namely the hybrid of both mentioned schemes: flying wing and twin fuselage configuration (Fig.1). Positive and negative aspects of the layout are analyzed. In authors opinion the hybrid configuration poses a set of advantages of both predecessors while avoiding the major drawbacks. It competes successfully with the classic configuration in aerodynamics, structural weight and community noise level. In-depth research combined with multi-disciplinary studies is needed to more precise evaluation of the whole potential of the proposed layout.

Figure 1: The hybrid layout between flying wing and twin fuselage configurations

Session 3

3a The Scope for Reducing the Environmental Impact of Air Travel
J. E. Green, Greener by Design Science and Technology Sub Group – UK

In the coming century, the impact of air travel on the environment will become an increasingly powerful influence on aircraft design. Unless the impact per passenger kilometre can be reduced substantially relative to today’s levels, environmental factors will increasingly limit the expansion of air travel and the social benefits that it brings. The three main impacts are noise, air pollution around airports and changes to atmospheric composition and climate as a result of aircraft emissions at altitude. Concentrating on climate change, the lecture will review the technological, design and operational possibilities for reducing these impacts. Taken together, these hold out the prospect that, if the engineering community, governments and the operating industry give the subject sufficient priority, the improved environmental performance of air transport might more than offset the effect of air traffic growth over the next 50 years. There is, moreover, a prospect of continuing this trend into the second half of the century provided an alternative, carbon-neutral fuel becomes generally available.

3c NACRE Wind Tunnel Test Campaign Dedicated to New Aircraft Concepts Study
Sébastien Aeberli, Acoustic Department, Snecma – France

In the frame of NACRE European research project, a wind tunnel test campaign was conducted in order to assess the noise shielding effect due to unconventional engine installations. This test campaign was in the continuity of the campaign on shielding effect conducted during the ROSAS European project and add some significant different configurations. A BPR9 (1/9th scale) nozzle with and without chevron was installed in the ONERA CEPrA19 anechoic wind tunnel with a 2D high lift wing. Over Wing Nacelle and Rear Fan Nacelle engine installation were studied with this hardware.

The first part of the campaign was dedicated to Jet noise in isolated configuration with pylon and no wing and allowed to study the impact of the pylon on acoustic far field. The second part was dedicated to Jet noise shielding obtained by unconventional engine installations and allowed also to study the impact of installation on chevron effect.

The NACRE Jet noise campaign allowed to gather a significant database on noise installation effect complementary to the ROSAS database. A number of generating conditions were indeed achieved in static and in flight conditions. As expected, significant noise attenuation was obtained by shielding effect. Other secondary installation effects (due to pylon or chevron for example) were also studied. This paper presents the NACRE Jet noise experiment, results and preliminary analysis on acoustic shielding.

Session 4

4b Improvement of Civil Airframes – Modern Trends and Directions
G. Zamula and A. Shanygin, Central Aerohydrodynamic Institute (TsAGI) – Russia

Progress in civil aircraft structures which is aimed at reaching higher levels of safety, environmental compatibility, reliability, and cost effectiveness is only possible if experts persistently search for new solutions in areas of developing new design methods, preparing advanced materials, formulating novel manufacturing processes, etc. The report outlines the TsAGI-gained experience of introducing new high-strength metallic and composite materials in the civil aircraft structures, as well as results of optimizing airframes of advanced airliners subject to static and fatigue strength constraints.

4c Structural Concepts of Passenger Driven Aircraft
Jörg Nickel, DLR – Germany

Contrary to the common procedure of designing the fuselage structure first and then integrating the cabin, the Passenger Driven Aircraft (PDA) Concept is tracking an innovative inside-out approach. That means, with the focus on the passengers’ needs the cabin layout given by the “H-Cylinder”, “V-Cylinder”, and “V-Lens” designs marks the starting point of the structural fuselage design.

Based on these PDA cabin layouts suitable structural fuselage concepts have been developed with the aim of creating optimal solutions under the given requirements.

Options for varying the cross section shapes were identified with respect to parameter coupling with the aerodynamic design. For an easy comparability and as a common basis of design concerning structural (as well as aerodynamic) aspects, parametric CAD models were used. The parametric models address the aero-driven single bubble / elliptical shape and structure-driven quadruple bubble configurations. Based on the parametric CAD models each of the partners developed and adapted their solutions to serve as an input for the Joint Probabilistic Decision Making (JPDM) process.

Since only two configurations could be further tracked, “H-Cylinder” and “V-Cylinder” layouts were the most interesting variants for reasons of significance. These remaining configurations were examined in terms of weight as a characteristic assessment parameter. Currently the structural concepts are being further developed and optimised using the Finite Element Method (FEM).

The presentation shows the results of the development and investigation of structural concepts and solutions that are needed in order to protect the promising cabin arrangements from the forces and environment of flight.

Session 5

5b Boeing and Cranfield University BWB Airplane Egress Study
Bruce Wallace, Boeing – USA

A Boeing Blended Wing Body (BWB) airplane evacuation study was conducted in 2001 in conjunction with Cranfield University. The testing, conducted at Cranfield, provided data and information regarding evacuation characteristics of a large single deck cabin with more than two aisles, which differs from our conventional single and dual aisle airplanes and is an alternative arrangement to the two deck solution for very large aircraft.

Testing conducted in 2001 provided information on main aisle exit passageway flow rates. Testing was designed to test the effects of various main aisle and exit passageway widths on passenger flow rates to Type A exits. The results of the 2001 studies provided information on interior arrangement options with respect to aisle and exit location resulting in potential increase in passenger capacity for a given floor space. Previous predicted capacity was limited based on conventional tube style evacuation characteristics.

5c Fire and Evacuation Analysis in BWB Aircraft Configurations: Computer Simulations and a Large-Scale Experimental Study
Edwin Galea, Lazaros Filippidis, Zhaozhi Wang, and John Ewer, University of Greenwich – UK

How long does would it take to evacuate a Blended Wing Body (BWB) aircraft with around 1000 passengers and crew? How long would it take an external post-crash fire to develop non-survivable conditions within the cabin of a BWB aircraft? Is it possible for all the passengers to safely evacuate from a BWB cabin subjected to a post-crash fire? Is the FAR/JAR 25.803 full-scale evacuation certification criteria of 90 seconds relevant to BWB aircraft? These questions will be explored in this paper through computer simulation. As part of project NACRE, the airEXODUS evacuation model has been used to explore evacuation issues associated with BWB aircraft. To investigate the fire issues a series of CFD fire simulations using the University of Greenwich SMARTFIRE software were conducted in the NACRE BWB aircraft configuration. The fire and evacuation simulations were then coupled to investigate how the evacuation would proceed under the conditions produced by a post-crash fire. The impact of heat, smoke and toxic fire gases on the evacuating population was assessed. In conjunction with this work, a large-scale evacuation experiment was conducted in February 2008 to verify evacuation model predictions. This presentation will review the modelling work and present some results from the evacuation experiments.




The cost of the conference is €350 with a discounted rate of €250 for students. Conference fees include, Cocktail Reception (8 July), Attendance of conference (9 July 08:00 to 10 July 12:30), Conference proceedings, Conference Dinner (9 July), Lunch (9 July).

Accommodation is available at the MacMillan student Halls for £24 per night excluding breakfast. Hotels are also available in the area, see survival pack for details.

Please download the conference registration form here.

For further details and to register contact: (i) olivia.kensdale@airbus.com or (ii) f.barkshire@gre.ac.uk




A survival pack describing the conference venue, the location, travel information, accommodation and conference fees is available for download here.




A summary of travel information may be found here. Information concerning travel can also be found in the survival pack (see item (4)).

From Airports

London City Airport:
This is the closest airport to the University campus, via the Docklands Light Railway (DLR). From the airport, take the DLR towards Bank, Change at Poplar for Cutty Sark. Coming out of the station, take left exit. The entrance to the University can be seen right ahead (approx. 20 min.). Alternatively you can call a minicab (Greenwich Car Hire, Tel. +44 (0)20 8858 6661, charges around £14 for the journey). Black taxis are more expensive.

Heathrow Airport:
The airport is on the London Underground, Piccadilly Line. A service runs every 5-10 min. into Central London. Take underground to Charing Cross or London Bridge then a train to Greenwich or Maze Hill from either of these railway stations (approx. 1h50). Alternatively, take underground to Canary Wharf via Piccadilly and Jubilee lines (changing at Green Park) then change to Docklands Light Railway (DLR) to Cutty Sark. Takes roughly the same time (1h50), but Cutty Sark is closest station to UoG.

Gatwick Airport:
Gatwick Airport has its own railway station. Take the “Thameslink” train to London Bridge (approx. 30 min.) and change at London Bridge for Greenwich or Maze Hill (another 15-20 min.).

From Central London By Tube
The nearest Tube station to the university campus is North Greenwich. From that station take a 188 Bus to reach the campus. A better option is to use the DLR (see below).

By Docklands Light Railway (DLR)
Direct DLR services run from Bank, Canary Wharf & Lewisham to Cutty Sark Station which is the nearest to the Greenwich campus (just 2 min. walk).

By Train
Charing Cross, Cannon Street, Waterloo East & London Bridge all offer direct services (every 10 min. or every few minutes during rush hour) to Greenwich Station on the Dartford/Gravesend via Greenwich and woolwich line. If you are travelling from Kent, alight at Maze Hill.

By Road
The A2 and the A20 provide access to Greenwich. The Blackwall Tunnel links Greenwich with the northern side of the Thames. However, due to the high levels of traffic in Greenwich and the very strict parking regulations in the area, visitors are advised to use public transport whenever possible.
Travel Card
You can travel cheaper after 9:30am, using a “Travel Card”. This card allows you to travel in London on trains, buses, underground and DLR for the entire day. Make sure however that you buy the correct card to cover the zones you are travelling in. Ask when you buy it at the station.

Black taxis are expensive. It is best to book a minicab. There is one minicab firm close to the University: Greenwich Car Hire, Tel. +44 (0)20 8858 6661.

For more useful tips on London travel, go to http://www.tfl.gov.uk/tfl/
Other useful links:
Plan your train journey: http://www.railtrack.co.uk/
London map: http://www.streetmap.co.uk/




6.1) Conference group photographs, 9 July 2008
6.2) NACRE Model Aircraft
6.3) Opening Reception, 8 July 2008
6.4) Day 1 Speakers, 9 July 2008
6.5) Conference dinner - Painted Hall 9 July 2008
6.6) Day 2 Speakers, 10 July 2008


Copyright © 2003- University of Greenwich | Privacy and cookies | Accessibility | Contact the Webmaster