Sonaca Aircraft taking part in the Clean Sky project

Reducing drag on aircraft is one of the key ways to improve aerodynamic performance, reduce fuel burn, and cut CO2 emissions. 
The Clean Sky project is developing hybrid laminar flow control (HLFC) and natural laminar flow (NLF) technologies to reduce drag on the next generation of passenger aircraft. However, to ensure an efficient flow of air around the wings and fuselage, external surfaces must be scrupulously clean at all times. Flying through the air, the leading edges of aircraft accumulate a build-up of insect residue which can interfere with the intended aerodynamic flow.
The knowledge acquired and the coating and cleaning solutions developed will be evaluated through large scale tests. As in CHOPIN, wind-tunnel tests will allow the simulation of weather conditions and insect impacts on coatings. However short flight tests on Sonaca 200 and long flight tests on commercial aircraft will be carried out. This will allow analysis of how the coatings perform at higher altitudes for a fuller validation of the newly developed coating solutions.
Image © Erwan Garel