Inflight turbulence is still an unsolved problem for aviation, impairing economy, safety and comfort of aircraft operation. Especially for light aircraft, such as for the emerging advanced air mobility (AAM) sector, low-level turbulence significantly impacts resource efficiency, quality of service and user acceptance. Measures taken by CS25 flight operators to avoid turbulence for comfort and safety reasons, such as re-routing to suboptimal flight levels and flight routes as well as suboptimal logistics, increase CO2 emissions, thus increasing the negative impact on the climate. Turbulence reduces comfort, safety and availability of service especially for light aircraft and AAM, which aims to provide a sustainable mobility alternative, where ground transportation capacities are limited.
The SmartWings2 project aims enhanced turbulence load suppression (TLS) via new sensor technologies of wind lidar and distributed MEMS turbulence sensing, as well as a novel flaplet. The predecessor project SmartWings successfully demonstrated TLS in light aircraft by means of turbulence probes in front of the wing and actuation of predefleced flaps for direct lift control. Two new sensor technologies are developed to increase the turbulence anticipation time and resolution, and the high performance novel flaplet allows a better suppression of the strong turbulence at a high speed cruise. Last the developed sensors and flaplet are integrated and tested in a test flight, verifying the benefits of the developed technologies.