As part of this new stage of the EcoJet research project, Bombardier is flying a 5.5 m wingspan test vehicle designed as an aircraft with an integrated wing and fuselage. Bombardier’s engineering team is exploring these new technologies to reduce emissions from business jets by up to 50%.
Bombardier revealed exclusive images of the second phase of testing of its EcoJet research project to attendees of the 2023 Business Aviation Association of the United States Convention (NBAA-BACE) in Las Vegas. The promising flight tests were carried out by a 5.5 m (18 ft) wingspan demonstration vehicle and generated important results, contributing to the advancement of this crucial project.
Reduce emissions from business jets by 50%
Bombardier’s EcoJet research project aims to reduce aircraft emissions by up to 50% through a combination of aerodynamic, propulsion or other improvements. This research and technology initiative focused on eco-responsibility was launched 15 years ago and has now materialized into a range of integrated wing and fuselage vehicles that perform flight tests to develop and mature relevant technologies . Analysis of data collected from the 5.5 m (18 ft) wingspan prototype will allow Bombardier’s engineering team to improve its knowledge of new aviation control laws adapted to radical geometry different from an aircraft with an integrated wing and fuselage, intended to be applied to the more sustainable business aircraft of the future.
A wingspan twice as wide as the first prototype
“Our engineers are eager to begin exploiting the results of this second phase of the flight test program,” said Stephen McCullough, Senior Vice President, Engineering and Product Development. Based on the extensive data drawn from the first phase of flight testing and now taking advantage of a model twice as large as the first prototype, we can refine our analysis. Each additional experimental phase allows us to chart a path toward more environmentally friendly aircraft designs and new technologies. »
A first flight in 2022
Flight campaigns on scaled-down test vehicles allow the company and its academic partners to explore the behavior of vehicles with integrated wing and fuselage in free flight. Comprised of several free flight campaigns, the flight test program will be carried out over several years to generate ever more precise data in environments representative of the real world. The 5.5m wingspan prototype of Bombardier’s EcoJet research project flew for the first time in 2022 and can fly autonomously. Bombardier’s Research and Technology team began testing the real-world feasibility of its theoretical work in 2017 with the first prototype, which has a wingspan of approximately 2.4 m.