The German Aerospace Center (DLR) has ordered a Falcon 2000LX bizjet, to be converted into an in-flight Systems and Technology Airborne Research (iSTAR) flying test bed for future technology research.
The German Aerospace Center (DLR) has ordered a Falcon 2000LX bizjet, to be converted into a flying test bed for future technology research. A contract was signed at the ILA show on 25th April in the presence of German chancellor Angela Merkel.
Called in-flight Systems and Technology Airborne Research (iSTAR), the converted aircraft is scheduled to be ready for use as a “flying simulator” by 2020.
DLR indicates that the aircraft will be used to test the flight characteristics of newly designed, real or virtual aircraft within the iSTAR flight envelope, including the in-flight simulation of unmanned systems. In addition, iSTAR will serve as a test bed in the classic fields of aerodynamics, aeroelasticity, structures, propulsion, flight control and flight guidance.
The aircraft in question is an experimental aircraft used by Dassault for flight testing and development purposes. It will be transferred to Bordeaux-Mérignac where it will initially be converted into an instrumented flight test vehicle to be operational by 2020. Two further development phases will follow through the mid-2020s, in order to achieve full operational capability.
“DLR is acquiring the ability to perform in-flight simulation,” says Rolf Henke, DLR Executive Board Member for Aeronautics. “This will greatly facilitate the development of new greener and more efficient aircraft and components, and will enable the evaluation of increasingly automated pilot assistance systems, including automatic taxiing and take-off, and enhance the testing of unmanned aerial vehicles and their integration into controlled airspace.”
The fully functional iSTAR research aircraft will be equipped with additional control surfaces, an experimental digital flight control system and other hardware, including an intuitive EASy II cockpit with Enhanced Flight Vision System (EFVS), a Rockwell Collins head-up display and a Dassault Falcon Sphere II electronic flight bag suite.
The new research aircraft will be stationed at the DLR site in Braunschweig and will be made available to other national and European research institutes as well as aircraft manufacturers and suppliers.