MONTREAL, Feb. 20, 2013 /CNW Telbec/ - Inspired by the albatross, which
uses the wind to glide effortlessly across great distances, the next
generation of aircraft could rely on lengthened wings, thus reducing
their fuel consumption by 10%, according to Polytechnique Montréal
professor Éric Laurendeau. This morning, Professor Laurendeau launched
a research project titled Multi-Fidelity Computational Fluid Dynamics for Aircraft Stability and
Control Aerodynamics in partnership with the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research
Council of Canada (NSERC), Bombardier Aerospace and the Consortium for
Research and Innovation in Aerospace in Québec (Consortium de recherche
et d'innovation en aérospatiale au Québec — CRIAQ).
One of the aerospace industry's most important goals is, without a
doubt, to reduce fuel consumption. Steady progress has been made in
recent years, and today's aircraft use 50% less fuel than those of the
1960s. Nevertheless, members of the International Civil Aviation
Organization (ICAO) agreed in 1990 to improve aircraft energy
performance by 2% annually through to 2050.
But how to attain this ambitious goal? "One key direction is aircraft
design optimization," said Professor Laurendeau, project lead.
Professor Laurendeau is very aware of industry issues, having worked
for a decade in research and development with Bombardier before making
the leap to university research and joining Polytechnique Montréal's
Department of Mechanical Engineering.
"CFD, or computational fluid dynamics, provides the aerospace industry
with precise and effective tools for designing airplanes, but many
aspects remain to be developed," he continued. "Over the next three
years, our team will attack this issue and concentrate its efforts on
unsteady flows over complex configurations, including ailerons,
spoilers and horizontal stabilizers, in both the preliminary design and
detail design phases. We also want to provide the most complete tools
possible to the engineers who are designing the airplanes of the
Boosting aircraft energy performance
The simulation tool that will be developed at Polytechnique will take
into account all the aircraft's configurations from its departure point
to its arrival point: trailing-edge and leading-edge flaps deployed and
retracted, more and less pronounced takeoff and landing trajectories,
straight and curved in-flight trajectories, and so forth. All these
components will be evaluated with a view to designing aircraft that are
A project benefiting from multiple collaborations and training young
The project will benefit from a budget totalling nearly $500,000 over
three years from the NSERC ($240,000), Bombardier Aerospace ($120,000)
and CRIAQ ($120,000). It will also gain from collaborations with
international experts from both the institutional (KTH Royal Institute
of Technology of Stockholm, Sweden) and industrial (CFS Engineering,
Lausanne, Switzerland) sectors. And there will be an in-kind
contribution from Bombardier Aerospace. "This latter contribution will
enable us to contextualize the research," said Professor Laurendeau.
"This is very interesting for the students, because it offers the
possibility of making a direct bridge between the advances and the
For his part, Fassi Kafyeke, Director of Strategic Technology,
Bombardier Aerospace, stated: "It is estimated that 60% to 80% of the
environmental impact of an aircraft is determined at the design stage.
The project launched today by Professor Eric Laurendeau in the CFD
field is very promising and supports the objectives that we have set
for ourselves in terms of design for environment aimed at reducing the
environmental footprint of our products."
Clément Fortin, President and CEO of CRIAQ, noted: "The Consortium for
Research and Innovation in Aerospace in Québec is a network working
from a one-of-a-kind model. The consortium develops and fosters
collaboration between industrial specialists and researchers for
pre-competitive aerospace research projects. This collaborative
research project with Bombardier and Professor Laurendeau's team is a
perfect illustration of the power of industry-university partnerships."
He continued: "In addition to allowing researchers to contribute to the
technological advancement of the industry, CRIAQ is a top-notch
incubator for young talent, generating a specialized work force for
businesses in the sector."
And Christophe Guy, Chief Executive Officer of Polytechnique Montréal,
added: "The research project launched today will effectively be an
opportunity to train a highly specialized cohort, including four
doctoral, four master's and three bachelor's students. These students
will have the chance to work in close collaboration with the aerospace
industry and be introduced to a milieu of international co-operation."
About the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC)
NSERC is a federal agency that helps make Canada a country of
discoverers and innovators for all Canadians. The agency supports
almost 30,000 post-secondary students and postdoctoral fellows in their
advanced studies. NSERC promotes discovery by funding approximately
12,000 professors every year and fosters innovation by encouraging over
2,400 Canadian companies to participate and invest in post-secondary
The Consortium for Research and Innovation in Aerospace in Québec
(CRIAQ) is a non-profit organization established in 2002 with the
financial support of the Québec government. Its mission is to increase
the competitiveness of the aerospace industry and enhance the
collective knowledge base in aerospace through improved education and
training of students. CRIAQ is a unique model of collaborative
industry-led research involving universities and research centres. www.criaq.aero
About Polytechnique Montréal
Founded in 1873, Polytechnique Montréal is one of Canada's leading
engineering teaching and research institutions. It is the largest
engineering university in Québec for the size of its student body and
the scope of its research activities. With over 40,000 graduates,
Polytechnique Montréal has educated nearly one-quarter of the current
members of the Ordre des ingénieurs du Québec. Polytechnique provides
training in 15 engineering specialties, has 242 professors and more
than 7,100 students. It has an annual operating budget of over $200
million, including a $72-million research budget.
SOURCE: Polytechnique Montréal
For further information:
Interview opportunities with Professor Éric Laurendeau.
Photos available upon request.
Communications and Public Relations Service
Tel.: 514 340-4711, ext. 4415
Cell: 514 231-8133