📩 04/07/2023 12:39
Engineers from the UK's leading air combat industry partners shared details on the work being done to develop the country's first air combat demonstrator.
Experts from Rolls-Royce, BAE Systems, Leonardo UK, MBDA and the Ministry of Defense continue to collaborate with many British businesses to develop the technologies needed for the UK's next generation stealth fighter "Tempest".
The Flying Technology Demonstrator, first announced by the UK government in July 2022, is designed taking into account the UK's world-class defense industry expertise, as well as a range of innovative digital techniques and transformative processes.
At BAE Systems' new facility in Warton, Lancashire, test pilots from Rolls-Royce, BAE Systems and the Royal Air Force (RAF) flew over 150 hours with the simulator, which will contribute to the flight trials of the demonstrator.
In a first for military aircraft design, BAE Systems engineers used automated coding to develop safety-critical system software in a matter of days. In this way, flight control systems can be tested quickly during more complex flight maneuvers performed with the simulator. Important implications are also emerging about how the jet will operate before its maiden flight.
Engineers conduct aerodynamic engine tests. In this way, it aims to reduce the air from supersonic speed to subsonic speeds on the engine surface, and studies are continuing to produce a uniquely shaped engine air duct. The air intake, which has fewer moving parts than a traditional fighter aircraft design, contributes to the invisibility feature of the aircraft. Testing takes place at Rolls-Royce's facility in Filton, Bristol, where the Concorde Olympus engine was also tested in the 1960s.
British manufacturer of crew escape systems, Martin Baker, and a team of BAE Systems engineers led ejection seat tests using a rocket-propelled sled traveling at speeds of more than 500 mph. Experienced engineers worked together to transfer skills that could be applied in future developments of the "Tempest" aircraft to junior crew members.
The next generation air combat vehicle is being developed using new technologies together with the United Kingdom, Italy and Japan. The "Tempest" aircraft, which will be produced within the scope of the Combat Program, includes the skills, tools, processes and techniques required for development, as well as its design.
Richard Berthon, Future Air Combat Director, UK Ministry of Defence, said:
“The Flying Demonstrator program brings with it the need for integration to design and build a supersonic stealth jet. This program will build on our national capabilities and meet the need for data learning to support the "Tempest" aircraft into service by 2035. “Tempest” is now more than just an idea or concept on the computer. Our industry partners have made real and tangible progress and brought the program to life with innovative projects such as the flying demonstrator.”
Neil Strang, Director of Tempest Program at BAE Systems, said: “It has been 40 years since our employees led the program that brought Typhoon to life. This work we are conducting is an opportunity to write the next step in aviation history. We use digital techniques, innovative design and engineering methods throughout the entire Tempest program in order to put the “Tempest” aircraft into service by 2035. A total of 1.000 people are currently employed under this programme, including junior interns and graduates working alongside our most experienced engineers across UK industry and supply chain. This work will continue to guide the next generation of engineers with the skills and experience needed to continue the UK's leadership in defense and aerospace.” used the phrase.
Conrad Banks, Rolls-Royce's Chief Engineer for Defense Industry Future Programs, said: “The aerodynamic tests have yielded valuable results in many ways. Complex digital techniques and models were used during the tests. We are extremely pleased with the results of the collaborative work between the BAE Systems and Rolls-Royce teams. We have full confidence that we can realize the next phase of our project together.” He expressed his views on the subject.