Laminar Flow Tested on Falcon 7X for ‘Clean Sky’ Effort
Dassault Aviation recently conducted a “successful” flight test to evaluate laminar wings for large business jets. The flight was performed at the company’s flight-test center in Istres, France, using a Falcon 7X equipped with an infrared camera to measure differences in surface temperatures between laminar and turbulent areas of the horizontal tailplane. While the Falcon 7X is not based on a laminar design, at high altitudes a laminarity of up to 40 percent was predicted on the upper surface of the horizontal tail. “The results, which are still under analysis by Dassault Aviation and French national aerospace research center Onera, do show laminar extensions as expected,” said future Falcon programs project manager Philippe Rostand. “The tests also permitted us to qualify new measurement techniques and equipment that will be used in future test flights to be flown by Dassault, Airbus and other European partners on an even larger scale.” According to Dassault, the 7X test is part of the “smart fixed-wing aircraft” project under the larger European “Clean Sky” initiative, which aims to develop technologies for cleaner and quieter next-generation aircraft that will enter service beyond 2020. From 1986 to 1989, Dassault Aviation performed “a series of successful test flights” of an experimental laminar airfoil on a modified Falcon 50.