Electric Motor Powered Aero-engine Simulation of aircraft models in Wind Tunnels (EMPAS)

Lead Participant: Qinetiq Group Plc


During wind tunnel testing of aircraft, the aerodynamic effects of jet engines are represented using one of two techniques. The vast majority of models use ‘Through Flow Nacelles’ (TFN), effectively open tubes, which do not represent any powered engine airflow. A small amount of more representative testing is achieved using Turbine Powered Simulators (TPS) to represent engine airflow, but this is expensive, cumbersome, and requires significant energy and fixed infrastructure to operate. A new generation of permanent magnet electric motors has recently been developed for the Formula 1 industry (primarily for kinetic energy recovery and power systems), which appear to have the power density necessary for the effective simulation of scaled jet engines. This project aims to further develop these motors, the associated test control infrastructure, and techniques, for successful aerospace wind tunnel testing. The aim is to deliver the representative effect of TPS techniques, whilst eliminating the associated fixed infrastructure, by using electric motors instead of a turbine. The outcome sought is the more frequent generation of high fidelity data at lower overall lifecycle cost.

Lead Participant

Project Cost

Grant Offer

Qinetiq Group Plc, FARNBOROUGH £84,340 £ 42,170


University of Surrey, United Kingdom £109,008 £ 54,504
Boeing United Kingdom Limited, LONDON £940,000 £ 412,942
Goodrich Control Systems, SOLIHULL £721,780 £ 340,103
Aerodynamic Test Equipment Limited, UCKFIELD £556,654 £ 325,977
Mts Systems Limited, CIRENCESTER


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