Aerospace Control and Guidance Systems Committee


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MeetingACGS Committee Meeting 110 - Auburn, Maine - October 2012
4.2 Government Agencies Summary Reports
4.2.3 DLR DLR
PresenterKlause-Uwe Hahn
Available Downloads*presentation
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AbstractGoodbye ATTAS -
- retirement of an outstanding flying testbed

DLR’s flying testbed officially retired on June 27th 2012 after a service period of about 27 years. The basic aircraft is a VFW 614 manufactured by the United Aeronautical Factories of Bremen. It is a twin engine short range aircraft where the engines are unusually mounted on top of the wings. The first VWF 614 made its maiden flight in 1971. The serial number of ATTAS is G17 out of 19 aircraft built. Thirteen of the manufactured aircraft went into service before the VFW 614 program was stopped in 1977. The G17 went into service at DLR on October 24th 1985 after a modification period which started in 1982. During this period the aircraft was equipped with Direct Lift Control Flaps (providing a 5 DoF In Flight capability), an experimental duplex electro-optical Fly-by-Wire system, numerous sensors, data acquisition and recording devices and an online basic and experimental data monitoring system. The safety concept was based on a “student teacher concept”. The safety pilot can stop the experiment at any time and switch back to the mechanical flight control system by using a disengage switch at his control column or simply by moving the controls against the resistance of a force sensor. The aircrafts basic parameters are:
max PAX/min crew: 44/2
range: 1800 km
wing span: 21.5 m
length: 20.6 m
height: 7.84 m
wing area: 64 m2
MTOM: 20 800 kg
VMO: 288 KCAS (MMO: 0.63)
max. altitude: 25 000 ft (7600 m)

The test aircraft provided sufficient payload capacity and cabin space even for heavy and voluminous experimental equipment. Experimental software could easily be developed using MATLAB® / Simulink® environment. Via the MATLAB Real-Time Workshop® real-time code could be generated and transferred into the ATTAS data processing environment in a short time. In general the experimental software then was verified in the ATTAS system simulator on ground which was also used to check out and train the complete run of the experiment and to fix the final flight test carts.

Altogether 193 flight test campaigns were performed on ATTAS which gives roughly 7.5 campaigns per year with numerous sorties. In more than half of the projects the Institute of Flight Systems was involved. There is a broad range of experiments, e.g. flights with g-loads control, PIO investigations, remotely guided UAV in civil airspace and many more. From those experiments a very limited selection will be presented to underline the versatile capabilities of this marvelous aircraft.

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