The DRAGY project is aimed to the drag reduction of future aircrafts. This objective has to be achieved through the flow control of the turbulent boundary layer.

DRAGY is being supported by the European Commission though the Research and Innovation action DRAGY (Grant Agreement 690623) and by the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) of the Chinese government.

The review of the state of the art reveals that the understanding of the physics governing drag reduction technologies is still limited. Furthermore, the application of active control turbulent skin-friction drag reduction has seen limited success in the industrial environment.

However, given the challenging targets of the “Flightpath 2050”, now is the appropriate time to investigate the potential of the technologies targeted by DRAGY to achieve some of the ACARE environmental goals for 2020 are: “reducing CO2 emissions by 50% per passenger kilometer”, “reducing NOx emissions by 80%” and “reducing perceived aircraft noise by 50%”. Reduction of CO2 and NOx emissions to the atmosphere is directly related to the aircraft fuel burn, drag and aircraft weight. Reducing drag through reduction of the aircraft weight will mitigate the environmental impacts of the emissions of the harmful gases to the atmosphere.

The variety of technologies involved in DRAGY that encompass numeric, experimental and manufacturing have varying Technology Readiness Levels (TRL). It is expected that DRAGY enhances the TRL for several of these techniques taking them from idea to application and from laboratory to market.

The following non exhaustive list, details the current TRL and foreseen enhancements in terms of TRL for the various methods, techniques and devices included in this project and detailed in the four technical Work Packages described in following sections.

The past experience in collaboration between European and Chinese partners through AEROCHINA, AEROCHINA2, GRAIN and GRAIN2 networks together with MARS collaborative project is helping a lot a lot in the joint development of activities in DRAGY project. In particular, the definition of the activities in all WPs have been done in an integrated way not being any separation between the European and the Chinese activities.

Method or device Current TRL Expected TRL
Turbulent drag physics 1 or 2 3
Inner layer devices 2 3 or 4
Outer layer devices 2 3 or 4
Experimental Techniques 5 6
Computational techniques (DNS and LES) 4 5
Computational techniques (RANS) 4 5