R & D

Alestis is a signatory to the Manifesto for Innovation in Spain promoted by the Association for the Management Progress (APD), which aims to urgently promote innovation as a driver of competitiveness in Spain, in an inclusive and sustainable environment.

SOFIA Project

In the Clean Sky 2 framework, the SOFIA project ("Test methods for analySis OF Infusion pAnels") studies the behavior of fuselages manufactured in thermoset by infusion versus conventional fuselages in thermoset prepeg.

During this year the level 2 tests were completed with the critical design details specimen characterization and the post-processing of the results obtained, as well as the closing of the L3 subcomponent test plan.

Alestis, as the consortium leader, has contributed significantly to the evolution of the SOFIA project as a whole, which should be completed in the next year.

DOMAIN Project

In the context of the aeronautical sector diversification strategy, the DOMAIN project ("Design and Development of Complex Geometries in Integrated Multifunctional Aeronautical Materials in regional segments and business jets") was launched. This project consists of developing a range of products with the greatest possible standarization, allowing competition through the creation of scale economies and centers of excellence in the manufacturing of valid components for all segments.

During 2022, the detailed design phase has progressed in order to meet the requirements and to define the process standards to be used in their manufacturing, as well as in manufacturability tests to demonstrate the new designs proposed in both sandwich and monolithic structures.

Integrated Rear End

Aligned with the company's strategy of excellence in tail cones, this project consists of the development of an innovative Rear End concept based on a structure that integrates, through a single one-shot manufacturing process, with its structural elements.  Through this concept, a significant cost reduction is pursued by reducing considerably both the manufacturing of single components and the assembly phase of these, by means of typical riveting processes.

During 2022, as part of the aeronautical technology plan through the AERCOST project, the specific integration tooling for the manufacturing process was received and the first demonstrator was produced with promising results and fire behavior tests were defined. The development facilities for press and membrane forming technology have also been equipped and the first demonstrators have been executed in our facilities with application to high curve structures.

Integrated Belly Fairing

As part of the strategy of excellence in belly fairings, highly integrated designs are being studied to significantly reduce weight and assembly time in the final stages of assembly, through robust and highly automated processes.

In 2022, work continued on the aeronautical technology plan through the AERCOST project. Following the successes achieved in the past through the development of sandwich panel automation technology by means of automated lay-up up to TRL6, this project aims to cover new materials and sandwich configurations that will enable it to be more competitive in terms of cost and weight. In addition, modular and highly integrated design concepts are being developed to allow a very high throughput in the subsequent assembly phases.

During this year, we have developed a potential optimal configurations portfolio, technological demonstrators applied to the design of sandwich panels with complex geometries in different materials (carbon fiber and glass fiber). We have also developed characterizations of flexible materials for additive manufacturing with a view to subsequent implementation in products requiring redesign during the flight test process.

DALI Project

As part of the aeronautical product diversification strategy, the DALI project ("Development of Lightweight Aircraft Sections under High Energy Impact"), consists of the development of a highly integrated composite fuselage section able to absorb high energy impacts. Following the encouraging tests of the first demonstrators, the analysis of results and characterization of the design continued during 2022.

Clean Aviation

Participation in the largest European aeronautics research program has been defined for 2022. Alestis will actively participate in the three development pillars: Hydrogen (H2), Hybrid Electric Regional Aircraft (HER) and Short and Medium Range Aircraft (SMR) and especially in the main projects related to the development of efficient aerostructures.

In the H2 Hydrogen pillar, the company will participate in two key projects: H2ELIOS and NEWBORN, with the objective of developing cryogenic hydrogen tanks with high gravimetric performance. These projects will generate the necessary manufacturing processes for the integration of the tank into the fuselage structure itself.

In the HERWINGT project, within the HER, Alestis will lead the integration of a technological demonstrator of a wing control surface with different high integration technologies. This surface will develop dry fiber technology with the challenge of integrating leading edge and structure in a single piece.

In the FASTER H2 project, more sustainable manufacturing technologies will be developed along two basic lines: greater recyclability with the study of thermoplastic structures and the introduction of "green" materials through the study of structures with bio-resin. All this combined with the design of high integration and robustness of the industrial process that allows its application at high production rates.

Hydrogen tanks

As part of the diversification strategy, the study of compressed hydrogen storage solutions for combined use with fuel cells in transportation elements or for large-scale storage continued in 2022. In a first phase, the aim is to obtain 350 bar type IV compressed hydrogen tanks of different dimensions.

After having achieved the manufacturing of the first demonstrators in 2021, it has been possible to deepen the process optimization and tests in a certifiable environment that will allow to have a functional tank in the future.