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-   -   Aeralis Modular Trainer (https://www.pprune.org/military-aviation/638720-aeralis-modular-trainer.html)

ORAC 17th Feb 2021 07:33

Aeralis Modular Trainer
 
£200,000 over 3 years doesn’t sound as if it would fund more than one PR persons wages...

https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/c...ings-v3tn6r728


Convertible jet design backed by RAF might just have wings


https://cimg6.ibsrv.net/gimg/pprune....6df93d7d1.jpeg

The RAF has backed a British company to develop an aircraft that can be converted from a trainer to a faster, more aggressive jet by swapping out its engines and wings.

Aeralis, based in Suffolk, has been given £200,000 by the force to develop its “revolutionary” modular plane, which it says would be the first fully developed in Britain since the Hawk was launched in 1974.

The two-seater aircraft will have at least three variants based around the same fuselage but fitted with different engine and wing configurations: a basic trainer, a speedier, more manoeuvrable fighter-style plane and a reconnaissance model with long wings and a more efficient engine.

Tristan Crawford, Aeralis chief executive, said the project could help the RAF rationalise its future fleets and reduce the number of different aircraft.

“We can put different wings on and different engines on so that it becomes a basic trainer for example, so it flies more slowly and it’s more easy to fly — like the flying equivalent of a family car,” he said. “Then you can put more swept wings on it and a more powerful engine so you can fly faster but it’s more demanding to fly . . . so then you're into your sort of Porsche.”

The fuselage stays the same for each design. Then different kinds of wings and engine units are bolted on to create the various options. The third option involves longer wings for surveillance missions, and Aeralis is also exploring a fourth option that will be unmanned and used as a fast-attack drone.

The aircraft will primarily be used for all kinds of training from basic to Top Gun-style combat exercises.......

Crawford, an aircraft design engineer, said that every component would come from British companies. “The last time Britain developed its own crewed military aircraft fully in Britain was 1974 with the Hawk. Everything else that has come afterwards has had to rely on some kind of overseas partnership to make it happen,” he said.

Aeralis has been granted the £200,000 over three years from the RAF’s Rapid Capabilities Office, which aims to develop innovative thinking and novel ideas. The RAF said there were no plans to replace the Hawk training aircraft.

Air Marshal Richard Knighton, deputy chief of the defence staff, said: “This private aircraft company is adopting an innovative approach that I have not seen before in the combat air sector.”


https://cimg5.ibsrv.net/gimg/pprune....af83697235.png


skua 17th Feb 2021 08:30

Tip of the iceberg.

spitfirek5054 17th Feb 2021 08:32

MRCA again?:)

Mogwi 17th Feb 2021 08:41

Might work as an Airfix.

Mog

Nige321 17th Feb 2021 09:37

It's certainly kicking of on Twitter with the graphic showing one or two men crew...

https://cimg5.ibsrv.net/gimg/pprune....14c335de74.jpg

Less Hair 17th Feb 2021 09:47

Clip on VTOL and clip on hook for carriers are missing.

Bob Viking 17th Feb 2021 09:55

Nige 321
 
I certainly thought that appeared massively tone deaf in 2021.

A bit of an own goal I would suggest.

BV

BEagle 17th Feb 2021 10:19

Surely any structure intended to support high G manoeuvres will need som very substantial wing root 'bolts'?

Will the Areola fly? I'm not convinced.

Martin the Martian 17th Feb 2021 11:54

Presumably it will fold up into four suitcases like Little Nellie.

KiloB 17th Feb 2021 12:08

Did we not learn from the F35 that designs based on multiple versions of the same airframe are just fools-gold? Different versions are either too strong or too heavy and all versions are expensive.

Bob Viking 17th Feb 2021 12:23

Air Test Requirements
 
My big question would be regarding the role change.

As we have found out, changes to important parts of the aircraft’s configuration (wings/engines etc) will require a post maintenance air test. That alone can be an onerous requirement.

I know Aeralis say the aircraft are easy to reconfigure but the reality is probably that anyone tasked with aircraft scheduling would rather just have a fleet of each type available and would absolutely minimise changes to configuration. This would avoid down time for each airframe.

So with the above in mind, why focus on a common airframe?

Why not just ensure maximum commonality across the fleets but actually optimise each type for it’s intended role?

I’m all for blue sky thinking and I wish Aeralis all the best. It might just work but I am yet to be convinced.

Having said that, I’m just an oik so who really cares what I think?!

BV

Herod 17th Feb 2021 12:48

yep, as was said in the seventies "Must Refurbish Canberras Again,

Less Hair 17th Feb 2021 12:54

It will have one use at a time but carry a double use wing root structure all the time. And the trainer will be overly heavy for low performance missions.

NutLoose 17th Feb 2021 16:53

Why can I see someone thinking... hmm let’s try the big wings with the big engines, or the big wing with the little engines

Foghorn Leghorn 17th Feb 2021 17:23


Originally Posted by Bob Viking (Post 10992228)
My big question would be regarding the role change.

As we have found out, changes to important parts of the aircraft’s configuration (wings/engines etc) will require a post maintenance air test. That alone can be an onerous requirement.

I know Aeralis say the aircraft are easy to reconfigure but the reality is probably that anyone tasked with aircraft scheduling would rather just have a fleet of each type available and would absolutely minimise changes to configuration. This would avoid down time for each airframe.

So with the above in mind, why focus on a common airframe?

Why not just ensure maximum commonality across the fleets but actually optimise each type for it’s intended role?

I’m all for blue sky thinking and I wish Aeralis all the best. It might just work but I am yet to be convinced.

Having said that, I’m just an oik so who really cares what I think?!

BV

As I understand it, the downtime in order to re-configure the aircraft is quite significant. It’s not a case of quickly changing it over a week or weekend.

unmanned_droid 17th Feb 2021 20:17

Just as bad an idea as when we discussed it last.

BEagle 17th Feb 2021 21:21

MRCA? Must Reopen Chivenor Again!

If only......

Easy Street 17th Feb 2021 21:30

I didn't think the concept was about having a role change capability: I thought it was about reducing development, certification and in-service support costs for subsequent variants by re-using the fuselage/engine/cockpit module of the initial trainer. The hidden armies in DE&S and industry acquiring and supporting each aircraft type are a huge cost burden on the RAF, so reducing the number of distinct types does have a certain attraction. Once you'd acquired, operated and supported some trainers, it should be much cheaper to acquire, operate and support a (eg) light fighter variant and/or a recce drone variant than it would be to acquire totally different platforms for each role.

However, the fundamental problems of modularity remain. Maybe they could find a market for such an approach in countries which have historically used light fighters for their air defence, although personally I doubt it. For the UK, the large size of our area of air defence responsibility drives range and loiter requirements which I can't see being met by an aircraft derived from an economically-viable trainer.

pba_target 4th Sep 2021 19:17

​From the Telegraph:


​​​
First British-built fighter jet since the Hawk moves closer to test flight

Aeralis is designing a revolutionary “convertible” jet which can be reconfigured for a variety of roles by swapping out parts

The first British-designed jet fighter since the 1970s has moved a step closer to lift-off after its developer Aeralis secured the backing of industrial heavy*weights Atkins and Siemens.

Aeralis is designing a revolutionary “convertible” jet which can be reconfigured for a variety of roles by swapping out parts for different missions

Based around a common fuselage, the aircraft can be kitted out for either a single pilot or with a two-seat cockpit for use as a trainer, and fitted with different wings depending on whether it is going to be operated in a fighter, ground attack or reconnaissance role.

The Suffolk-based business has now signed a deal to carry out design work with Atkins, an engineer, while Siemens is working on a digital platform that will link up production and support systems.

Tristan Crawford, chief executive of Aeralis, said: “We are getting traction with industry to turn a design into reality. It’s no mean feat to create an entirely new aircraft company in the UK.”

Rather than designing from a blank page, aeronautical engineer Mr Crawford said the company is using existing, proven components such as engines, speeding up development work and reducing costs.



The Ministry of Defence is expected to be a customer and is backing the design until its first flight in 2024. The new jet could replace the RAF’s Hawk fighter used by the Red Arrows.



Aeralis estimated there is a market for up to 5,500 of its jets, which could be worth £150bn.




LateArmLive 5th Sep 2021 06:43


whether it is going to be operated in a fighter, ground attack or reconnaissance role
And with that concept, the UK went back to the 1960s...


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