Recently, it was possible to see again in the VZLU´s wind tunnel the UL-39 Albi, an ultra-light all-composite aircraft, slightly reminding the L-39 Albatros.
The plane features a unique propulsion – a thrust fan powered by high-speed piston engine. The entire aircraft is made of carbon composites made by autoclave technology. The wingspan is 7.22 meters, length is 7.49 meters, height is 2.99 meters, and the maximum take-off weight is 600 kg.
Currently tested propulsion system is intended for a significantly re-constructed second prototype. In addition to a completely new propulsion (intake and outlet ducts, power and impeller) the complete fuselage (housing the powerplant) has been redesigned.
The aim of the current wind tunnel test campaign was to verify the power unit parameters with respect to the multiple configurations of outlet nozzle at various airspeeds. The other important aero/thermodynamic characteristics of the entire cooling system in particular cooling of the engine supercharger intercooler were also verified.
“Cooperation with the VZLU low-speed aerodynamic laboratory is essential for the successful implementation of the project. After experience with mobile tests of the propulsion system, which, due to their complexity, did not provide the necessary results, tests in the VZLU wind tunnel proved to be the only possible way to obtain relevant results. Further similar tests with alternative versions of the propulsion are planned for the next two years,” said Ing. Robert Theiner, Head of the Department of Aerospace Engineering, Faculty of Mechanical Engineering, CTU and spiritual father of the Albi Project.
The aim of the project is to prepare the type for the certification as well as for the subsequent commercialization of the aircraft in order to offer the UL aircraft market an alternative to conventional aircraft configurations of this category.