Building the future of flight

Deutsche Aircraft, umlaut and HEGGEMANN AG have jointly created a digital twin and a physical prototype of the wing spar box

June 29, 2022
Deutsche Aircraft, umlaut and HEGGEMANN AG have jointly created a digital twin and a physical prototype of the wing spar box

Munich 29. June 2022 – The aircraft manufacturer Deutsche Aircraft has reached two milestones in its D328eco project. Together with engineering service provider umlaut, part of Accenture, the wing spar box was digitized and modelled in 3D. The wing spar box connects the wing to the fuselage and supports the leading and trailing edges of the wings, the rudder, the engines and the landing gear. On this basis, the industrialization partner HEGGEMANN AG has optimized the manufacturing processes for Industry 4.0 standards and produced a first prototype of the wing spar box. This proves that the automated production of the D328eco is possible to the extent desired by Deutsche Aircraft.

The D328eco is based on the Dornier 328, an aircraft from the 1990s. The aircraft was still designed in 2D on paper or with limited 3D-based software (CADAM). To be able to further use the design data and adapt it to the goals of the D328eco, it had to be digitized. Deutsche Aircraft chose umlaut for its engineering and aerospace expertise to jointly create a digital twin, which provides an exact copy of the original aircraft design and can also incorporate all the innovations in structural development of the last 30 years. This digital twin serves both as a basis for automated manufacturing and for validating designs, tools, and production processes. According to Simona Naver, Program Manager at Deutsche Aircraft, the data converted from 2D to 3D will also be used for the certification of the new aircraft.

"The DMU makes it much easier for us to optimize designs for industrial production. Thirty years ago, when the original Dornier 328 was built, many things were still done manually. With the D328eco's 3D conversion, we can save material and map production processes more easily and with consistent quality" says Gregory Seymour, development engineer aircraft construction at Deutsche Aircraft.

As part of a "triad", HEGGEMANN AG is also involved in the project. The company is responsible for the industrialization of the wing spar box and uses, among other things, the corresponding 3D design data. To demonstrate that the company can produce aircraft parts automatically and in high quality, the first prototype of the wing spar box was manufactured and tested after a feasibility analysis. "The wing spar box is the most complex part of the airframe. Its fabrication as the first system- level prototype shows that the other parts of the project are on the right track" explains Simona Naver.

After this first system-level prototype, it is clear, on the one hand, that the 3D conversion of the 2D design data and its adaptation to new standards is working as planned. On the other hand, the tools and processes developed by HEGGEMANN AG for the D328eco program have proven their worth. "We have seen that we can have parts for the D328eco manufactured automatically and efficiently. In addition, there is less material surplus with the new manufacturing processes. This also moves us in a sustainable direction and meets the D328eco strategy" says Rosario De Luca, Senior Design Engineer at Deutsche Aircraft.

Now more parts are to be digitized and prepared as CAD/CAM models forproduction, design validation and type certification. The goal is to be able to digitally represent the D328eco in its entirety. umlaut will continue to support the transfer from 2D to 3D and HEGGEMANN AG will strengthen Deutsche Aircraft's D328eco program with wings and landing gear.

About the data:
- Source: Cirium
- Schedules data: full year 2019 vs. 2020 – excludes non-scheduled flying
- In-service data:
- For 2019 the data is dated April while for 2020 it’s dated October. We wanted to compare “shoulder month” to shoulder month, however April 2020 wouldn’t have captured the immediate impact of Coronavirus as our dataset classes aircraft as in storage after 3 months of inactivity.

DA Aviation Ecosystem Review

We are proud to present, “Aviation Ecosystem Review 2020.”
Based on market research surrounding our vision of building a sustainable future for aviation, this report provides insight into how we see Deutsche Aircraft fitting into the everchanging aviation environment.

Download the report for free here.

Access Review

Welcome: New Leadership Onboard

Nico Neumann Deutsche Aircraft

Nico’s responsibilities as Vice President of Operations & Programs include development of aircraft production programs, maintenance, overall quality management and ensuring infrastructure and knowledge are in place to meet future needs.

Read more

As Director of Supply Chain, Maximilian’s role is to lead development and growth of all supply chain activities under a consolidated strategy.

Read more

DA Latest News in a Nutshell

New talent appointed to strengthen the Deutsche aircraft programme

As part of its continued support of Deutsche Aircraft’s D328eco aircraft programme, 328 Support Services GmbH recently appointed a panel of “talent experts” to further strengthen the overall team and ensure strong management structure and processes are in place across the D328eco development programme. Today we focus on the Engineering & Programme departments.

On the programme side, Mr. Peter Spyrka has been appointed Director of Programmes. Peter brings over 20 years’ experience in the global aerospace industry with engineering & development works on both civil and military aircraft programmes. Prior to joining Deutsche Aircraft, Peter worked at Airbus, leading the Hybrid Electric Propulsion System development programme for demonstrator projects. He also worked for Fairchild Dornier back in the late 1990’s.

In Engineering, Mr. Jean-Damien Mazeau has been appointed as our new Head of Propulsion Systems. Jean-Damien also brings more than 20 years’ aeronautical experience to Deutsche Aircraft, having built most of his career at Airbus. He was most recently involved with the A320neo’s entry into service, in charge of propulsion system’s global technical Support.

Last but not least, Dr. Stefan Brunner brings more than two decades of expertise and experience to his position as Head of Airframe. Throughout his career, Stefan spent more than 17 years working directly for the Airbus group where he was heavily involved with a wide variety of major engineering programmes on both commercial aviation and defence & space programmes. In his new role, Stefan will be responsible for design, analysis and modification of the D328eco airframe’s primary structure (Fuselage, Fairings, Wing, Empennage), as well as establishing new processes and procedures to complete aircraft development. Finally, he is responsible for ensuring compliance with the European Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH) regulations.

In addition to Peter, Jean Damien and Stefan, we are also proud to announce that we have been busy hiring new talent from not only within Germany, but from all over the world. Coming from a variety of companies within the aerospace industry, we look forward to utilising our new team members’ skills and expertise to achieve the entry into service scheduled for 2025.

All are great assets to the current Engineering & Programme team and will, without a doubt, help support Deutsche Aircraft’s development programme over the coming years.

Deutsche Aircraft Aviation Ecosystem Review 2020 Download

Aviation Ecosystem Review 2020

Download the report for free here.

Thank you! A link to the report has been emailed to you.
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form. Please try again.
Deutsche Aircraft Aviation Ecosystem Review 2020 Download

ESG in Aviation 2022

Download the report for free here.

Thank you! A link to the report has been emailed to you.
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form. Please try again.