The DAF research group is involved in basic and applied research activities in the fields of Aircraft Design, Aerodynamic Design (airfoil, wing, winglet), Wind Tunnel tests and Flight Tests and Flight Simulation.
The group is involved in the design of light aircraft, general aviation aircraft, and commercial transport aircraft. Many activities are about design and optimization of Tecnam Aircraft Industries aircraft. Recently research activities have been performed in cooperation with ATR and AleniaAermacchi about the design of a new regional transport aircraft with 90, 100 passengers. The group is also involved in the development of new methodologies for aircraft preliminary design and in the development of innovative software framework for aircraft MDO (Multi-Disciplinary Optimization).
Research activities are also focused on complex aerodynamic analyses and optimization. Multicomponent airfoils, aircraft components such as wing-fuselage junction, fairings and winglet are designed, analyzed and optimized. The group has gained a considerable experience with Navier-Stokes RANS CFD for the analysis and optimization of complex complete aircraft configurations.
Wind-tunnel research activities concerned more than 20 airfoils and multicomponent airfoil and several light and general aviation 3D scaled models. Wind tunnel tests have been also performed on an helicopter scaled model.
Considerable experience has been gained on the dynamic and flight simulation with numerical and experimental activities. Flight mechanics research activities have been performed with the aims to compute and optimize aircraft performances. Aircraft aerodynamic derivative has been also estimated during flight tests in linear and nonlinear range (System Identification) in order to create a model useful for flight simulation. Flight simulation is another research activity, with new model development and aircraft flight path reconstruction. Prof. De Marco is one of the JSBSim developers.