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ZAL TechCenter - © ReGe Hamburg/ Martin Kunze

Hamburg Adds World-Class Resarch Centre to its Aviation Landscape

At the ZAL Centre for Applied Aviation Research, academia and companies will jointly invent future-oriented products and concepts for aviation

At the world’s most modern research centre for civil aviation, major companies like Airbus and Lufthansa Technik suppliers such as Diehl, universities and institutions like DLR will jointly use the infrastructure offered there. Through targeted co-operation, the aim is to speed up innovations and make them for ready for the market.

ZAL will focus on six research themes called “Technical Domains” including cabins, 3D print, Industry 4.0, acoustics and virtual reality. The research centre has received a total investment of EUR 100,000 and will provide 600 jobs on a 28,000 square metre area. Hamburg’s Mayor Olaf Scholz will officially open the building on March 7, 2016 in the presence of several honorary guests

Faster Marketability of Innovations

The new research centre in Finkenwerder will focus mainly on steps towards further development rather than basic research. The objective is to put innovative products and concepts to use faster and more cost efficiently in international aviation. This objective will, on the one hand be achieved by including partners, universities or suppliers early, and by using the infrastructures available in ZAL, which are among the best in the world.

Six Core Fields of Research

At ZAL, aeronautical research will focus on six technical domains (TDs) that reflect the core competencies of Hamburg as a centre of aviation. The central element of TD1 will be the Fuel Cell Lab, a research laboratory for civil and safe use of hydrogen. The TD2 Cabin Innovation & Technology will focus on one aviation priority in Hamburg namely aircraft cabins. The core element of this research area is the 20-metre wide and 11 metre high Cabin & Cargo Test Rig – a test rig, in which all the world’s major fuselage sections can be installed to test, for example, new layouts of cabin elements or efficient boarding and loading.

Future of Flying

TD3, Air & Power Systems is concerned with the development of power and air-conditioning systems for cabins. The testing facilities at the ZAL TechCenter can be used, among others, to test electronically-powered air systems that allow greater passenger comfort with reduced energy requirements at the same time. TD4, Aerospace & Production Fuselage Engineering focuses on research programmes that all deal with the future of manufacturing methods. The core element of the TD5, Testing & Safety is the Acoustics Lab which is one of Europe’s largest and can house an entire Airbus A320 fuselage section or a public bus.

The Acoustics Lab will allow research into noise and vibrations, for instance in the aircraft cabin, to be conducted on the ground in future. So far, such tests had been carried out in the air. Virtual reality is the theme of TD6, General Processes & Support Topics. For this purpose, a 6 × 3.5-metre VR-compatible image disk, the largest in the northern half of Germany, was installed in the research centre. The adjacent room is suitable for nearly 30 people, and can be used not only for simulations of projects in aviation. It will be opened to other regional industries, such as the games industry, in future.

One of the World’s Largest Aviation Research Centres

With almost EUR 100 million invested in the building and test infrastructures, the new ZAL TechCenter in Hamburg-Finkenwerder is one of the world’s largest aerospace research centres. Once all the involved companies have moved in, around 600 people will be working on a 28, 000 square metre area. ZAL will create several highly qualified jobs in the aviation industry.

Diehl, Hamburg’s third largest employer in the aviation industry, is setting up an entirely new research and development team in the ZAL TechCenter. Also, leading global players based in Hamburg such as Airbus and Lufthansa Technik will relocate some of their entire innovation departments to the new facility. Last but not least, the research centre will also be used as a venue for events. An auditorium for up to 200 persons with 12 conference rooms, a freely accessible innovation market place and a large canteen has also been provided

Opening on March 7 with high-ranking honorary guests

The ZAL TechCenter will be officially opened on March 7, 2016 in the presence of many honorary guests including Hamburg’s Mayor Olaf Scholz, Brigitte Zypries, Secretary of State for Aerospace at the Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology (BMWi), Dr. Klaus Richter, CEO of Airbus in Germany, and Dr. Johannes Bussmann, CEO of Lufthansa Technik. On March 12, an open day for the general public will be held at ZAL.
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Source and further information:
www.zal.aero

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