MTU cooperates closely with research institutes and universities, an approach that benefits both sides: it gives the institutes’ primary focus on basic research a more practically oriented tilt while MTU can draw on the scientists’ expertise. Its network strategy relies on three pillars: trend analysis and development of visionary engine concepts at Bauhaus Luftfahrt; concentration of basic research at just a few top-notch institutes and universities; and regular exchange of experience with experts within and outside the aviation industry.
Shaping the future of aviation calls for creativity and imagination while maintaining a high degree of scientific accuracy. Against this backdrop, the Bauhaus Luftfahrtthink tank develops and analyzes major driving forces, new technological approaches and innovative ideas, and integrates them into holistic solutions for aviation.
Among other things, the Bauhaus researchers devise visionary aircraft concepts and investigate ecological aspects of aviation and their socio-political drivers. Bauhaus Luftfahrt was founded in 2005. Current partners are Airbus, Liebherr-Aerospace, MTU Aero Engines, IABG and the State of Bavaria.
Centers of competence (CoCs)
Strategic alliances with research partners safeguard MTU’s innovative capabilities over the long term and strengthen ties between universities and industry. Such partnerships are about more than just technology: by getting students in touch with industry reality early in their academic careers, MTU hopes to produce a continuous pool of young talent for its own ranks.
Together with leading German universities and research institutes, MTU has also launched six different centers of competence (CoCs) to perform specific research tasks: RWTH Aachen focuses on compressors and production, the German Aerospace Center (DLR) in Cologne on propulsion systems, TU Munich on design, UniBW Munich on military engines, and University of Stuttgart on turbine testing and thermodynamics. Leibniz University Hannover and the Laser Zentrum Hannover concentrate on turbines and maintenance repair.
DLR Institute of Test and Simulation for Gas Turbines
The German Aerospace Center (DLR) plans to build a test and simulation center for gas turbines (TESIG) in Augsburg, of which MTU will make intensive use. The idea behind the new center is to validate numerical simulation processes (virtual engine) with experimental procedures on test stands in such a way that it is possible to draw up new designs in the future with considerably less testing. In addition, the center will house supercomputers for high-resolution and coupled simulations in aerodynamics, structural mechanics and materials mechanics. Two modern test stands will also be set up. TESIG is a key element in strengthening the virtual engine research landscape. This project receives substantial funding from the German federal government and the State of Bavaria.
Collaboration with various Fraunhofer Institutes throughout Germany is a main focal point of MTU’s cooperative ventures—particularly when it comes to production and materials technologies. With its broad spectrum of expertise, the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft works on industry-related research contracts on behalf of MTU. “Technikum Blisk,” MTU’s joint project with the Fraunhofer Institute for Production Technology IPT in Aachen, is dedicated to the manufacture of prototype blisks for the second generation of Geared Turbofan™ engines.