The end of the summer heralds, at ONERA, the arrival of a new director of aeronautical programmes, Philippe Beaumier, following the retirement of his predecessor, Hervé Consigny, at the end of July 2018.
His background: helicopters, and more…
Philippe Beaumier joined ONERA in 1990, with the ambition of working in an intellectually-stimulating profession, but which at the same time was grounded in concrete issues. He hit the jackpot at ONERA: a bridgehead between research and industry, here he could carry out applied research work. He "fell into the helicopters cauldron", and would remain there, getting the opportunity along the way to work on one of the finest projects in the field, the Blue Edge rotor. This revolutionary rotor, which inspired those on the current H160, now in certification phase at Airbus Helicopters, has enabled noise to be reduced by 4 to 5 dB in the helicopter descent phase (halving the perceived noise). Yet helicopters are not all you'll find in his "lab". From the start, he has worked hand-in-hand with the industrial partner, Eurocopter, which today has become Airbus Helicopters. For 25 years he has kept track of this project, which has passed from innovative concept stage to the stage of industry-ready technology. This project management has also led him to work with DLR, the German counterpart of ONERA.
Having worked, therefore, for more than 20 years on applied research projects on wings and rotary machines, on a European scale, when the post of director of the Aeronautical Programmes Directorate became available, Philippe Beaumier was able to put forward his experience both in aeronautical engineering and in industrial relations.
Challenges and ambitions
The ONERA Programmes Directorates, of which there are 3 (Aeronautics - Defence - Space), are tasked with facilitating dialogue between the partners and the scientific departments.
For Philippe Beaumier, the Aeronautical Programmes Directorate: "... will help bring upstream research to maturity so that it can be developed as efficiently as possible into technologies of interest to industry."
The 6 programme divisions of his team are therefore split according to broad topic, to remain attentive to the needs expressed from without, while ensuring consistency for affairs from within.
For the future, Philippe Beaumier knows that the Aeronautical Programmes Directorates will be able to face the challenges of the aeronautical sector, helped in no small part by his own accessibility and attentiveness, on the one hand, and his scientific expertise, on the other: "Two big challenges will take up much of our time in the years to come: the new configurations of the more-electric aircraft - and the increasing automation of aircraft."
Know more about
Blue Edge rotor (french)