BTfly – Biological transformation along the product life cycle of electrically powered aircrafts

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Project video »BTfly«

The BTfly project is specifically concerned with biological transformation applied to components of electrically powered aircrafts. The early phase of product development enables the product and production processes to be co-designed according to aspects of sustainability and biological transformation. There is a high degree of creative freedom in the design of the flying objects, and thus the possibility of approaching optimization by integrating structures, principles, and materials from nature into technology.

To exploit the full potential of biological transformation, holistic approaches are required that consider aspects of sustainability along the entire life cycle of the product. However, ecological sustainability is often in conflict with economic concerns and component performance; therefore, products usually represent a compromise solution based on a selective and not least subjective decision-making process.

Numerous product variants and easy analysis

In the BTfly project, scientists are developing a system architecture based on graph-based design languages, which enables the rapid creation of numerous product variants with the addition of various ecological modifications along the product life cycle »at the push of a button«. These range from material selection to recycling strategies. The generated product variants can be compared in terms of environmental sustainability, cost, and performance by incorporating life cycle analysis and life cycle costing.

More info:

CU reports 01/2021: Focus 2021 Bionics (german)
CompositesWorld: Model-driven design and analysis for sustainable lightweight design (english)  

Variety of variants
© Fraunhofer IGCV
Variety of variants

Further projects of the Fraunhofer IGCV in the field of biological transformation


Intelligent search and gripper system: combining additive manufacturing, sensor and control technology, and artificial intelligence with a bionic approach.


A lightweight framework consisting of composite tubes and cast nodes – joined by press connections.


Component condition monitoring using a »sensitive outer skin«.

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Industry solutions

The key sectors of Fraunhofer IGCV:

  • Mechanical and plant engineering
  • Aerospace
  • Automotive and commercial vehicles


We are shaping the way into the future of efficient engineering, networked production and intelligent multi-material solutions.