New technology hub to accelerate next generation Airbus wings
Airbus has deepened its investment in UK innovation, with the plane-maker opening a new Wing Technology Development Centre (WTDC) at its Filton location today.
Last week, Broughton completed the second 17m-long wing demonstrator, which was delivered to the WTDC. Here, it will be prepared for stringent structural tests at the Aerospace Integrated Research and Technology Centre (AIRTeC).
These tests aim to assess the durability of new materials, a critical step in validating new technologies for designing next-generation aircraft wings.
The new WTDC facility will help Airbus accelerate the design, build, and testing of wings for future aircraft. This is by using the latest technology and world-leading demonstrators to further improve the performance of its wings.
Alongside engine optimisation, making wings longer, leaner, and lighter is one of the biggest opportunities to improve fuel efficiency, reduce CO2, and ultimately work towards the aviation industry’s ambition of achieving net zero carbon emissions by 2050.
Airbus Head of Filton site and Wing of Tomorrow Programme, Sue Partridge, explains,
“The new Wing Technology Development Centre will help us ground our research in practicality. A key element of how we deliver technology for next-generation aircraft wings is through Wing of Tomorrow (WoT), our largest research and technology programme led by the UK team.
“Last week, we achieved a critical milestone in the programme when our second wing demonstrator was completed by the team in Broughton and delivered to the WTDC. Here, it will be prepared for structural testing in our Aerospace Integrated Research and Technology Centre (AIRTeC).”
Phil Levell, Airbus Broughton Head of Assembly for the Wing of Tomorrow programme, expressed immense pride in his team’s hard work. He said, “Our team in Broughton has worked incredibly hard from concept five years ago, to this point today where the wing has been completed and delivered to Filton. I’m incredibly proud and am looking forward to seeing how it performs in testing.”
The Wing of Tomorrow programme allows Airbus to explore new manufacturing and assembly technologies so future generations can continue to benefit from flying.
“It’s about preparing our people, technology, industrial system, supply chain, and digital and physical capabilities for next-generation aircraft. We’re leveraging industry partners and the very best digital tools and automation to identify potential technology bottlenecks that may slow us down in the future. The foundations we lay now will help us build better and faster when the time comes,” said Sue.
The WTDC adds to Airbus’ existing research and technology footprint in the UK, including the Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC) in Broughton and both the ZEROe Development Centre and Aerospace Integrated Research & Test Centre (AIRTeC) at its Filton site.
Since 2014, Airbus has been awarded £117 million by the Aerospace Technology Institute for research related to the Wing of Tomorrow. Spotted something? Got a story? Send a Facebook Message | A direct message on Twitter | Email: News@Deeside.com