Airbus Unveils Next-Gen Wing Development Hub For Faster Innovation

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Airbus is investing further in its innovation capabilities in the UK, with the opening of a new Wing Technology Development Center (WTDC) at its Filton site. The facility, which will be used to build and test demonstrators for a range of programs and research projects.

At Airbus UK, in Filton

Airbus is investing further in its innovation capabilities in the UK, with the opening of a new Wing Technology Development Center (WTDC) at its Filton site. The facility, which will be used to build and test demonstrators for a range of programs and research projects, was inaugurated on July 4, 2023 by Nusrat Ghani, UK Minister of State at the Department for Business and Trade. The new facility will allow Airbus to accelerate the design, construction and testing of next-generation aircraft wings, using the latest state-of-the-art technology and state-of-the-art demonstrators to further improve the performance of its wings.

Thinner, lighter

Like the competition, Airbus is fully aware that in addition to engine optimization, thinning and lightening the wings is one of the greatest opportunities to improve fuel efficiency, reduce CO2 emissions and, in ultimately helping to achieve the aviation industry’s ambition of zero carbon emissions by 2050.” The new Wing Technology Development Center will help us anchor our research in practice.The Wing of Tomorrow (WoT) programme, our largest research and technology program led by the UK team, is a key part of how we deliver technology for aircraft wings from next generation,” says Sue Partridge, Filton’s Airbus site and Wing of Tomorrow program manager.

New manufacturing and assembly technologies

“Last week, we reached a crucial milestone in the program when our second wing demonstrator was completed by the team in Broughton, Wales, and delivered to the WTDC (Wing Technology Development Centre, literally Aerospace Technology Development Center) This is where it will be prepared for structural testing in our Integrated Aerospace Research and Technology Center (AIRTeC),” continues Sue Partridge. The WoT program allows Airbus to explore new manufacturing and assembly technologies. “It is about preparing our people, our technology, our industrial system, our supply chain and our digital and physical capabilities for the next generation of aircraft. We rely on industrial partners and the best digital tools and to identify potential technology bottlenecks that could slow us down in the future. The foundations we lay today will help us build better and faster when the time comes.”

Filton dedicated to research

The WTDC adds to Airbus’ existing technology and research footprint in the UK, including the Advanced Manufacturing Research Center (AMRC) in Broughton, as well as the ZEROe Development Center and the Integrated Aerospace Research and Test Center (AIRTeC) at its Filton site. Since 2014, Airbus has received 117 million pounds sterling (136.6 M€) from the Aerospace Technology Institute for research related to the airfoil of tomorrow.

This article is originally published on air-cosmos.com

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