Airbus has announced that its “Wing of Tomorrow” research and technology program has begun assembly of the first of three full-size wing prototypes. Along with testing the latest composite materials and new aerodynamics and wing architecture technologies, Airbus says the program is also looking at how to improve wing manufacturing and industrialization. According to the company, the three demonstrator wings will bring together more than 100 new technologies “to explore new manufacturing and assembly techniques with the goal of making aviation more sustainable.”
“Wing of Tomorrow, a crucial part of Airbus’ R&T portfolio, will help us assess the industrial feasibility of future wing production,” said Airbus Chief Technical Officer Sabine Klauke. “High-performing wing technology is one of several solutions—alongside sustainable aviation fuels and hydrogen—we can implement to contribute to aviation’s decarbonisation ambition.”
Of the three prototypes, one will go to systems integration study, one will be structurally tested and compared to computer modeling and assembly of the third will be used to look at “scaling-up production and compare against industrial modeling.” Wing of Tomorrow participants include Airbus global partners and teams across the company’s European sites. The program is partially funded by the U.K.’s Aerospace Technology Institute.