Airbus announced on Tuesday that it has wrapped up wind-tunnel testing of its eXtra Performance Wing demonstrator. Alongside fello’fly’s widebody formation flights and AlbatrossONE’s flapping wings, the eXtra Performance Wing is one of the company’s “biomimicry” projects that engage in “the study and imitation of nature … to help solve human challenges.” Launched last September, the goal of the project is to accelerate and validate technologies that will improve and optimize wing aerodynamics and performance for future aircraft.
“The scaled demonstrator will integrate and fly breakthrough wing technologies using a remote-controlled Cessna Citation VII business jet platform in representative flight conditions,” said Oliver Family, head of eXtra Performance Wing UK. “The partly 3D-printed wind-tunnel model … is a scaled-down version of the Cessna jet, incorporating the lightweight, long-span design of the eXtra Performance Wing that will provide the emissions benefits we are striving for.”
Airbus says the eXtra Performance Wing design is aimed at reducing CO₂ emissions and is intended to be compatible with any future aircraft configuration and propulsion system. The project will also look at onboard technologies such as gust sensors, pop-up spoilers and multifunctional trailing edges “to enable the active control of the wing.” The eXtra Performance Wing project is being conducted by Airbus research and development subsidiary Airbus UpNext.