Airbus revealed that it has finished assembly of the first demonstrator that will help develop next-generation wing technologies.
Speaking at the Farnborough International Airshow, Airbus said the completion of the first of three fully composite wing demonstrators marks the integration of more than 100 different component and manufacturing technologies that include an all-new industrial assembly system.
The technologies include folding wing tips, Airbus said. Boeing uses folding wing tips on its 777X, which was on static and flying display at Farnborough, to help reduce the amount of space required by the widebody aircraft.
“Wing of Tomorrow brings a completely different build philosophy to the way we currently assemble wings and is a crucial part of our R&T portfolio that will help us assess the industrial feasibility of wing production in the future,” Sabine Klauke, Airbus Chief Technical Officer said in a statement dated July 20, 2022.
Airbus first began working on the Wing of Tomorrow in September 2021. The program aims to complete three models: one will be used to understand systems integration; a second will be structurally tested to compare against computer modeling, while a third will be assembled to test scaling-up production and compare against industrial modeling.
The Wing of Tomorrow program was created to address the challenge of meeting increased demands in performance and production rates for the next generation of fuel efficient aircraft, and to create lighter aircraft wings at a lower cost and produce them faster.
Airbus said the program helps it commit to aviation’s decarbonisation ambitions and demonstrates the importance of large-scale industry collaboration in achieving the aircraft manufacturer’s agenda for a more sustainable future.