FARNBOROUGH – A first full-size wing prototype demonstrator has been successfully delivered by Airbus’ international R&T initiative, Wing of Tomorrow, which will aid in the maturation of next-generation wing technology.
Airbus announced at FIA2022 that the first of three fully composite wing demonstrations is now complete, marking the integration of more than 100 different manufacturing and component technologies, including a brand-new industrial assembly system that has helped confirm important automation targets.
Sabine Klauke, Airbus Chief Technical Officer, said, “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.”
Wing of Tomorrow Program
This UK-led program’s worldwide team is creating high-performing wing technologies, which will include a folding wing tip. Wing of Tomorrow displays how Airbus is supporting aviation’s decarbonization goals with research into sustainable aviation fuels and hydrogen propulsion. It also highlights the value of extensive industry cooperation in advancing our sector’s objective for a more sustainable future.
The revolutionary construction methodology used on Wing of Tomorrow eliminates in-tank work and makes it possible to seamlessly combine manual and automated assembly into an improved industrial system. Airbus will investigate several possibilities in order to be able to make the best industrial decisions when building our future wings by capturing the knowledge gained from the construction of this first and subsequent wing demonstrations.
Composite parts for the Wing of Tomorrow are created to make the most of technology and cut the amount of effort required during the assembly phase by more than 50%. To support Airbus’ goal of producing the future’s most highly efficient wings, innovative approaches to inspection and validation, good tolerancing and wing shape, and automation of the remaining drilling will all be implemented.
Featured image: Airbus