Airbus wants a radically new wing design for its A320 replacement - and expects help from the European Union's Clean Sky programme's Smart Fixed Wing Aircraft (SFWA) demonstrator project.

The SFWA demonstrator aims to develop and validate technologies, wing concepts and capabilities in the areas of fuel consumption and noise emissions, according to European Commission aeronautics research unit head Liam Breslin, speaking on 23 April at the Royal Aeronautical Society's The Way Forward, Aerospace 2008 conference.

"Airbus says smart wing has big implications for its A320 replacement. It wants a radical wing design," said Breslin.

He added that Airbus is also impatient to get work under way with Rolls-Royce on open rotor development. Alan Newby, R-R chief engineer for future civil programmes told the RAeS conference that aircraft integrators faced a dilemma of choosing an open rotor, tractor or pusher design that could deliver good noise levels and specific fuel consumption (SFC) soon, or waiting to push for better SFC, though possibly at the expense of some noise level performance.

In March the European Commission announced a "call for associates" for SFWA that is open to candidates until 16 June. Selected associate members will be expected to provide part of the design and manufacturing of one set of SFWA flight test articles.

  • Airbus A320 aircraft profile

Source: Flight International