A first full-size wing demonstrator developed and built under the multi-national Airbus Wing of Tomorrow programme has been delivered.
Completion of the first of three prototypes involved the integration of more than 100 different component and manufacturing technologies.
Airbus is using the programme to mature next-generation technologies, including a folding wingtip. Additionally, it introduces a new industrial assembly system with a key aim of validating automated manufacturing techniques.
Sabine Klauke, Airbus chief technical officer, says: “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.”
While the project is an international effort, the UK is leading the programme and features suppliers including GKN Aerospace.
Airbus sees the new industrial system as potentially halving the amount of assembly work required.