New Tech Hub to Accelerate Next Generation Airbus Wings

Airbus is investing further in its UK innovation capabilities, with the opening of a new Wing Technology Development Centre (WTDC) at its Filton site today. The facility, which will be used to build and test demonstrators for a range of programs and research projects, was opened by Nusrat Ghani, UK Minister of State at the Department for Business and Trade. 

Airbus says the new facility will help accelerate the design, build and testing of wings for next generation aircraft, by using the latest technology and world-leading demonstrators to further improve the performance of its wings. 

Alongside engine optimization, making wings longer, leaner and lighter is one of the biggest opportunities to improve fuel efficiency, reduce CO2 and ultimately work towards the aviation industry’s ambition to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2050.

“The new Wing Technology Development Centre will help us to ground our research in practicality,” said Sue Partridge, Airbus head of Filton site and Wing of Tomorrow Program. “A key element of how we deliver technology for next generation aircraft wings is through Wing of Tomorrow (WoT), our largest research and technology program led by the team in the UK. Last week, we achieved a critical milestone in the program when our second wing demonstrator was completed by the team in Broughton, Wales and delivered to the WTDC. Here it will be prepared for structural testing in our Aerospace Integrated Research and Technology Center (AIRTeC).”

Airbus Stock Photos 5th June 2023 Copyright Neil Phillips Photo and Film Ltd

The WoT program allows Airbus to explore new manufacturing and assembly technologies so future generations can continue to benefit from flying. 

“It’s about preparing our people, technology, industrial system, supply chain and digital and physical capabilities for next generation aircraft. We’re leveraging industry partners and the very best digital tools and automation to identify potential technology bottlenecks that may slow us down in the future. The foundations we lay now will help us build better and faster when the time comes.”

The WTDC adds to Airbus’ existing research and technology footprint in the UK, including the Advanced Manufacturing Research Center (AMRC) in Broughton and both the ZEROe Development Center and Aerospace Integrated Research & Test Center (AIRTeC) at its Filton site. 

Since 2014, Airbus has been awarded £117 million by the Aerospace Technology Institute for Wing of Tomorrow related research.