Filton - The British Airbus subsidiary Airbus UK assembled in Filton a new wing test stand on which from 2019 the next generation wing structures will be tested.

Airbus UK posted a photo showing the arrival of 230-ton "Wall" at the Airbus Wing Integration Center (AWIC) in Filton, where the next generation wings will be tested.

Increased demand in performance and production rates require a radical new approach to the design and manufacturing of aircraft wings. In Filton, a multifunctional team is working to create the wing of the future,
says Airbus.

The research and test program will investigate different wing sizes. Long and narrow wing structures are the best to create a high lift-to-drag ratio, which could improve fuel efficiency. However, due to airport regulations, the length of the wings is restricted. Airbus engineers in AWIC is experimenting folding wing tips that could be extended before the flight and folded back on the ground to overcome this problem. It could be relatively a quick response to Boeing's 777X with folding wing tips.

Airbus AVIC
Artist impressions of the future strong wall and floor test area in the Airbus Wing Integration Centre with a wing installed and ready for testing - copyright Airbus

No one can be pretty certain how the next generation of aircraft wing will be. It may be formed differently or assembled in a new way. It could be made of composite or advanced metallic materials.

However, one thing is for sure. The aircraft production rates ramp up significantly with the increasing demand, and wings will need to be faster, easier and cheaper to produce and assemble.

The construction of the Airbus Wing Integration Centre (AWIC) began in 2016. The new center will be a superior testing center for large structural aircraft components. It will enable Airbus and its associates to develop new and cutting-edge technologies. The 40 million pounds center is expected to be fully operational at the end of 2018.