The European aircraft manufacturer Airbus wants to develop a new type of wing. The new wing is cheaper and easier to manufacture.
The aircraft maker expects the lightweight composite wing to be another sales success.
More than a decade ago, Airbus added more fuel-efficient engines to its A320 aircraft family, boosting demand for this already best-selling model. The new wing will be deployed on an upgraded version of the same A320 series, making these single-aisle jets even more efficient, said project leader Sue Partridge.
Airbus has made some upgrades over the years, including adding wingtips that reduce aerodynamic vortex, but otherwise, the wing has mainly remained the same since the A320’s introduction in the late 1980s.
The future wing will be longer and thinner to improve aerodynamic performance and fuel efficiency. Production will also be simplified through automation and new manufacturing techniques, says Partridge.
The Airbus wing project will be completed in 2023. The next step is to hone the technology for a final product launch, where planning depends on the complexity of the aircraft design, Partridge said.