Airbus expands UK footprint: New "Wing Technology Development Center" opens at Filton Site.

Airbus has broadened its commitment to technological advancement in the UK with the inauguration of a new Wing Technology Development Center (WTDC) at its Filton base. The state-of-the-art center was launched by UK Minister of State at the Department for Business and Trade, Nusrat Ghani.

The avant-garde facility is a significant move forward in Airbus' strategy to quicken the conception, fabrication, and testing of wings for futuristic aircraft. By harnessing cutting-edge technology and unrivaled demonstrators, Airbus is set to refine its wing performance further.

In the quest for higher fuel efficiency and lower carbon emissions, one of the most promising areas for development in the aviation industry is designing wings that are longer, slimmer, and lighter. These advancements directly align with the sector's aspiration for net-zero carbon emissions by the middle of the century.

According to Sue Partridge, Airbus Head of Filton site and Wing of Tomorrow Program, the establishment of the new Wing Technology Development Center is an essential step towards grounding their research in reality. She said, "The Wing of Tomorrow (WoT), the UK-led largest research and technology initiative, plays a pivotal role in the development of technology for next-gen aircraft wings."

Partridge continued, “Recently, we hit a significant milestone in the program, with the successful completion of our second wing demonstrator by the Broughton team in Wales. This prototype is now set for structural testing at our Aerospace Integrated Research and Technology Centre (AIRTeC), following its delivery to the WTDC."

The WoT initiative provides Airbus a platform to experiment with innovative manufacturing and assembly methodologies, ensuring the continuity of flight benefits for future generations.

Partridge further explained, "Our focus is on grooming our human capital, enhancing technology, redefining our industrial system, refining supply chains, and evolving our digital and physical capabilities for next-generation aircraft. By partnering with industry stakeholders and leveraging top-tier digital tools and automation, we are detecting and addressing potential technological impediments that could hinder our progress in the future. The groundwork we establish now will enable us to build more efficiently and swiftly when the opportunity arises."

The inclusion of the WTDC amplifies Airbus' existing R&D presence in the UK, which incorporates the Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC) in Broughton and both the ZEROe Development Centre and Aerospace Integrated Research & Test Centre (AIRTeC) at its Filton location.