AIRBUS is investing further in its UK innovation capabilities, with the opening of a new Wing Technology Development Centre (WTDC) at its Filton site.

The facility, which will be used to build and test demonstrators for a range of programmes and research projects, was opened by Nusrat Ghani, UK Minister of State at the Department for Business and Trade. 

The new facility will help Airbus 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 optimisation, 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 Airbus team at Broughton played their part in the new opening after completing the second 17m long wing demonstrator last week. 

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This was delivered to the Wing Technology Development Centre, where it will be prepared for structural testing.

The wing was assembled in the AMRC in Broughton and had been 12 months in the making before journeying down to Filton by truck.

Phil Levell, Airbus Broughton Head of Assembly on the Wing of Tomorrow programme said: "Our team in Broughton has worked incredibly hard from concept five years ago, to this point today where the wing has been completed and delivered to Filton. I'm incredibly proud and am looking forward to seeing how it performs in testing."

Sue Partridge, Airbus Head of Filton site and Wing of Tomorrow Programme said: “The new Wing Technology Development Centre will help us to ground our research in practicality. A key element of how we deliver technology for next generation aircraft wings is through Wing of Tomorrow (WoT), our largest research and technology programme led by the team in the UK. 

“Last week, we achieved a critical milestone in the programme 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 Centre (AIRTeC)."