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October 2005 edition

Research programme looks for cost-reducing innovation

Static tests on a Europe-built composite outer wing box - approximately A310 size - have been completed at Airbus’ Filton site as part of the TANGO research programme.

The ultimate load test examined the resistance of the wing box to loads of over 100 tonnes under simulated hot-wet conditions, far greater than those a component would experience in normal airline service.

Controlled defects were deliberately made during its manufacture to assess the robustness of the design.

The composite wing box is now undergoing a fatigue test programme, where the wing will be subjected to loading conditions equivalent to a lifetime’s takeoff, flight and landing cycles.

The TANGO research programme was launched to find innovative ways to reduce airframe weight and cost by 20 per cent. ....

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