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July 2006 edition

Acceptance of new wing technologies could give EADS' spirits a lift

By Rod Smith

Critical decisions on the future of new wing technologies are likely to be made in late 2007. That’s when designers and engineers should be told whether novel wing elements are to be incorporated into production versions of the Airbus.

The elements are being developed as part of the Aircraft Wing with Advanced Technology OpeRation (AWIATOR) research project. Several sub-projects are involved in the project which is part of the Fifth Framework Programme sponsored by the European Commission.

Mini-TEDs are among the components that are being analysed and flight tested. Mini-TEDS are lightweight components made of carbon-fibre composites. They are about one centimetre thick and attached via built-in hinges to the trailing edge of the landing flaps.

The mini-TED design was patented in 2005. It generates increased lift that enables the aircraft to leave the ground sooner during takeoff and use a steeper angle of approach when landing. This reduces the area overflown at low altitude and narrows the aircraft’s noise footprint.

The concept is that movable flaps on the trailing edge of an aircraft’s wing can contribute to noise reduction and facilitate lower pollutant emission.

The EADS Corporate Research Centre (CRC) at Ottobrunn, near Munich, has been heavily involved in AWIATOR which has been developing the latest wing technologies since July 2002.

The AWIATOR flight tests continue throu....

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