- Airbus revealed its new wing demonstrator, a carbon-reducing innovation modeled off how an eagle soars.
- The technology will be represented on a Cessna Citation VII business jet platform.
- The wing is the latest of Airbus' carbon-reducing efforts, which recently announced its CityAirbus NextGen.
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On Wednesday, Airbus announced a high-performance concept that is focused on accelerating and validating technologies to enhance aircraft performance and optimize wing aerodynamics. The company aims to improve flight efficiency by looking at how an eagle soars and "adapting the shape, span and, surface of its wings and feathers" to a pair of aircraft wings, according to Airbus.
The scaled demonstrator, which is currently just a computer model of what the wings will look like, will be represented on a Cessna Citation VII business jet platform, though it will be compatible with any future aircraft and propulsion systems, according to the company. Airbus is still investigating other elements of the demonstrator's wing control, like gust sensors and multifunctional trailing edges that aerodynamically change the wing's surface in flight. The project will be hosted under Airbus UpNext, the company's wholly-owned subsidiary.
"Airbus' extra-performing wing demonstrator is another example of Airbus' novel technology-oriented solutions to decarbonise the aviation sector. Airbus is continuously investigating parallel and complementary solutions such as infrastructure, flight operations, and aircraft structure. With this demonstrator, we will make significant strides in active control technology through research and applied testing of various technologies inspired by biomimicry," said Airbus Chief Technical Officer Sabine Klauke.
The innovation is the company's latest carbon-reduction project, following its announcement of its first full-sized "eco-wing" prototype and its CityAirbus NextGen electric aircraft. According to Airbus, the eco-wing prototype, three of which will be built, is part of the company's "Wing of Tomorrow" program focused on testing the latest composite materials in wing aerodynamics and architecture and exploring how to improve wing manufacturing and industrialization for future demand.
Meanwhile, the company's next general CityAirbus is part of the company's vision for a network of zero-emission, intra-city electric aircraft. The "flying taxis" emit less than 70 dBa of noise, making them feasible for urban flying, according to the company.