The Airbus C295 Flight Test Bed 2 (FTB2) has successfully performed its maiden flight from the Final Assembly Line in Seville. The aircraft now starts a flight campaign with the aim of testing the new semi-morphing wing, the new affordable flight control system, as well as a SatCom antenna embedded within the aircraft’s fuselage.
Aciturri has contributed to this demonstrator in several areas: within the EWIRA consortium activities with the delivery of the ailerons and spoilers; and on top of that Aciturri has provided support with the assembly of the inner trailing edge and flap, the delivery of the wing leading edges and providing support in the final modification activities of the aircraft.
Based on the Airbus C295, the Flight Test Bed 2 is an in-flight demonstrator of the European Clean Sky 2 (CS2) and the EU Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme, where technologies related to CS2’s future regional multimission aircraft are tested. EWIRA is a Core Partner consortium of the referred CS2 framework; it is leaded by Aciturri and also take part Caetano Aeronautic (Portugal) and The MTC (UK).
The modifications include new materials and technologies designed to achieve noise, CO2 and NOx emissions reduction. With these technologies applied in a future regional multimission configuration, up to 43% CO2 and 70% NOx reductions can be achieved in a typical Search and Rescue mission of 400 nautical miles, as well as 45% less noise during take-off.
The main modifications in the aircraft are a new high-efficiency semi-morphing wing, new dynamic winglets and a flat panel SATCOM antenna integrated within the top of the fuselage. In addition, innovative flight controls for primary control surfaces, including ailerons, flaps and flap tabs with improved aerodynamics, are capable of adjusting in-flight and contribute to a more efficient high lift system.
Aciturri, together with the other EWIRA partners, has designed, manufactured, assembled and delivered the two ailerons and four spoilers of the aircraft. These components have contributed to mature new assembly technologies (in particular the Jig-Less Assembly concept) and integrated composite manufacturing techniques, which enable more flexible and lower cost assembly processes and components with reduced number of parts and lower weight. EWIRA project has provided to Aciturri two patents already conceded, and other two which are under study, and the knowledge gained is already being applied in the production processes of ongoing programmes.
EWIRA activity is still ongoing, in 2022 important activity would take place with the assembly of the External Wing Full Scale Demonstrator which would validate Aciturri Flexible Jig concept and contribute to mature other CS2 key technologies. Other innovative assembly techniques regarding drilling and assembly would be tested by Aciturri until end of the programme in 2023.