Technology & innovation
Keeping the edge
As a world leader in the air transportation industry, Airbus’ goal is to be pushing the boundaries for new and better methods to apply technology in the continuous improvement of its products, business and services.
Airbus applies proven technologies that provide real benefits for all stakeholders, whether in manufacturing, operations or maintenance. Such advances include the introduction of full fly-by-wire flight controls technology, employing advanced materials in its airframes, and developing cockpit designs that improve pilot workload and efficiency.
Revolutionary flight controls
One of Airbus’ major achievements is the use of fly-by-wire controls across the company’s aircraft product line, with years of reliable service proving their significant benefits through improved flight safety, reduced pilot workload, operational commonality and the reduction of mechanical parts.
The company’s pioneering application of composite materials was followed by their mainstream acceptance into worldwide aviation manufacturing. Airbus also has continued to improve aircraft flight decks, using the latest advances in systems and design to provide pilots with the best working environment.
Airbus also is at the forefront in applying innovation and technology to optimise the eco-friendly aspects of its aircraft.
The result is quieter jetliners with reduced fuel consumption, lower noise levels and fewer emissions.
In addition, Airbus actively supports national and international programmes such as the combined European-U.S. AIRE initiative focused on demonstrating potential improvements in flight efficiency, and the European Clean Sky initiative to help reach ambitious environmental targets for air transportation.
In 2012, the company entered into an agreement with aerospace industry and research partners on “Clean Sky 2,” an extension of the original programme, extending the activity from 2014 through 2020, and working to achieve targets that include reduce air transport CO2 emissions by as much as 75 per cent by 2050.
Focus on reliability
The latest in on-board systems ensure that Airbus aircraft are more capable, provide even better performance and demonstrate the highest reliability. Its introduction of a higher hydraulic operating pressure at 5,000 psi. results in smaller and lighter hydraulic system equipment, as well as less hydraulic fluid on board. The application of variable frequency generators provides more power with less weight and lower maintenance costs, along with increased reliability and time-between-removals.
Another innovation is the Airbus Brake to Vacate technology, which allows an aircraft to decelerate quickly and safely on landing while engaging the chosen runway exit at optimum conditions. Introduced as an option on the A380, it is now standard on the A350 XWB.