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Airbus donates aircraft flap assembly for U.S. university research

Demonstrating its commitment to the future of aviation, Airbus provided an aircraft flap assembly to the University of Connecticut’s School of Engineering for use in the college’s research laboratories and training classes.

6 May 2013

The left inboard flap assembly, worth more than $774,000, is commonly installed on Airbus’ long-range A330 and A340 jetliners and was delivered in April to the U.S. state of Connecticut’s flagship university from the Airbus Spares Center in Ashburn, Virginia.

“Airbus is always pleased when we link with academic institutions such as the University of Connecticut,” said Barry Eccleston, President & CEO of Airbus Americas. “When we donate aircraft parts and components to research programs, we are investing in aviation’s future.”

University of Connecticut (UConn) faculty and students will help determine the best uses for the flap assembly and some of the proposed ideas include: non-destructive testing for aircraft structures; wireless aircraft sensors with energy harvesting capabilities; and new ice protection systems for aircraft.

According to Connecticut Governor Dannel P. Malloy, Airbus’ donation will provide significant real-world experience for the university’s students. “I want to thank Airbus for their generous contribution to UConn,” he said. “With this Airbus technology, we are poised to train an even more talented, competitive workforce.”

The hinged flaps – mounted on the trailing edge of an airliner’s wings – reduce the speed at which an aircraft can be safely flown, and shorten takeoff and landing distances by lowering the aircraft’s stall speed and increasing drag.

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