Airbus is using PAMELA* and the A380 static test airframe to take pre-service testing of a new aircraft type right through to the very end of its lifecycle.
This approach means taking into consideration the aircraft's complete lifecycle right as early as the initial concept phase, and dealing with issues that lie many decades ahead, such as dismantling and recycling.
Although the first A380s will not retire from service before the middle of this century, some 4,000 aircraft of more than 100 seats are due to retire by 2023. So, with static testing successfully completed, some parts from the A380's test airframe will be used for further research by Airbus design engineers, while other parts will be used for PAMELA A380.
PAMELA A380 will apply techniques and best practices developed thanks to the â‚¬2.4 million PAMELA project spearheaded by Airbus in partnership with waste-management firm SITA, EADS CCR, Sogerma Services and local government.
Not only is PAMELA helping Airbus to develop sustainable dismantling and recycling techniques that comply with environmental, health and safety requirements, but it enables engineers to incorporate this knowledge into the design of new, more environmentally friendly aircraft that will replace those retiring from service.
The PAMELA project has already been piloted with an A300 airframe at Tarbes in Southern France and was selected as one of the European Commission's L'Instrument Financier pour l'Environment (LIFE) projects.
* PAMELA: Process for Advanced Management of End-of-Life Aircraft