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21 August 2007
21. August 2007 Commercial Aircraft

Bringing out the best of an aircraft's wing


A multi-year European project has evaluated new wing technologies that will improve aircraft operations in all aspects of flight. The Airbus-managed AWIATOR (Aircraft Wing with Advanced Technology Operation) programme involved the participation of companies, institutes, agencies and universities, and included both theoretical work and flight tests.

The Airbus-led AWIATOR (Aircraft Wing with Advanced Technology Operation) programme has been completed, validating new technologies that will contribute to more efficient, safer operation of jetliners.

This 79 million euro project began in 2002, with its funding provided by a consortium of industry partners, institutes, agencies, universities and the European Union.

One of its goals was to study ways of reducing wing-generated wake vortex, enabling large aircraft to fly in closer proximity - particularly during takeoff and landing.

AWIATOR also evaluated the use of new wing devices, adaptative control surfaces and new load control strategies to improve an aircraft's performance at cruise and in low-speed flight.

An additional task was to reduce aircraft drag and structural weight through the more efficient use of existing wing devices (such as winglets) and the development of new devices.

AWIATOR programme research was based on both theoretical work and flight evaluations, and involved an A340-300 test bed aircraft.

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