Airbus donates A300 flap to Pennsylvania State University

4 October 2013 Press Release

Recent inventory checks at Airbus’ Spares Center in Ashburn, Virginia revealed a treasure which was handed over today to Penn State’s College of Engineering.

Airbus has donated a like-new flap for an A300 aircraft to school leaders in University Park, Pennsylvania. The flap, which will be used for student research, has a catalog value of more than $900,000 dollars, and represents a major research opportunity for both undergraduate and graduate students in the College’s aviation and aerospace programs. Specifically, Penn State intends to use the flap in its aerospace structures courses. Study plans include installing strain gauges inside the flap to measure strain on the internal ribs and structure of the flap by applying loads to various locations of the flap.

The students will examine the design of the structure, and develop models to predict how it should deform, then apply loads to the actual flap to see how close their hypotheses are. 

Background for editors

Flaps are hinged structures on the trailing edge of fixed wing aircraft that are used to reduce speed and increase the angle of descent for landing, safely shortening takeoff and landing distances. Flaps do this by lowering stall speed and increasing drag. Airbus ended production of the twin-engine/twin-aisle A300 in 2007.