Airbus UpNext focuses on flying future technologies at speeds well beyond what seems feasible today. In doing so, it is actively shaping the future of the aerospace industry.
Airbus UpNext’s demonstrators evaluate, mature and validate potential new products and services that encompass radical technological breakthroughs. It has three flagships locations in France, Germany and Spain, to rapidly develop and test future technologies in scaled applications.
Its mission is:
- To identify trends and technology concepts disrupting the future of aerospace - from both inside and external to Airbus - and evaluate them as potential viable products.
- To further accelerate traditional research cycles, developing proof of concepts and completing both ground and flight testing with scale and speed. Each demonstrator takes on the challenge to deliver critical learning within a two to three year time frame, engaging our people and partners with purpose.
- To develop real-world applications for emerging aerospace technologies, thereby driving maturation and value.
The people at Airbus UpNext keep one foot in the present and one foot in the future. They are solution-oriented, value-driven and come from different backgrounds and sectors. With a hands-on approach to bringing future technologies to life today, the people working at Airbus UpNext deliver value-add aerospace innovation by staying one step ahead.
The Airbus UpNext teams are 100% dedicated to the project they are working on while having opportunities to contribute and apply their savoir-faire to other areas across the organisation. In doing so they positively contribute to the Airbus innovation ecosystem, delivering innovations with meaningful value.
This three-year demonstrator project focuses on testing cryogenic and superconducting technologies to significantly boost the performance of electric- and hybrid-electric propulsion systems in future zero-emission aircraft.
eXtra Performance Wing
This demonstrator project focused on accelerating and validating technologies that will improve and optimise wing aerodynamics and performance for any future aircraft. Its applications would be compatible with any propulsion solution and aircraft configuration and would reduce CO₂ emissions, contributing greatly to Airbus’ decarbonisation roadmap.
This flight demonstrator project proves the technical, operational and economic viability of wake-energy retrieval for commercial aircraft. This concept of operations could make a significant impact on aircraft’s environmental performance, with at least a 5% reduction in CO2 emissions per trip.
This project demonstrates simplified mission preparation and control for vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) aircraft, reducing pilot workload using intuitive devices on the Airbus Helicopters Flightlab.
The Autonomous Taxi, Take-off and Landing (ATTOL) project leveraged computer-vision technologies and techniques to successfully complete fully autonomous flight tests using a commercial aircraft. The project’s learning will be applied on future autonomous flight concepts.
E-Fan X is a major milestone on Airbus' decarbonisation journey. This first-of-its-kind demonstrator has provided invaluable learnings on serial hybrid-electric propulsion.
This programme aims to provide seamless smart routing in satellite constellations (LEO and GEO). Airbus UpNext TELEO will also boost ground-to-space communication data rates thanks to ultra-high-throughput optical links.
Airbus increases its innovation footprint in Spain to develop new hydrogen technologies
Airbus and its partners demonstrate how sharing the skies can save airlines fuel and reduce CO2 emissions
Airbus launches extra high performance wing demonstrator to fortify decarbonisation ambition
Discover our Innovation Ecosystem at Airbus