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.

UpNext People

Current projects

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 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.

Cryogenics and superconductivity for aircraft, explained


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.

Latest news


Nature-inspired wing demonstrator completes wind-tunnel tests

Airbus has completed wind-tunnel testing of its eXtra Performance Wing demonstrator in its quest to quickly test and accelerate new technologies that will decarbonise the aviation industry.

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Photo_Airbus establishes UpNext/ZEDC in Spain


Airbus increases its innovation footprint in Spain to develop new hydrogen technologies

Airbus is increasing its presence in Spain with the launch of an Airbus UpNext entity, a wholly-owned innovation subsidiary, and a Zero Emission Development Centre (ZEDC) for hydrogen technologies.

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A350 test aircraft fello fly transatlantic flight


Airbus and its partners demonstrate how sharing the skies can save airlines fuel and reduce CO2 emissions

Airbus has performed the first long-haul demonstration of formation flight in general air traffic (GAT) regulated transatlantic airspace with two A350 aircraft flying at three kilometers apart from Toulouse, France to Montreal, Canada. The aircraft were greeted at Montreal-Trudeau International Airport. Over 6 tons of CO2 emissions were saved on the trip, confirming the potential for more than a 5% fuel saving on long-haul flights.

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Past achievements

A350 test aircraft fello fly transatlantic flight


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.



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

E-Fan X

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.


Discover our Innovation Ecosystem at Airbus


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Transforming risk into opportunity to build the future of flight

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Airbus China Innovation Centre

Fast-tracking innovation in the heart of China

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Airbus Scale

Scaling aerospace innovation for business value

Airbus Flightlab

A flying laboratory to deliver proof of concept

Airbus Ventures

Airbus Ventures

Investing in innovative aerospace start-ups


Airbus Cyber Innovation

A cutting-edge approach to cybersecurity research