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Airbus C295 Clean Sky 2 demonstrator takes flight

27th January 2022 - 12:24 GMT | by The Shephard News Team in London

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The Airbus C295 Flight Test Bed 2 takes flight (Photo: Airbus)

A newly designed C295 testbed has made its maiden flight.

Airbus has announced the maiden flight of a C295 technology demonstrator for Clean Sky 2. 

The aircraft - designated Flight Test Bed 2 (FTB2) by the manufacturer - performed the flight from the C295 final assembly line in Seville, Spain, Airbus confirmed in a 26 January statement.

A flight test campaign will now begin in order to test a new semi-morphing wing, a new light control system, and a SatCom antenna embedded within the FTB2 fuselage.

The aircraft, based on the Airbus C295 tactical airlifter, has been designed as part of the European Clean Sky 2 (CS2) and EU Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme, that allows technologies related to CS2’s future regional multimission aircraft to be tested. 

'The [aircraft] modifications include new materials and technologies designed to achieve noise, CO2 and NOx emissions reduction,' Airbus noted. 

'With these technologies applied in a future regional multimission configuration, up to 43% CO2 and 70% NOx reductions can be achieved in a typical Search and Rescue mission of 400 nautical miles, as well as 45% less noise during take-off.'

'The new flight control system leverages digital control systems to optimise the aerodynamic shape of the wing in flight, while a new multifunctional flap has been completely redesigned and includes flap tabs in the trailing edge controlled by electro-mechanical actuators.'

The manufacturer also referred to the use of 'advanced materials' and additive manufacturing in producing the FTB2 and said a new assembly method had been employed for the aero structures of the wing. 

'A one shot assembly approach has been used for the new composite winglet and winglet tab, moving from the conventional ribs approach to a multi-spar integrated torsion box,' it added. 

'Finally, jig-less methods have been used for the assembly of flaps and ailerons.'

After many years of negotiations, on 10 September 2021, Airbus finally secured a C295W production contract with India for a mega order of 56 aircraft. Of the total fleet 16 are to be produced in Spain. 

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