Airbus A350 XWB with software-controlled high-lift flap

a350icon.jpgThe latest high-lift technology for the A350 XWB’s wing promises to reduce complexity and better deliver low-speed performance, while also offering significant fuel savings for airlines.

High-lift systems use devices such as flaps and spoilers to create more lift from a wing, most notably during take-off and landing. While Airbus has generally been a leader when it comes to designing these mechanisms, the A350 XWB’s state-of-the-art system adds more intelligence to the wing, allowing for greater dynamic response and flexibility.

The new system integrates a wing’s flap and spoiler movements using a “software coupling.” Whichever way the flap may be deployed, the computer-controlled spoiler automatically moves into the most efficient position. Early wind tunnel tests on a modified A320 wing have proved the viability of a software-controlled spoiler-flap interlink, demonstrating an advantage in lift without any detriment in drag.

The new high-lift flap, which has been patented by Airbus, is a dropped hinge design and consists of a beam with a rotation point. Designated as the “advanced dropped hinge flap,” it is simpler than a conventional flap and requires less moving parts, resulting in a half tonne weight reduction. It is also easier and less costly to maintain. … [Full Article at]