Airbus Defence & Space (ADS) is designing light and strong carbon composite structures for fuselage and wings. ADS is the Airbus center of excellence for large-scale composite structures and a supplier of major structures such as wing skins for the state-of-the-art Airbus A350 WXB, and also supplies composite structures to Boeing.

The engineering of structures from tip to tail is well advanced. Through successive design iterations, Airbus Group is targeting optimum weights with the requisite strength. The company has built a titanium wing leading edge section (shown left) for evaluation and is progressing on composite specimen testing to optimize material properties. Structural design also takes into account space allocation for systems.

(Above) Airbus has driven wing weight down through multiple design iterations, settling on a 10-spar structure optimized for lightness, strength, and rigidity, very much like a jet fighter wing. Most fuel is carried in the fuselage forward and aft of the wing.

(Above) Due to the unique aerodynamics of the AS2, the fuselage cross-section constantly changes fore to aft in order to minimize the effects of wave drag. Maximum cross section is in the cabin. Frames are spaced to permit large windows.

(Left) The flight deck is being designed to maximize situational awareness through a combination of advanced avionics, natural line of sight, and ergonomics. Aerion will craft the flight deck using fine materials and will devote considerable attention to day/night illumination, making the cockpit environment every bit as inviting as the cabin.