Airbus C295 Test Bed Aircraft Takes to the Skies for the First Time

Airbus C295 FTB2 aircraft completes maiden flight 6 photos
Photo: Airbus
Airbus C295 FTB2 aircraftAirbus C295 FTB2 aircraft completes maiden flightAirbus C295 FTB2 aircraft completes maiden flightAirbus C295 FTB2 aircraft completes maiden flightAirbus C295 FTB2 aircraft completes maiden flight
Achieving a more sustainable aviation sector requires a long-term plan, which includes aircraft that produce fewer emissions. Some key players are already making great strides in reaching that goal. One of them is Airbus, which has recently announced that its C295 Flight Test Bed 2 (FTB2) has successfully completed its maiden flight.
Based on the tactical airlifter C295, the FTB2 is an in-flight demonstrator part of Clean Sky 2 (CS2), a research program dedicated to developing new technologies and solutions meant to reduce the environmental impact of the aviation industry.

The goal is to use them to reduce CO2 emissions by 43 percent and NOx emissions by 70 percent in a typical Search and Rescue operation of 460 miles (741 km). Not only that but they are expected to enable noise reduction during takeoff by 45 percent.

Now, with new technologies onboard, FTB2 has finally soared to the skies from the Final Assembly Line in Seville. Some of the key improvements include more dynamic winglets, a new semi-morphing wing, and a SatCom antenna integrated within the aircraft's fuselage.

FTB2 also incorporates improved flight controls for primary control surfaces that allow the wing's aerodynamic form to be adjusted mid-flight, contributing to a more efficient high lift system.

Airbus says that its efforts toward more sustainable aviation extend to the production process as well. The aircraft was built using cutting-edge materials and manufacturing processes, including a unique assembly method for the new composite winglet and winglet tab.

The plane's first flight has kicked off a series of tests that will focus on its new semi-morphing wing, the flight-control system, as well as the SatCom antenna integrated into the fuselage.

"The first flight of the C295 FTB2 is a key milestone that represents an important step forward in the programme, following the successful integration of the new aero structures, power-on and ground tests," said Francisco Javier Sánchez Segura, Executive Vice President Engineering Airbus Defence and Space.

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About the author: Florina Spînu
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Florina taught herself how to drive in a Daewoo Tico (a rebadged Suzuki Alto kei car) but her first "real car" was a VW Golf. When she’s not writing about cars, drones or aircraft, Florina likes to read anything related to space exploration and take pictures in the middle of nature.
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