Select Committee on Trade and Industry Ninth Report

Annex: The Airbus wing

The diagrams below show the breakdown of wing parts for a typical Airbus plane—in this case, the A380.[141]

The front and rear spars are large U-shaped girder-like structures running nearly the entire length of the wing that carry the load of the aircraft to the wings. In flight, the fuselage hangs from the spars while the wing provides the lift. The spars also provide the wing with its lateral stiffness and bear the undercarriage loads.

The leading edge and trailing edge are joined to the front and rear spars respectively. They are attachment points for the moveable surfaces on the wing (flaps, ailerons, spoilers, etc).

The wing ribs form the aerofoil shape of the wing and are positioned along the wing, forming bridges between the two spars and giving the wing shape and stiffness perpendicular to the spars. Combined with the spars, the ribs form the frame of the wingbox.

The covers enclose the wingbox structure. The upper cover is mostly uninterrupted while the lower cover is more complex with holes cut in it to accommodate access ports and connection points for landing gears, engine pylons and fuel access. Covers are also referred to as skins.

Moveable surfaces are front and rear moving parts that are designed to create lift and control in flight. They include the flaps, slats and ailerons.

The wingbox is the term used to describe the central wing, consisting of the two spars, ribs and covers, supporting the leading edge and trailing edge, and the fuel tanks.

141   Source: DTI Back

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