Airbus unveils €39m landing gear test facility

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Airbus has opened its €39m (£34m) A350 XWB Landing Gear Systems Test Facility at its site in Filton near Bristol.

Construction of the facility began in 2009. It accommodates the landing gear systems integrated rigs; an avionics suite with test benches known as Landing Gear Systems Functional Integration Benches; a control room from which all tests are co-ordinated; a parts store; and a viewing area for visitors.

Approximately 30 full-time employees will work in the landing gear systems test facility when the rigs enter the initial test phase in mid-2011.

The Airbus site at Filton is responsible for the specification, procurement, aircraft integration and certification of all Airbus aircraft landing gear and associated systems.

According to Airbus, the test facility will demonstrate the maturity of the landing gear system and provide evidence for the certification of the landing gear and systems − especially the extension-retraction and braking systems.

The A350 XWB (Xtra Wide Body) range is a new mid-size long-range product line comprising three basic passenger versions that seat between 270 and 350 passengers in three-class layouts.

Scheduled for entry into service in 2013, the A350 range has a total of 558 firm orders from 34 customers.