A highly modified and instrumented Airbus A340-300 has launched into a 150-hr. flight-test campaign intended to prove whether a drag-reducing laminar-flow wing design will be practical for a future short-haul airliner. The A340 Flight Lab is equipped to measure airflow, flight loads and deformation on two new laminar-flow outer wing sections, each two-thirds the size of the wing for a short-range airliner. The flight tests, which began Sept. 26 from Tarbes, France, will show whether laminar ...


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