The Financial Times reported today (May 15) that the UK government will help fund the research and development for the composite wing for the Airbus A350.
Aerospace groups are joining forces with the government and regional development agencies to fund research and development aimed at strengthening the UK’s leading position in the manufacture of wings for commercial jets.
They are planning to invest £103m ($200m) in a three-year programme to develop and manufacture wings out of carbon-fibre composites, rather than aluminium. The R&D programme will be led by Airbus, the European aircraft maker, which has its wing design and manufacturing operations in the UK at sites near Bristol and in north Wales.
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Our immediate thought, of course, was about that old bugaboo, government “subsidies” and the entire WTO/EU/USTR/Boeing/Airbus/USAF tanker series of fights.
This will only add fuel to the fire of the complainers over Airbus “subsidies.”
The Airbus response, of course, will be that Boeing gets plenty of R&D and “subsidy” support from NASA and the US Department of Defense.