Nick Thomas-Symonds, MP for Torfaen and Shadow Minister for Security and Solicitor General, visited the Airbus site in Filton on Friday 8 September as part of his Industry and Parliament Trust (IPT) Fellowship* exploring various issues within industry, including the aviation sector.

The UK is one of Airbus’ four home nations; the site in Filton employs around 4,000 people that primarily work on the wing assembly and equipping the A400M multi-role airlifter. Core activities at Filton include the design, engineering and support for Airbus wings, fuel systems and landing gear integration.

During the visit Nick was able to gain insight into some of these operations as well as explore key policy issues including industrial strategy, cyber security, digitalisation and Airbus’ latest Brexit positon.

Nick was taken on a tour of the site by an Airbus A400M Apprentice where he was able to meet a number of Airbus employees and see the Airbus Wind Tunnel which simulates wind speeds at take-off and landing.

Nick was able to see first-hand how the Wind Tunnel technology is used for testing components of the aircrafts or whole aircrafts scaled down to size to test the aerodynamic design of the aircraft. These tests also show how air moves over aircraft surfaces and the complex relationship between lift, drag, the shape and orientation of the aircraft and air flow.

The visit also gave Nick the chance to see the Virtual Reality Suite and learn about how Airbus uses panoramic imaging technology to design and model future wing configurations. He also got the opportunity to be given an overview on the Airbus Wing Integration Centre, a new £40million advanced research and testing centre, which is currently under construction for large structural components including future wings.

Nick’s visit to Airbus has provided him with a greater insight into employment, skills and security issues business are facing, in particular in the aviation industry.

Commenting on the visit, Nick Thomas-Symonds MP said:

“I thoroughly enjoyed my visit to Airbus in Filton on Friday. During my visit I had some fascinating discussions and insight into Airbus’ operations. I am delighted to have seen how the A400M wings are assembled and produced as well as the technology behind the Wind Tunnel. The IPT Fellowship programme is extremely useful to me as a Member of Parliament. I would like to thank Airbus for organising this visit and I look forward to continuing my Fellowship at the IPT.”

Recent Posts