A350 TRAS – IRON BIRD (Airbus -Toulouse)

A350 TRAS – Iron Bird, Thrust Reverser Test rig to form part of the Iron Bird Test Rig at Airbus Toulouse, France.

Positioned inside a hangar at Toulouse, France, Airbus’ ground-based systems integration test bench – also known as the “Iron Bird” – provides an important resource in validating the workings of the A350 airliner. With a variety of vantage points for engineers to survey the movements, this skeleton-like installation is a representative layout of the A350 XWB’s systems, hydraulic pumps, electrical network and flight controls, and thrust reverser system which are cycled to represent their operation in airline service.

The “Iron Bird” rig has helped Airbus identify issues related to the integration of complex systems that computer testing alone might not catch. As a result, Airbus has made multiple improvements to the A350 XWB’s hardware and software, which have now incorporated into the aircraft.

Airbus’ dedicated A350 XWB rig has been in use since 2010, well before construction began on the first jetliners.