Airbus Americas donates $750,000 aircraft part to Auburn aerospace engineering

Published: November 20, 2015
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Airbus Americas has donated a $750,000 elevator – a tail section of its A330 twin-engine jet airliner – to the Department of Aerospace Engineering in the Samuel Ginn College of Engineering at Auburn University. This real-world aircraft component will be used in the department's aerospace structures lab as a prototype for students to explore and analyze.

The elevator consists of a surface area that controls the aircraft's pitch, angle of attack and flight maneuverability. The demonstration piece will permit students to reverse engineer and study the various subcomponents of a finished aircraft wing.

"We are thrilled to receive such a generous donation from Airbus Americas, as we plan to convert it immediately into a valuable teaching tool," said Joe Majdalani, chair of the Department of Aerospace Engineering. "Our students will now have direct access to an authentic aircraft wing component, which will enable them to develop hands-on skills in reverse engineering and testing of composite structures that have a large bearing on aircraft stability."

Airbus made the decision to donate the elevator because of the department's reputation as one of the strongest aerospace programs in the country.

"Airbus is pleased to donate this A330 elevator to Auburn University for use in its composite and aerospace structures courses," said Barry Eccleston, president of Airbus Americas. "With this donation, we hope to provide the students hands-on experience with the new materials used in the aerospace field. By supporting Auburn's well-established aerospace engineering programs, we feel that we are investing in the industry's future. We are also very happy to partner with a university in the state of Alabama, home of Airbus engineering, manufacturing, and defense and space operations."

For more information about the Department of Aerospace Engineering, go to For more information about Airbus Americas, go to

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