The Airbus A320-232 "D-ATRA", the latest - and largest - addition to the fleet, is a modern and flexible flight test platform which sets a new benchmark for flying test beds in European aerospace research.
ATRA is the successor to DLR's VFW 614 ATTAS (Advanced Technologies Testing Aircraft System) research aircraft. The Airbus outclasses the veteran VFW 614 in all dimensions: Its wingspan is larger by about 50 percent, it is almost twice as long, its launch weight is almost four times as large, and its has considerably better flight performance.
Within the Institue of Flight guidance this modern test aircraft has many possible applications, such as autonomous flight, ground traffic management, pilot assistance and display technology. It can also be used for studies on the workload and work distribution of pilots or advanced, low-noise approach and departure procedures.