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“Flying V” Airplane Could Make Air Travel More Sustainable

Royal Dutch Airline KLM announces funding for new airplane concept that could change the way we travel.

Image via KLM

KLM Royal Dutch Airlines President & CEO Pieter Elbers and the Dean for the Faculty of the Aerospace Engineering at Delft University of Technology (The Netherlands) Professor Henri Werij signed an agreement to create a completely new type of aircraft carrier. It has been dubbed the “Flying V”.

The concept plane has been modeled after the Gibson guitar of the same style. This was an original idea of TU Berlin student Justus Benad during his thesis project at Airbus Hamburg. In the Flying-V, the passenger cabin, cargo hold and fuel tanks are all contained within the wing structures! Not only that, but this new concept plane is said to use 20 percent less fuel than the Airbus A350-900. It will also still be able to carry about the same amount of passengers — 314 for the Flying-V, 300-350 for the Airbus.

Studio OSO

Flying Prototype Flying V

Tu Delft shares that in October 2019, researchers will showcase it’s first flying prototype. This prototype will test the Flying-V’s stability and reliability at low speeds, like during take-offs and landings. There are some that wonder how the mechanics of a plane like this would work, given that many traditional airplanes use their wings to change course.

Yet in an interview with CNN, the Flying-V’s project manager, Roelof Vos, shared some really stark facts about the way things in aviation are today. Vos shared with them that:

Aviation is contributing about 2.5% of global CO2 emissions, and the industry is still growing, so we really need to look at more sustainable airplanes. We cannot simply electrify the whole fleet, as electrified airplanes become way too heavy and you can’t fly people across the Atlantic on electric airplanes — not now, not in 30 years. So we have to come up with new technologies that reduce fuel burn in a different way. We’ve been flying these tube and wing airplanes for decades now, but it seems like the configuration is reaching a plateau in terms of energy efficiency. The new configuration that we propose realizes some synergy between the fuselage and the wing. The fuselage actively contributes to the lift of the airplane, and creates less aerodynamic drag.

CNN interview with Roelof Vos

All images by Edwin Wallet at OSO Studio for TU Delft

It seems like we are on the cusp of something really amazing with a design like this. With an aircraft like this, not only is there potential to decrease harmful CO2 gases, there is a chance we are stepping into the future. And with planes like this on the horizon for humanity, the only questions is: Where will you go first?

Click Here For More Related and interesting Articles: This Is The Greatest Airplane Seat Ever

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