Airlines are trying all kinds of ways to make airplanes less harmful to the environment. And the strategies are very different. The union of KLM Royal Dutch and the Delft University of Technology has created a very different approach. According to a statement, the new model, the Flying-V, not only puts passengers on the wings of the plane: the fuel tanks and cargo hold will also be located there.
The calculations of the Delft University team should allow the Flying-V to transport approximately the same number of passengers as an Airbus A350, 314 passengers, but with 20% less fuel consumption.
“We have been flying these airplanes, like winged tubes, for decades,” explains Roelof Vos, leader of the project. “But the configuration is reaching a plateau in terms of energy efficiency. The new configuration we propose offers some synergy between the fuselage and the wing. The fuselage actively contributes to the lift of the plane and creates less aerodynamic drag.”
Originally, the plane was conceptualized as a possible airplane design for the future, but it can be compared to today’s most advanced aircraft, the Airbus A350. Although it is not as long as the A350, it has the same wingspan. This will allow the Flying-V to use the existing infrastructure at airports, such as gates and runways, without difficulty and the aircraft will also adapt to the same hangar as the A350. In addition, the Flying-V will transport the same cargo volume.
If you want to see it, between October 3 and 13 you can visit it at Schiphol airport.