A prototype model of a V-shaped commercial aircraft being developed by Dutch researchers will be ready for flight tests by October 2019.
The prototype will be used in a series of flight tests to determine if the “Flying-V” can remain stable and reliable while being flown at the relatively lower speeds during take-off and landing.
It was also announced this week that Dutch airline KLM is to help fund the development of the Flying-V concept being developed at the University TU Delft.
The aircraft’s v-shaped design integrates the passenger cabin, the cargo hold and the fuel tanks into the wings, while its improved aerodynamic shape and reduced weight will mean it uses 20% less fuel than the Airbus A350.
A flying scale model and a full-size section of the interior of the Flying-V is to be presented at an event at Amsterdam Airport Schiphol in October.
If built, the Flying-V would not be as long as the A350 but would have the same 65m wingspan and would carry the same number of passengers – 314 in the standard configuration – and the same volume of cargo, 160 cubic meters.
The Flying-V will be powered by turbofan engines but will be designed so it can be adapted to a hybrid-electric configuration.
Dean of the faculty of aerospace engineering at TU Delft, Professor Henri Werij, said, “We are pleased to be able to cooperate with our trusted partner KLM on to make aviation more sustainable. Radically new and energy-efficient aircraft designs such as the Flying-V are important in this respect, as are new forms of propulsion. Our ultimate aim is one of emission free flight. Our cooperation with KLM offers a tremendous opportunity to bring about real change.”