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article imageNew V-shaped airplane will use less fuel than the Airbus A350

By Tim Sandle     Jun 5, 2019 in Technology
A new V-shaped airplane is being developed by TU-Delft and KLM Royal Dutch Airlines. The improved aerodynamic shape and reduced weight will mean the craft uses 20% less fuel than the Airbus A350, which is today’s most advanced aircraft.
The Netherland’s KLM Royal Dutch Airlines is working with the university TU-Delft to develop the “Flying-V,” a very different type of airplane design. The main innovation is to put passenger seats inside the plane’s wings. This concept should decrease the amount of fuel required for flights by a substantial 20 percent (as compared with the Airbus A350-900). The idea is intended to improve the sustainability of air travel.
The wings are also useful for other applications - fuel tanks and cargo are also intended to be held within the wings. Altogether the aerodynamic and lighter design should have a lower environmental impact. In a traditional configuration the fuselage (main central body) and the wing perform separate functions; whereas, with the Flying-V model the body and wings have been merged into a single component. This creates greater lift and much less drag
The video below provides an overview of the development of the new aircraft:
Commenting on the development, Pieter Elbers, CEO and president of KLM states: "In recent years, KLM has developed as a pioneer in sustainability within the airline industry. We are proud of our progressive cooperative relationship with TU Delft, which ties in well with KLM's strategy and serves as an important milestone for us on the road to scaling-up sustainable aviation."
As an interesting aside, the name for the aircraft - “Flying-V" - is in honor of the Gibson Flying-V electric guitar, used by iconic artists such as Jimi Hendrix and Keith Richards. The Flying-V will be presented at the KLM Experience Day at Amsterdam Airport Schiphol in October 2019, to mark KLM’s 100th anniversary.
Other companies are testing out a variety of different ways to make airplanes less of a impact on the environment. Examples include Virgin Atlantic, who are using recycled waste to power a commercial flight; and Boeing and JetBlue are supporting plans to create hybrid electric planes.
More about Aircraft, vshaped aircraft, Airbus A350, Fuel
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