KLM has revealed details of an innovative flight concept known as the "Flying-V," a v-shaped aircraft where passengers sit inside the wings.
Researchers at Delft University of Technology (TU Delft) are developing a new v-shaped aircraft aimed at reducing carbon emissions. It's difficult to compare it to anything on the market now because the design is so radical. Nothing of its kind exists but in terms of size, it's close to the Airbus A350 and even fits in the same hangar, meaning it's compatible with present gate and runway layouts at airports. It's not as long as the A350 and it uses 20% less fuel than conventional aircraft thanks to its aerodynamic and lighter design.
The plane is named after the Gibson Flying-V electric guitar, used by musicians such as Jimi Hendrix and Keith Richards. The design integrates the passenger cabin, the cargo hold and the fuel tanks in the wings, creating an unusual V-shape. The Flying-V project is being funded by KLM and a scale model is expected to take to the skies in October at Amsterdam Schipol Airport, although the aircraft probably won't be available for commercial service for another 20 to 30 years.
"We are incredibly pleased to be able to cooperate with our trusted partner KLM on our combined mission to make aviation more sustainable," said Henri Werij, dean of the Faculty of Aerospace Engineering at TU Delft. "Radically new and highly 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," he added. "Our cooperation with KLM offers a tremendous opportunity to bring about real change."