Airline’s ‘Flying V’ Airplane Prototype Graces Skies For The First Time
By Izza Sofia, 15 Sep 2020
Image via TUDelft
A prototype model of the Flying V airplane has had a successful test flight.
Developed at Delft Technology University and backed by Dutch airline KLM, the V-shaped plane is set to carry up to 314 passengers, some even housed in its wings, if it goes commercial.
The aircraft’s wings, which stretch from its nose to form a “V,” will hold the passenger cabin, cargo and fuel tanks. The design is said to be able to cut fuel consumption by 20 percent as compared to average planes.
The test flight was carried out in an airbase in Germany, and succeeded in taking off, maneuvering and landing the airplane. Assistant professor at the Delft’s University of Technology Roelof Vos explained that one of the worries the team had was “lifting off” as calculations showed “‘rotation’ could be an issue.”
“The team optimized the scaled flight model to prevent the issue, but the proof of the pudding is in the eating. You need to fly to know for sure,” he continued.
However, the current design shows too much “Dutch roll,” which led to a rough landing. The team has also decided to tweak the plane’s center of gravity and antenna to improve telemetry.
The team said that the next step is to use the data collected during the flight for an aerodynamic software model of the aircraft. This will make it possible to program it into a flight simulator to be used in future research and test flights.
Successful maiden flight for the Flying-V scaled flight model, the energy-efficient aircraft design by @tudelft together with @klm and @Airbus. https://t.co/y7Pp4pDBtG #flyingv pic.twitter.com/p9s77khb2F— TU Delft (@tudelft) September 1, 2020
Successful maiden flight for Flying-V: This summer, a team of #aetudelft travelled to an airbase in Germany for the first real test flight of the scaled flight model: https://t.co/iOoBuEn4HQ #flyingv #sustainableaviation #clearskyrevolution @tudelft @KLM @Airbus pic.twitter.com/V2L8PCIcMP— TU Delft | Aerospace Engineering (@AETUDelft) September 1, 2020
[via CNN, cover image via TUDelft]
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