A revolutionary V-shaped aircraft project, supported by the airline KLM and Airbus, has taken a big step forward: the mockup took off for the first time and the video of this milestone has just been shared.
Although it is only a model that represents only 4.7% of the size that the final aircraft will have, it is a historical fact for the aviation industry. And it is that it has demonstrated the viability of this novel configuration and that an aircraft with such an extraordinary fuselage can effectively be controlled.
Although the model with a wingspan of about three meters made the flight in July, the video was published only in September. According to its creators, from the Technical University of Delft, in the Netherlands, this configuration will save up to 20% of fuel compared to more conventional aircraft. That’s because it has a smaller overall surface area, which leads to better aerodynamics and lower air resistance.
Unlike classic aircraft, it will have two passenger cabins whose dimensions are similar to those of the Airbus A320, which will be connected at a certain angle creating the V shape. On the sides, there will also be the fuel tanks and cargo compartments.
Despite the difficulties in maintaining flight stability, and the fact that landing gear was damaged when it touched the ground, “it could be said that this is a successful test,” summarized Roelof Vos, the head of the project V flying.
This flight also has great value for researchers because it allowed them to collect new data that will help them solve the problems they experienced. Thus, they realized that the center of gravity is located too far to the rear, and this will be only one of the aspects that will be improved for the next flight that the model will perform in 2021.