Researchers at the TU Delft partnered with dutch airline KLM to unveil the concept for a new bold V-shaped airplane.
Called the Flying-V, like the famous Gibson guitar with a similar shape, the plane reimagines the usual design of a passengers jet. Instead of a central cylindrical fuselage, the machine sports a two-pronged fuselage with two tail wings, with seats lined up along each side. The advantage of such a design is better efficiency: according to the researchers that developed the concept, the Flying-V could carry up as many passengers as an A350 with standard configuration while using 20% less fuel than the Airbus’ machine. KLM wants to fly an actual model of the plane during the company’s 100th anniversary celebration in October, but it’s unclear if we will ever be able to fly in passenger-ready Flying-V anytime soon. While the wingspan would be roughly the same as the biggest plane flying today, fitting existing airport slots that are wide enough to fit an A350, there’s one other detail that could make the flying experience a no-go for most passengers. As a plane turns, it banks heavily to one side. The effect is noticeable but bearable in a plane where the passengers sit along the central axis, as in a usual barrel-and-wings jet, but it could easily become excessive in a machine like the Flying-V, unless compensated by a complex gyroscopic system that would be hard to engineer and probably too expensive to build.