KLM Royal Dutch Airlines Futuristic Flying Wing takes first flight

  • KLM Royal Dutch Airlines’ first scaled model of futuristic flying-V aircraft flew in Germany last month for the program.
  • The Flying-V is a flying wing aircraft, where the fuselage is blended with wings to form a massive V-shaped aircraft.
  • Airlines and aircraft manufacturers are turning to flying wings as an environmentally friendly alternative to traditional designs.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

A smaller model of the aircraft of the future KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, which first flew in a milestone event for more efficient and environmentally responsible aircraft of the Dutch flag carrier.

In late August when KLM’s Flying-V demonstrators successfully took to the skies over Germany, engineers got their first look at what might one day be the new head of KLM’s fleet. The remote-controlled flight was the culmination of two years of work by engineers from KLM and University of Delft Technology, also known as TU Delft.

The Flying-V differs from conventional aircraft because the fuselage and wings merge to form one giant flying wing. Airbus and Boeing’s new long-range aircraft focus on efficiency through the use of composites and fuel-efficient engines, but flying wing aircraft take efficiency to the next level with a radically new aerodynamically friendly torso design that lengthen Enables distance and improved fuel performance.

Researchers say the design will reduce fuel consumption by up to 20% from today’s most advanced aircraft such as the Airbus A350 and Boeing 787 Dreamliner, currently Air France-KLM, the parent company of the Dutch company and one of the largest airlines is. Group in Europe.

KLM first announced its investment to design the craft in June 2019 at the annual general meeting of the International Air Transport Association in Seoul, South Korea in association with TU Delft.

Flying wing design is gaining traction

KLM Royal Dutch Airlines TUI Delft Flying V

KLM A small model of Flying-V aircraft of Royal Dutch Airlines.

Lean van LIESHOUT / ANP / AFP / Getty

Airlines and aircraft manufacturers are looking at today’s traditional aircraft with flying wing designs in future designs. Contrary to the golden age of aviation, industry trends call for smaller and more efficient aircraft that demanded larger aircraft such as the four-engine Boeing 747 that were once required for non-stop long-distance travel.

KLM says the Flying-V will have wings similar to the Airbus A350 aircraft, which will allow it to use existing airport gates and taxiways, a problem Boeing engineers have to solve with the new folding wing-equipped 777X . And despite being able to carry approximately the same number of passengers, the Flying-V will be able to fly farther than the A350 with the same fuel load.

Passenger cabins will likely be split between two legs of a V-shaped torso design while turbofans will rest on top of the fuselage under the wing, a rare but proven design.

KLM KLM Royal Dutch Airlines and TU Delft Flying V

KLM A small model of Flying-V aircraft of Royal Dutch Airlines.

KLM Royal Dutch Airlines

KLM and TU Delft engineers and researchers led an airbase to neighboring Germany for the first flight, where the scaled model was directed to the aircraft via remote control by a drone pilot.

“To reach this moment is two years of intensely stressful work,” said Malcolm Brown, head of the TU Delft, chief engineer of the Flying-V testing program. “And then, to confirm that it flies, did all that hard work, it was worth putting in a few hours to make sure everything is right and made properly, built correctly, And it pays off. ”

Although not a full-size prototype, the scaled model proves that the aircraft is aerodynamically sound and can fly as designed. It is now up to two companies to build full-size prototypes that can hold passengers and people, an investment that is possibly calling for billions in research and development.

KLM KLM Royal Dutch Airlines and TU Delft Flying V

A small model of the KLM Royal Dutch Airlines Flying-V aircraft on the first flight.

KLM Royal Dutch Airlines

European aircraft manufacturing giant Airbus revealed its Flying Wing demonstrator at the Singapore Airshow 2020 in February, reflecting its interest in the “blended wing” design type as a possible direction for its commercial aircraft lineup. Internal renderings show parallel passenger cabins that take advantage of the aircraft’s width to take additional passengers home

According to military.com, the US Army has its own flying wing, a stealth bomber known as the B-2 Spirit, which has been serving the Air Force since 1993. According to the US Air Force, without thanks to its aerodynamically friendly design, the B-2 Soul can fly up to 6,000 nautical miles. Passengers instead of sages.

KLM has not provided a timeline as to when a Flying-V can be expected, but the general aircraft development could last about 10 years from the drawing board to certification.