KLM Royal Dutch Airlines in collaboration with Technische Universiteit (TU) Delft completed the successful first real flight test of Flying-V scale model aircraft.
A team of researchers, engineers and a drone pilot of TU Delft completed tested the energy-efficient aircraft design, called the Flying-V, TU Delft announced in a press release on September 1, 2020.
The project of Flying-V began earlier in June 2019. Before performing the first flight test in the TU Delft air base located in Germany, the aircraft completed a series of ground and wind tunnel tests in the Netherlands.
As KLM claims in its media release, the Flying-V “was originally conceptualised as a potential aircraft design for the future“. The aircraft could be compared to the advanced Airbus A350 model, as it has a significant number of technical similarities. Although being smaller than A350, the Flying-V has the same wingspan and could carry the same number of passengers, 314, and the same volume of cargo as the A350 in a standard configuration.
The same wingspan “will enable the Flying-V to use existing infrastructure at airports, such as gates and runways, without difficulty and the aircraft will also fit into the same hangar as the A350”, announced KLM in the statement.
TU Delft reveals that the design of the Flying-V will integrate cargo compartment, the passenger seating layout and the fuel tanks in the wings. Computer calculations have predicted that the improved aerodynamic shape and reduced weight should lead the aircraft to use 20% less fuel than the Airbus A350, claims TU Delft.
The engine of the Flying-V could be called the most innovative part of the aircraft. According to KLM, the plane is equipped with the most fuel-efficient turbofan engines that currently exist.
“In its present design it still flies on kerosene, but it can easily be adapted to make use of innovations in the propulsion system – by using electrically-boosted turbofans, for example,” according to the statement.
KLM plans to officially present a flying scale model and a full-size section of the Flying-V interior at the KLM Experience Days at Amsterdam Airport Schiphol in October 2020.