Dutch Airline KLM & TU Delft 'Flying-V' Futuristic Airplane Completes First Scale Model Flight
September 8, 2020
Dutch airline KLM and TU Delft is hoping the 'Flying-V' will be the airline's flagship aircraft after a successful maiden flight in Germany. They blend the fuselage of the plane with the wings, creating a giant V shape plane.
Photo of the scale model of the Dutch Airline KLM "Flying-V" plane - TU Delft
Project leader Dr. Roelof Vos and his team worked in partnership with a team from Airbus to get the aircraft to take-off and fly several test maneuvers until they depleted the batteries. Rotation on take-off was performed easily and occurred at a speed of 80 km/h. The plane’s thrust was good and flight speeds and angles were as predicted, according to a company statement.
Engineers and a drone pilot of TU Delft first test the model in the Netherlands before traveling to an airbase in Germany for the first real test flight of the scaled flight model of the energy-efficient aircraft design called the Flying-V.
The model has a wingspan of 3.06 m (10 ft), a length of 2.76 m (9.05 ft) and a weight of 22.5 kg (50 lb), which is a scaled-down concept of an actual commercial airbus, and fitted with a remote control system.
The plane’s aerodynamic shape carries the same amount of passengers and cargo as an airbus A350. The Flying-V's futuristic design will cut fuel consumption by 20% compared to today's advanced commercial aircrafts.
Although the aircraft is still in its early stages, next steps for KLM will be to analyze the scale model flight data, and fine-tune the concept, with the exploration of sustainable propulsion, and possibly powering the “Flying-V” with liquid hydrogen instead of kerosene.