“Flying-V” airplane design promises fuel savings, but there’s a catch

“Flying-V” airplane design promises fuel savings, but there’s a catch

Enlarge / A rendering of the Flying-V wearing KLM’s livery. (credit: Edwin Wallet, Studio OSO)

On Monday, news started to spread about a radical new design of passenger plane. Shaped like the letter V, (and called the Flying-V), it does away with a conventional fuselage and even the middle bit of a blended wing body design—this plane is all wing. As a result, sections of the wings are much thicker than on a normal passenger jet, with a pair of engine nacelles mounted above the rear trailing edges. Passengers sit along the leading edges, with fuel and cargo also stored in the wings. The advantage of this unusual shape? It could carry as many passengers as an Airbus A350—314 of them in a standard configuration—but use 20 percent less fuel for the same journey.

The design is courtesy of TU Delft, a Dutch university, which has been partnering with Dutch

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