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Model Flying-V Takes Flight

November 13, 2020
Flying-V via KLM

Last summer, we shared a story about an airplane that’s turning heads in the aeronautical industry. Why? Well, it’s a commercial airplane being designed by Delft University in the Netherlands, and it’s shaped like a V instead of a long T like traditional airplanes. “What’s the big deal?” you might be wondering? Well, it’s the first time since the commercial airplane was introduced that there’s been any significant changes to its look and feel. But why the change and why V-shaped? First, the V-shape allows for different seat configurations. For example, some passengers can sit in groups, some can sit in more secluded areas, and others can sit in comfortable lounge-like areas and even sleeping pods. Second, the shape of the aircraft means that it’ll need less fuel to fly from place to place, which allows for the entire plane to be much lighter. Earlier this year, a team of researchers, engineers, and a drone pilot took a model-sized version of the Flying-V on its maiden voyage around an airbase in Germany. It was a successful first flight that gathered a lot of data for engineers to rework some of the parts of the plane. Next step? Make an aerodynamic version of the scaled model with some of the kinks worked out!