As the threat of climate change becomes increasingly prevalent, companies across the world are figuring out ways to reduce their carbon footprint.
One of those with the biggest spotlight on it is the airline sector, particularly when it comes to reducing the emissions of fuel.
That’s where the Flying-V plane comes in. This new aircraft, which is based on the Gibson guitar of the same name, is reported to burn 20 percent less fuel than the most efficient plane. And it’s not long to wait, as a prototype model will take flight later this year.
The concept was developed by researchers at Delft Technology University in the Netherlands and is financially backed by KLM.
If all goes well, we could be seeing these uniquely designed planes lining our skies in the years to come.
Although its wingspan is the same as a regular aircraft, in this case the wings are where the passengers will sit, meaning it can carry up to 314 people in what would normally be empty space. And therein lies the secret to its fuel efficiency.
According to Pieter Elbers, the KLM chief executive, by drastically reducing the carbon footprint of air travel and the expenditure on fuel, the project is a potential pioneer in the sector of ‘sustainable aviation initiatives’.
But what about the inside of the aircraft? Although details on this are scarce, Peter Vink – professor of Applied Ergonomics and Design at the Faculty of Industrial Design Engineering who is also involved in the project – gave a little insight into what to expect.
“The new shape of the aircraft means we have exciting opportunities to design the interior, making flying more comfortable for passengers,” he said.
“For instance, as part of the Flying-V research, we’re looking into new options to having a rest or taking meals on a plane. Offering food from a buffet is one of the options we’re sinking our teeth into.”
In October 2019, the scale model of the Flying-V will be tested out by researchers to see if it can maintain stability and reliability while being flown at low speeds.
If all goes well, a series of other tests will be carried out and eventually it could be introduced as a new type of aircraft for commercial airlines. It’ll certainly give our skies a rock ‘n’ roll edge.