An aeroplane designed to carry passengers in its wings makes a maiden test flight
By Tanisha Jindal
Researchers conducted a successful maiden flight of a futuristic and fuel-efficient aeroplane that could carry passengers in its wings, namely Flying-V. The plane's distinctive structure incorporates the passenger cabin, the cargo hold, and the fuel tanks in the wings, and the experts expect that the plane's aerodynamic shape will slash fuel consumption by 20% compared to today's aircraft.
A 22.5 kg and 3-meter scale model of the futuristic aeroplane was developed by researchers at the Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands and partner Dutch airline the KLM to take the highly anticipated aircraft along its next developmental steps. The team of researchers and engineers assessed the aircraft at a watchful airbase in Germany, where they acted with an Airbus team to check takeoffs, manoeuvres and approaches, and landing.
Roelof Vos, assistant professor at the aerospace engineering faculty of the Delft's University of Technology, who led the project, explained in a statement that they were worried about aircraft as it might have some difficulty lifting-off due to rotation issues shown by previous calculations. But the team optimized the scaled flight model to prevent the issue. He further added that proof of the pudding is in the eating. One has to test it to be sure.
There is still more work to be done on it to improve the aircraft before it could take to the skies with passengers aboard. Experts schedule to use the data acquired from the test flight for an aerodynamic model of the aircraft, enabling them to program it in a flight simulator for future tests and to enhance flights.