Flying V – First test flight with small-scale model

V plane successfully completed its first test flight. The small-scale model of the V-shaped passenger plane (Flying-V), which is stated to provide significant fuel savings in aviation and developed by the students of Delft Technical University in the Netherlands, successfully performed its first test flight.

The Flying-V

In the Flying-V – originally an idea of Technical University Berlin student Justus Benad during his thesis project at Airbus Hamburg – the passenger cabin, cargo hold and fuel tanks are integrated in its wing structure. The design is not as long as an Airbus A350, but it has the same wing span. This allows the Flying-V to use the present infrastructure at airports, such as gates and runways. The Flying-V carries about the same number of passengers –  314 in the standard configuration – and the same amount of cargo, 160 m3. Project leader at TU Delft, Dr. Roelof Vos: “The Flying-V is smaller than the A350 and has less inflow surface area compared to the available amount of volume. The result is less resistance. That means the Flying-V needs less fuel for the same distance.”

Flying V will be the most fuel efficient aircraft

It is stated that the V plane, which will consume 20% less fuel than the Airbus A350, which is currently the most efficient aircraft in the market, will make a great contribution to the more sustainable aviation due to fuel savings. The aircraft project that Delft Technical University Aerospace Engineering students have been working on since 2017 is supported by Royal Dutch Airlines (KLM) and Airbus.

‘It will be the most efficient aircraft’ The V-shaped plane, developed by Dutch students will have the passenger cabin, cargo deck and fuel tanks inside the wing.

Pieter Elbers, president and CEO of KLM said: “We were very curious about the flight characteristics of the Flying-V. The design fits within our Fly Responsibly initiative, which stands for everything we are doing and will do to improve our sustainability. We want a sustainable future for aviation and innovation is part of that. KLM has been among the top three most sustainable airlines worldwide in the Dow Jones Sustainability Index for many years. We want to continue to do so in the future. We are therefore very proud that we have been able to achieve this together in such a short period of time.”

KLM presented the scale model for the first time during its 100th anniversary in October 2019. Several partners are now involved in the project, including manufacturer Airbus.