A new airplane designed to make long-distance flights more sustainable will also allow existing airports to be reused and not redesigned and rebuilt.

Based on an idea of TU Berlin student Justus Benad during his thesis project at Airbus Hamburg, the all-wing design of Flying-V will have almost the same wingspan of the Airbus A350 but is shorter in length, allowing the airplane to use the same infrastructure at airports such as gates, runways and hangars. The proposed airplane will also accommodate about the same number of passengers (314) and cargo (160m³).

Dr Roelof Vos, project leader at TU Delft explains, “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.”

The Flying-V airplane aims to improve passenger experience while keeping every component light to maximise the efficiency gains of the aircraft’s aerodynamic shape. From the seating in the wings, to the design of the chairs and bathrooms, the entire interior will be designed to make flying more comfortable.

The dean of aerospace engineering at TU Delft, Henri Werj said, “We are incredibly pleased to be able to cooperate with our trusted partner KLM on our combined mission to make aviation more sustainable. Radically new and highly energy-efficient aircraft designs such as the Flying-V are important in this respect, as are new forms of propulsion. Our ultimate aim is one of emission free flight. Our cooperation with KLM offers a tremendous opportunity to bring about real change.”

Image: TU Delft