A Bizarre Airplane Design That Seats Passengers In Its Wings

  • The new concept, named Flying-V, embraces a whole new approach to airplane design.
  • It integrates the fuel tanks, the cargo hold, and the passenger cabin in the wings. 
  • The plane will have less aerodynamic resistance and will use 20% less fuel than today’s advanced aircraft. 

Since the beginning of the 20th century, the aviation industry has seen numerous experimental aircraft designs. While some of them worked, most of them failed miserably.

Today, most companies manufacture airplanes with the objective of constructing them in quantity for customers. The planning, design, and testing process can last up to 4 years for small turboprops or longer for big commercial planes.

Recently, the Dutch airline KLM announced its plan to fund the development of an unusual plane that seats passengers in its wings. The company signed a new cooperative agreement to work with the Delft University of Technology.

The idea seems crazy but KLM has been developing and investing in a broad spectrum of sustainability initiatives at different levels for many years.

Innovative Flight Concept

The new concept, named Flying-V, embraces a whole new approach to airplane design. It will make the airplane more energy efficient and sustain long-distance flight in the future.

The design integrates the fuel tanks, the cargo hold, and the passenger cabin in the wings, forming a V-shape airplane.

Airplane design seats passengers in its wings

This new shape will provide engineers exciting opportunities to experiment with internet design, including the seating layout and bathrooms, and make flying more comfortable for passengers.

Source: KLM | Flying-V

It has the same wingspan as Airbus A350, today’s most advanced aircraft. This will enable developers to use the existing infrastructure like gates and runways without facing more difficulties.

As per design specifications, Flying V is smaller and lighter than Airbus A350, but can carry the same number of passengers and the same volume of cargo. The plane will have less aerodynamic resistance due to its smaller size. It’s expected to use 20 percent less fuel than A350.

The prototype will be ready by the end of this fall, but the real-world version would not enter service until 2040.

Today, the aviation industry accounts for nearly 2.5 percent of global carbon dioxide emission. And since the industry is increasing at a significant rate, it is necessary to develop more sustainable planes.

Read: A Radically New Type Of Airplane Wing That Changes Shape While Flying

Engineers cannot simply develop electric aircraft as it would be extremely heavy and inefficient. Considering the current technology, it is almost impossible to build fully electric airplanes – not now, not in 3 decades. Thus, big aviation companies have to invest in these kinds of designs which can reduce fuel burn in a different way.

Written by
Varun Kumar

Varun Kumar is an experienced science and technology journalist interested in machines, AI, and space exploration. He received a Master's degree in computer science from Indraprastha University. To find out what his latest project is, feel free to directly email him at [email protected] 

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