V-shaped plane takes flight for first time in boost to future of air-travel

A futuristic new style of plane has successfully taken flight in a groundbreaking maiden voyage.

A scale model of the unique Flying-V designed plane took off for the first time – boosting hopes for a new way of air travel.

The fuel efficient airplane is hoped to be a solution for the future of airplanes.

Passengers could one travel in the wings of Flying V planes, which is designed with the cabin, cargo holds and fuel tanks placed along two Vs.



Experts tested a 22.5kg and a 3-metre scale model of the futuristic plane, developed by researchers at Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands.

The successful flight will be a major boost for the hotel anticipated aircraft as it move into the next development stages.

Dutch airline KLM agreed to fund development of the V-shaped aircraft, which could be the norm one day.

A team of researchers and engineers tested the aircraft at a guarded airbase in Germany, where they worked with an Airbus team to test takeoffs, manoeuvres and approaches, and landing, CNN reports.

Roelof Vos, assistant professor at the aerospace engineering faculty of Delft’s University of Technology, said: “One of our worries was that the aircraft might have some difficulty lifting-off, since previous calculations had shown that ‘rotation’ could be an issue.

“The team optimised the scaled flight model to prevent the issue but the proof of the pudding is in the eating. You need to fly to know for sure.”



Dr Vos added: “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 jet took off at a speed of 80kmh and the speed of the plane in the air was as expected.

Researchers operated the aircraft remotely, adjusting its centre of gravity, angles and thrust from the ground.

It is still a long way off taking to the skies with passengers, researchers said.

The current design allows for too much “Dutch roll”, which causes for a rough landing.

Researchers will test the model more and hope to provide the Flying-V with sustainable propulsion, given that the design allows it to carry liquid hydrogen instead of kerosene, CNN reported.

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