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KLM and TU Delft envision a sustainable aviation future with Flying-V concept



With the aviation industry being a major contributor to global greenhouse gas emissions, the race is on to create more sustainable aircraft. Dutch airline KTM and the Delft University of Technology have revealed what they think could be the answer, the remarkable looking Flying-V concept.
KLM and TU Delft envision a sustainable aviation future with Flying-V concept
(Image via KLM / TU Delft).

The aircraft was originally conceptualised as a potential aircraft design for the future, but can be compared to today’s most advanced aircraft, the Airbus A350. Although the plane is not as long as the A350, it does have the same wingspan. This will enable the Flying-V to use existing infrastructure at airports, such as gates and runways, without difficulty and the aircraft will also fit into the same hangar as the A350. What’s more, the Flying-V will carry the same number of passengers – 314 in the standard configuration – the same volume of cargo, 160m³. 

Where the Flying-V really comes into own though is in its radical efficiency. It’s improved aerodynamic shape and reduced weight will mean it uses 20% less fuel than the Airbus A350, today’s most advanced aircraft. Over the course of the operational lifetime of the Flying-V these efficiency gains will be immense.

As well as being more aerodynamically efficient than today’s standard aircraft, the Flying-V also uses the most-advanced and fuel-efficient turbofan engines on the market. Whilst these run on kerosene, KLM and TU Delft envision that future variants of the Flying-V could make use of electrically-boosted turbofans, making it more efficient still.
Future variations of the Flying-V concept could make use of electrically-boosted turbofans, making it incredibly energy efficient.
(Image via KLM / TU Delft).

“In recent years, KLM has developed as a pioneer in sustainability within the airline industry. The development of aviation has given the world a great deal, offering us an opportunity to connect people. This privilege is paired with a huge responsibility for our planet. KLM takes this very seriously and has therefore been investing in sustainability at different levels for many years, enabling it to develop a broad spectrum of sustainability initiatives. We are proud of our progressive cooperative relationship with TU Delft, which ties in well with KLM’s strategy and serves as an important milestone for us on the road to scaling-up sustainable aviation,” says Pieter Elbers, KLM President & CEO.

Whilst this is still very much a concept, TU Delft will be presenting a flying scale model and a full-size section of the interior of the Flying-V at Amsterdam Airport Schiphol in October on occasion of KLM’s 100th anniversary.

Can widespread aviation be part of a low-carbon future? If the Flying-V concept can make the transition from concept to reality, then the answer seems to be yes!

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Tags: Engineering
Recent Comments
When will people realize that electric planes just won't cut it? the batteries to power them would negate any advantage as they would be too heavy to carry either passengers or freight. I suggest that supporters of electric energy read a paper recently released by the Manhattan Institute titled The New Energy Economy:- "An Exercise in Magical Thinking" by Mark P Mills To my mind, using common sense and logicality (both rare animals in this day and age) it puts all these so called "advances" very much on the back burner
Ian Joel, 07 June 2019
Ohhh, anytime I want to have a chuckle, I dream of a Boeing 747, normally having (350) people, BUT NOW carrying *ONLY* (50) and the rest of the (300) seats are occupied by EXPLOSIVE Lithium BATTERIES.. or, another DELTA-WING plane, carrying maybe (50) people, and all topside COVERED with solar-Cells, and WHEN the clouds come, it CRASHES. Airlines' excuse is very good: But Sir, it was a cloudy day.. sorry..
ANDRE GURSES, 12 June 2019
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KLM and TU Delft envision a sustainable aviation future with Flying-V concept - Time to read 3 min
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