V-shaped airplane prototype makes first flight

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A scaled-down model of the Flying-V plane made its first test flight in Germany in August. The information was revealed last Tuesday (1st), by Tu Delft, one of the companies responsible for the project.

Also developed by the University of Delft and the airline KLM, the prototype that took off last month at a German airbase is 2.76 m long, 3.06 m wingspan and weighs 22 kg. Even though it was only a fraction of the 55 m long version, the concept allowed important tests to be carried out.

The drone pilot responsible for the operation took off the model, made several test maneuvers and approaches until almost exhausting the battery charge, then bringing the aircraft back to the ground. See Flying-V in action in the video below:

Before takeoff, he had already been placed in a wind tunnel and underwent ground testing in the Netherlands. Engineers will now use the data obtained during the experimental flight to determine what changes need to be made to the aircraft. One of the problems identified was the difficulty to keep the wings level, which also hindered the landing.

The future of aviation

The V-shaped airplane concept was introduced in 2019 as the “future of aviation”, promising to offer a number of advantages over the most advanced conventional aircraft, especially in terms of fuel costs.

According to New Atlas, the distinctive design leads to improved aerodynamics and weight reduction, generating savings of 20% in consumption, compared to an Airbus A350-900.

In its final version, the Flying-V will have the cockpit, cargo compartment and fuel tanks integrated into the V-shaped wing structure, the wingspan of which will be the same as that of an Airbus A350. Thus, it will be able to use airports normally, without the need for adaptations, having the capacity to transport 314 passengers.


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