Is the KLM Flying-V the future of aircraft design?

In 2019 KLM were designing an aircraft in the shape of a flying ‘V’ with the goal of sustainable long-distance flight and after undergoing extensive wind-tunnel tests, the aptly named Flying-V has since evolved into scale model and has recently undergone a first test flight done in collaboration with TU Delft.

A drone pilot from TU Delft and KLM staff were in Germany for the test flight.

Pieter Elbers, President and CEO of KLM says, “We were very curious about the flight characteristics of the Flying-V. The design fits within our Fly Responsibly initiative, which stands for everything we are doing and will do to improve our sustainability. We want a sustainable future for aviation and innovation is part of that. KLM has been among the top three most sustainable airlines worldwide in the Dow Jones Sustainability Index for many years. We want to continue to do so in the future. We are therefore very proud that we have been able to achieve this together in such a short period of time”

The striking design of the V-shaped aircraft houses the passenger cabin, cargo hold and fuel tanks in the wings.

According to computer calculations the Flying-V uses 20% less fuel compared to the most advanced aircraft today, thanks to the aerodynamic shape and reduced weight.

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