A team of researchers, engineers, and a drone pilot from the Netherlands’ Delft University of Technology (TU Delft) have announced the successful maiden flight of the scaled model of their new Flying-V aircraft concept. The flight tests of the model equipped with electric motors took place at an airport in Germany.
The V-shaped aircraft project was first presented by the Dutch developers in June last year, together with airline company KLM Royal Dutch Airlines. The Flying-V is a design for a highly energy-efficient long-distance airplane. The aircraft design integrates the passenger cabin, the cargo hold, and the fuel tanks in its wings, creating a spectacular V-shape.
The project assumes that the aircraft will have a length of 55 meters and a wingspan of 65 meters and a height of 17 meters. The internal volume of the aircraft is 160 cubic meters. The Flying-V will seat 314 passengers. The engineers claim that the aircraft configured as a flying V should consume around 20% less fuel than today’s most advanced aircraft, thanks to the reduced aerodynamic drag and weight.
The flight-tested Flying-V weighs 22.5 kilograms, has a wingspan of 3.1 meters, and a length of 2.8 meters, which is just a fraction of the size of the concept. The model is fitted with a control system for drones and two 4kW electric motors, which were powered by a lithium-polymer battery weighing 6 kilograms.