Last year, engineers from the Technical University of Delft (TU Delft) presented the concept of a V-shaped aircraft Flying V, on the basis of which an entirely new type of aircraft will be created in the future. And already this summer, the team conducted successful flight tests of the first scale model of the aircraft.
The Flying V wing will have a cockpit, cargo bay and integrated fuel tanks. The wingspan will match that of an Airbus A350, allowing Flying V to use the infrastructure and, above all, the runways of existing civilian airports.
The unusual shape of the Flying V guarantees a number of advantages through improved aerodynamics and a smaller airframe, while its lighter weight provides less air resistance and more economical fuel consumption - by about 20%.
As part of the project, together with the Dutch airline KLM, a large-scale prototype of the future aircraft was created. Its wingspan is 3.6 m, length is 2.76 m, and weight is 22 kg. The model is equipped with a UAV control system and a 6 kg lithium-ion battery. On the eve of the first flight, which took place in Germany, the device was blown in a wind tunnel and ground tests.
The first flight took place in July with the participation of a team from Airbus. The flight was successful: the model made several maneuvers, after which it landed safely.
The information obtained from the tests will be used to improve the model so that it will fly more smoothly. For example, during a test, the team found vibrations in the drone's design as it tried to keep its wings level as it landed.