Could the Future of Travel Look Like KLM’s “Flying-V”?
With aviation estimated to be contributing around 2.5% of global CO2 emissions, and the industry only growing, it’s clear we’re going to be looking for more sustainable ways of travelling in the very near future. Well, one international airline trying to do their bit is KLM, who have just announced they’ll be funding the development of the fuel-efficient “Flying-V” plane.
The fate of the futuristic “Flying-V” airplane received a boost this week when Dutch national carrier KLM Royal Dutch Airlines announced they’ll be funding its development. Intended to improve the sustainability of air travel, the “Flying-V” has been developed by researchers at Delft University of Technology (TU Delft) in the Netherlands and is characterised by the incorporation of the cabin, fuel tanks and cargo hold in its wings.
It’s claimed by its developers that the plane will use 20% less fuel than the like of an Airbus A350-900 while still carrying a similar number of passengers. The plane’s increased fuel efficiency is largely a result of its aerodynamic design but its reduced weight also contributes.
The Flying-V will seat 314 passengers and also mirror the A350’s 65-metre wingspan, enabling it to use existing airport infrastructure. Though KLM accept the plane would only be a stepping stone towards greater energy efficiency in aviation, the Dutch airline argue that the “Flying-V” is a necessity while large-scale electric airplanes are still in very early development.
Researchers hope to fly a scale model of the “Flying-V” this September, while a mock-up of the new cabin design will be open to the public at Amsterdam’s Schiphol airport in October, as part of KLM’s 100th anniversary celebrations. The completed plane, however, isn’t expected to enter service until at least 2040. Keep up to date over at the TU Delft Website.
If you’d rather travel by water than air, take a look at scUber; the world’s first ridesharing submarine, which is now offering lucky riders the chance to see the Great Barrier Reef up close.