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Flying V: the futuristic and sustainable drone aircraft makes it's first maiden flight


The Flying V took to air for the first time in July at a German Airbase with a successful flight albeit a slightly bumpy landing.

The image is a representation of the Flying V and not the actual aircraft.


Funded by KLM and Airbus, researchers and engineers from Dutch-based Technical University of Delft (TU Delft) successfully tested the scaled model of Flying V, named after it's 'V' shape. The drone is fuel efficient to quite a sizable degree and is designed to carry passengers in its wings.

TU Delft says, “computer calculations have predicted that the aircraft’s improved aerodynamic shape and reduced weight will reduce fuel consumption by 20% compared to today’s most advanced aircraft.” 

The aircraft has a unique 'V' design with passengers, cargo hold, and fuel tanks incorporated in the wings rather than the fuselage. The researchers estimate that it will save 20% fuel compared to present-day aircraft because of its shape and weight. The aircraft was first presented at the 100th anniversary of KLM, a Dutch airline, and has been one of the supporting partners along with Airbus. 

 Flight and Landing 

The researchers had some qualms with takeoff due to issues with rotation but it was smooth sailing during the actual test. Project Leader Dr. Roelof Vos said, “One of our worries was that the aircraft might have some difficulty lifting-off since previous calculations had shown that ‘rotation’ could be an issue. The team optimized the scaled flight model to prevent the issue but the proof of the pudding is in the eating. You need to fly to know for sure.” 

But both the flight and take off was smooth with a good thirst. The landing though was a bit jerky attributing (according to the researchers) to the design of the aircraft- which the team termed as too much 'Dutchroll'. The next step for the team would be to analyze the test flight and make further improvements to the design and aerodynamics.