• Joe Breitfeller

KLM and TU Delft Announce Successful Flight of Flying-V Scale Model

KLM announced on Tuesday the first successful flight of their Flying-V scale model. Designed in collaboration with TU Delft University, the program was announced at IATA 2019 and has since undergone extensive wind tunnel and ground tests.

KLM and TU Delft Successfully Test Flying-V Scale Model - Courtesy KLM

On Tuesday (September 1, 2020), KLM announced a major milestone in their collaborative effort with TU Delft University in the design of their Flying-V energy-efficient aircraft of the future. For the first time, a scale model of the revolutionary aircraft conducted its first successful test flight. The project was initially announced at IATA 2019 and has since undergone extensive wind tunnel and ground tests. In August, a team of researchers and a drone pilot from TU Delft travelled to a German airbase for the first test flight. In Yesterday’s announcement, KLM’s President and CEO, Pieter Elbers said,

“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. You can’t make the aviation sector more sustainable on your own, but you have to do it together. Collaborating with partners and sharing knowledge takes us all further. That’s why we will develop the Flying-V concept with all partners. The next step will be to fly the Flying-V on sustainable fuel.”

The Flying-V has been designed as a fuel-efficient long-haul aircraft that integrates the cabin, cargo hold and fuel tanks in the wings, creating the V shape. Computer calculations have estimated that the aerodynamic shape and weight of the aircraft could reduce fuel consumption by 20 percent, when compared to today’s most efficient aircraft. A scale model of the Flying-V aircraft was first presented during KLM’s 100th anniversary celebrations in October 2019 and the project now includes several additional partners including Airbus.

Source: KLM