World • 13 February, 2020

Airbus unveils blended wing aircraft prototype

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With the aim of drastically reducing carbon emissions, to meet growing environmental guidelines, Airbus has unveiled their blended wing aircraft prototype at the 2020 Singapore Airshow, Samchui reports.

Named MAVERIC (Model Aircraft for Validation and Experimentation of Robust Innovative Controls) the aircraft boasts a bold new design form, in the shape of a blended fuselage and wing with high-mounted engines.

Rather than being a computer rendering, Airbus has actually been secretly testing a real MAVERIC test frame, since June 2019, at an undisclosed location in central France. Testing of the scaled prototype will conclude sometime in the second quarter of 2020, where Airbus will then assess the data collected and refine their work.

Airbus Unveils Blended Wing Aircraft Prototype

In its scaled form MAVERIC comes in at two metres long and 3.2 metres wide, with a total surface area of 2.25 metres squared. Airbus says the disruptive design of the aircraft has the potential to reduce fuel consumption by up to 20 percent, compared to today’s single-aisle aircraft.

Although the majority of the fuel burn reduction comes from the blended design, the aircraft also allows for new propulsion types and integration; including the position shown in the photos.

Whilst the idea of having engines mounted in the twin vertical stabilisers has already raised questions about safety, it is important to note that this is a basic prototype with the aim to determine aerodynamic performance and its rough capabilities.

Thanks to the design of the aircraft, Airbus has been able to propose a wildly new cabin concept; including an overall wider and more spacious seating environment, more aisles and more space for new features.

Cabin mock-ups show technological advancements in products we already have today, including newer seats likely based on their smart cabin platform, advanced lighting zones to increase comfort and cabin walls with artificial windows that can display flight information.

 
Airbus Unveils Blended Wing Aircraft Prototype
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