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Airbus is testing a flying wedge model, a blended wing design called Maveric. In a blended wing design, the whole aircraft provides lift, not just the wings.
At Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands, researchers are working on the "Flying-V". Its shape is more like an arrowhead, with two wings stretching out behind the cockpit in a V. Passengers and cargo would be carried within the wings themselves. The model has been tested and work well but it suffers from a kind of aerodynamic wobbling, known as "Dutch roll".
Avionics expert Steve Wright of the University of the West of England describes two "showstoppers".
Boeing has been studying the Transonic Truss-Braced Wing. It would look relatively conventional, with a central fuselage but with braced, longer and thinner wings. Boeing says it will be 9% more efficient.