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Airframes

January 12, 2021
Harold Goodwin
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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".

  1. Boarding will take longer and passengers will be a very long way from an emergency exit
  2. Comfort and air sickness is likely to be an issue particularly for those at the edge of the wing when the plane banks and take-off and landing would be on a steeper trajectory

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.

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