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Prototype Of Flying-V Plane Completes Test Flight

Prototype Of Flying-V Plane Completes Test Flight

A prototype of the Flying-V plane has completed a test flight. Check out the footage below:

The new aircraft is based on the Gibson guitar of the same name and, thanks to an improved aerodynamic shape and reduced weight, could reduce fuel consumption by 20 percent compared to a conventional aircraft.

The concept has been developed by a team of researchers at Delft Technology University in the Netherlands and is being financially backed by Dutch airline KLM.

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Plans for a test flight have been in the pipeline for some time and now a model has finally been sent into the skies for the first time, to see how it reacts with the elements.

The test flight was carried out last month from an airport in Germany, via a remote control on the ground - and it was a huge success.

In the video, Malcolm Brown, TU Delft's chief engineer for the Flying-V testing program, says: "It's been two years of intense, stressful work to reach this moment.

The plane could produce 20 percent less fuel than conventional aircraft. Credit: KLM
The plane could produce 20 percent less fuel than conventional aircraft. Credit: KLM
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"And then to have it confirmed that it flies, all of that hard work... it was worth putting in all of the hours, making sure everything's correct and built accurately. And it pays off.

"I think we're all happy, happy that we succeeded and achieved the goal of flying the Flying-V."

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Now, not everything was plain sailing for the test run. The team of engineers stated that while the flight went well, the landing didn't quite go according to plan.

Responding to a comment on YouTube, a spokesperson for KLM said repairs were being made ahead of future tests.

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They said: "The Flying-V model had a somewhat rough landing and the nose wheel was damaged.

"This was due to a gust of wind and the pilot's response to this.

"This is common practice with scaled model test flights (it's estimated that one out of two scaled aircraft gets damaged this way).The model is now being repaired and prepared for subsequent test flights."

After a bumpy landing, the plane is being repaired for further tests. Credit: KLM
After a bumpy landing, the plane is being repaired for further tests. Credit: KLM
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But despite the bumpy landing, things are certainly looking up for the Flying-V.

Speaking to CNN last year, project leader Roelof Vos said his team were looking for a way to improve the environmental problems we currently face.

He told the channel: "The industry is still growing, so we really need to look at more sustainable airplanes. We cannot simply electrify the whole fleet, as electrified airplanes become way too heavy and you can't fly people across the Atlantic on electric airplanes - not now, not in 30 years.

"So we have to come up with new technologies that reduce fuel burn in a different way. We've been flying these tube and wing airplanes for decades now, but it seems like the configuration is reaching a plateau in terms of energy efficiency."

Featured Image Credit: KLM

Topics: Environment, Science, World News, travel, Technology

Dominic Smithers

Dominic graduated from the University of Leeds with a degree in French and History. Like you, Dom has often questioned how much use a second language has been. Well, after stints working at the Manchester Evening News, the Accrington Observer and the Macclesfield Express, along with never setting foot in France, he realised the answer is surprisingly little. But I guess, c'est la vie. Contact us at [email protected]