TU Delft "plane of the future" takes off in test flight

TU Delft "plane of the future" takes off in test flight

A model of Flying-V, the TU Delft design for the plane of the future, took off for its test flight this week, but had a slightly rocky landing. 

The Flying-V

A team at Technical University Delft has been working on the Flying-V for three years. The concept behind the design is that the whole plane is made up of two wings, with passengers sitting in each wing. 

This new design makes the plane significantly lighter than a contemporary passenger plane, as well as more aerodynamic. This means that the plane will use less fuel - approximately 20 percent less than the most economical Airbus aircraft today. The design also includes possibilities for the plane to fly on more sustainable fuel alternatives.

One day, flying in a plane like this might be the norm. However, KLM CEO Pieter Elbers does not expect this to happen until 2050. The Dutch airline is sponsoring the development of the new plane, to take steps towards improving the sustainability of the flying industry. 

 Source: TU Delft

A rocky but successful test flight

The engineers involved in developing the plane called the test flight successful; however it didn’t all go entirely smoothly. The model landed on its front wheel instead of the rear wheels, which damaged the wheel and the nose of the aircraft. This damage will take time to repair, which means that the next test flight probably won’t take place until next year.

The pilot in control of the model also had some trouble keeping control of the aircraft, which would sometimes wobble in midair. The pilot therefore had to work hard to keep the plane straight. 

Project leader, Roelof Vos, said the test flight yielded vital data about the aerodynamic properties of the Flying-V, which can now be used for future models to improve the stability of the aircraft.

Thumb: Edwin Wallet via TU Delft

Victoria Séveno


Victoria Séveno

Victoria grew up in Amsterdam, before moving to the UK to study English and Related Literature at the University of York and completing her NCTJ course at the Press Association...

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