Guitar-inspired ‘Flying-V’ airplane could ferry passengers using 20% less fuel

Music fans will likely know the ‘Flying-V’ as one of Gibson’s most iconic electric guitar models, and now the quirky V-shaped design has been used on a much larger scale.

Researchers from Delft University of Technology have designed a V-shaped plane called the ‘Flying-V’, which KLM is helping to turn into a reality.

The v-shaped design integrates the passenger cabin, cargo hold and fuel tanks into the wings, allowing for a reduced weight, compared to an Airbus A350.

This improved aerodynamic shape also means that the airplane will use 20% less fuel, while still being able to carry the same number of passengers (314) as the A350.

While the current design still flies on kerosene, the designers claim it could easily be adapted in the future to run on a more eco-friendly propulsion system.

The plane isn’t as long as the A350, but it has the same wingspan, meaning it could use existing infrastructure at airports, including gates, runways and hangars.

Professor Henri Werij, Dean of the Faculty of Aerospace Engineering at TU Delft, said: “We are incredibly pleased to be able to cooperate with our trusted partner KLM on our combined mission to make aviation more sustainable.

“Radically new and highly energy-efficient aircraft designs such as the Flying-V are important in this respect, as are new forms of propulsion.

“Our ultimate aim is one of emission free flight. Our cooperation with KLM offers a tremendous opportunity to bring about real change.”

While you might think that travelling on-board the V-shaped plane would be a strange experience, the designers claim that passenger experience has actually been improved.

A release explained: “Everything has to be as lightweight as possible in order to maximise the efficiency gain the new aircraft shape provides.

"Passenger comfort is also taken into account.”

It remains unclear when, or if, the Flying-V will take to the skies, or how much it will cost to build.

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