At the Singapore air show this week, Airbus took the wraps off a super secret design project it started in 2017. That project could lead to exotic new commercial aircraft which are up to 20% more efficient than the single aisle planes used by most commercial airlines today.
The Airbus MAVERIC project has culminated in a working scale model 2 meters long and 3.2 meters wide. MAVERIC stands for Model Aircraft for Validation and Experimentation of Robust Innovative Controls.
In addition to using significantly less fuel, the company says the new design “opens up new possibilities for propulsion systems type and integration, as well as a versatile cabin for a totally new on-board passenger experience.”
A blended wing body design provides an exceptionally comfortable cabin layout, enabling passengers to benefit from additional legroom and larger aisles for more personal comfort
The MAVERIC blended wing design is intended to use the jet engines available today, but the company is also deeply involved in a hybrid electric propulsion system it calls E-FAN X in partnership with Rolls Royce and Siemens.
It also is studying ways of reducing emissions and improving efficiency with its “fellow’fly” approach which mimics the V shaped flight pattern common among birds as they migrate in flocks.
Airbus is also deeply involved in developing autonomous systems that would allow airplanes to take off, fly, and land without the need for human pilots.
Although there is no specific time line for entry-into-service, this technological demonstrator could be instrumental in bringing about change in commercial aircraft architectures for an environmentally sustainable future for the aviation industry.
Reference- Airbus online newsroom, Clean Technica, Wikipedia, Airbus website