In the wake of increased awareness about the negative impact of flying on the environment, aircraft manufacturers are not falling behind on coming up with new solutions that reduce aviation’s carbon footprint.
Now, Airbus is proposing a “blended wing body” design that could reduce fuel consumption by 20 percent. And to demonstrate the potential functionality of such a feat, they have built a working model called the MAVERIC.
Measuring at two metres long and 3.2 metres wide, with a surface area of around 2.25 metres squared, the MAVERIC is currently a remote-controlled model demonstrator plane. Its design is supposed to be more efficient because the plane’s entire fuselage provides lift, not just the wings, also reducing drag.
What’s especially great about it is that, if produced, the aircraft would feature a “shielded” engine mounted above the central body, meaning that noise pollution would be significantly reduced. It would also have a wide cabin layout, improving the onboard experience on commercial flights, as passengers would benefit from extra legroom and larger aisles.
According to Airbus, if the plane was made full scale, its “blended wing body” design and could potentially burn up to 20 percent less fuel than current traditional shaped aircraft with the same engine.
While the manufacturer hasn’t mentioned an exact date when a full-sized version of the aircraft could hit the skies, the MAVERIC demonstrates the possibility of potentially adopting such engineering feats to the advantage of the environment.