Airbus unveils ‘blended-wing’ airline concept

Secret Maveric project is revealed to airlines as part of planemaker’s portfolio of more environmentally friendly aircraft
Singapore airshow, Airbus, Flying wing, Blended wing

Airbus has unveiled its latest aircraft concept blending the fuselage with the wing in a design which the planemaker hopes will reduce CO2 emissions by around 20%.

A sub-scale model of the aircraft, code-named Maveric, has already completed flight tests as part of Airbus’ research at a secret location in France last year.

The ‘blended-wing body’ concept is not a new one but Airbus is considering the design as “an option” for medium-haul travel.

Maveric’s flying-wing produces less drag and is an addition to Airbus’ growing portfolio of more sustainable aircraft, which are exploring new concepts and electric flight alongside industry partners.

Speaking at the unveiling of the new aircraft at the Singapore Airshow, Jean-Brice Dumont, executive vice-president of engineering at Airbus, said: “We believe it is high time now to push this technology further and study what it brings to us.

“We need these disruptive technologies to meet our environmental challenge. It is the next generation of aircraft; we are studying an option.”

Airbus has not identified which class of commercial jet its flying-wing design would aim to replace or how many people it will carry.

Airbus is now using the Maveric model to research how it can improve flight controls and is assessing how the plane could be integrated into airports and how its cabin would work.

According to reports, Airbus plans to continue to use the Maveric model in its testing programme until the middle of this year.

The manufacturer has previously said that it wants to cute CO2 emissions from its products by 50% in 2050, compared to 2005 levels. While there are challenges to overcome, Airbus thinks that the blended-wing design could be one option to help it achieve its goal.

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