KLM funds new "Flying-V" plane design where passengers sit inside the wings

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2019/06/03/klm-funds-new-flying-v-pla.html


I thought the problem with flying-wing passenger aircraft was that the passengers nearer the tips would get too motion sick.


Also it’s harder to configure emergency exits so everyone can get off quickly enough when things go tits up.


Yes but they would be the economy seats - first class in the middle


That was my thought, however this design looks like it might be configured like 2 regular fuselages stuck together in a V shape rather than a solid triangle like other designs I’ve seen. Maybe that solves the issue?


It’s good, but it’s no vintage YB-49 airliner informercial.


I wonder about stability (especially after the 737 max debacle caused by trying to eek out a little more efficiency). The stealth bomber wing shape apparently is very unstable, but then again the paper airplanes I built in wing shapes seemed quite stable.


The way this appears to work by instead of using the fuselage as a primary lift surface that is large enough to fit people it uses the fuselage to create a secondary lift surfaces to partially negate the weight of the fuselage while using the wing “tips” as primary lift surfaces that in addition to the lesser lift of the carrier section, allows it to create enough lift to lift it in the air. The second lift design of the fuselage also allows it to be far more aggressive placing passengers closer to the center of rotation to negate motion sickness. The aggressiveness also should help it be more efficient at higher cruising speeds as well. I haven’t thought about this in awhile so I might be totally wrong.




Sounds like it’ll be ready to fly just in time for aviation fuel to be too expensive for anyone but the ultrarich to afford.

I like the aesthetic of the design, though, so if I manage to catch a glimpse of one through the postage-stamp-sized window of my cell in the data mines it might make me smile for a moment.


How is it going with the US navys project for making aviation fuel aboard carriers with their excess nuclear power? This technology is the cost ceiling for aviation fuel and it will be cheaper on shore in larger plants using much larger nuclear powerplants or intermittently run with wind power or solar power.

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The B2 is purposefully unstable, to increase its efficiency and reduce its radar section. By making the plane unstable in pitch the elevator can be kept mostly neutral during the cruise, reducing the drag and radar cross section. To make it more stable it would be sufficient to move the centre of mass forward.


I mean, if some significant part of the appeal of your “new” design is a VC-titillating retrofuturistic aesthetic anyway, you might as well throw in gyroscopic seats…


It’s known as blended wing body (BWB).

It was an old idea by the time I mentioned it in my dissertation in 2002.

BTW, this aircraft shape is vastly better than the conventional dominant design (which follows the Boeing 707 formula) in regard to using hydrogen fuel. You can easily store much hydrogen in there.


You could have a trade-off. Less dense seating nearer the wings so you get more leg room, although at the cost of a somewhat bumpier ride. I suspect lower weight near the wing tips is a good idea anyway.

The wings of today’s planes are carrying stuff, where does that stuff go in the future-- Where does the fuel go? Even with 20% savings in fuel, you still need alot of space.

Article says that the fuel and luggage are in the wings too. Maybe passengers go on the leading edge, with everything else behind.


Flying wings? We’re not drifting in to the Gernsback Continuum again are we?


Wouldn’t methane (from renewable sources of course) be a much better fuel when considering energy density and storage? Hydrogen is a tiny molecule and hard to contain. And water in the upper atmosphere is bad for the climate too.


Blended wing bodies actually have MUCH more internal volume for use of fuels than conventional designs.