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Luftfahrt - Imagine travelling in this blended wing body aircraft The Airbus MAVERIC demonstrator is pushing innovative aircraft design to the limit

11.02.2020

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he next generation of single-aisle aircraft has a lot to learn from MAVERIC, Airbus’ latest aircraft demonstrator. The game-changing “blended wing body” design could generate up to 20% fuel savings and significantly improve the passenger experience thanks to its exceptionally spacious cabin layout. 

 

The conventional tube-and-wing configuration with wing-mounted engines: it is the iconic aircraft shape that has captured the imagination of aviation enthusiasts for decades. But someday soon, passengers may find themselves travelling in an aircraft that looks nothing like the ones seen on today’s runways.

 

So what if that future aircraft looked like a giant flying wing?

 

This is the concept behind MAVERIC, an aircraft demonstrator unveiled at Singapore Air Show 2020. The innovative design—known as a “blended wing body”—is a complete departure from traditional aircraft architecture thanks to a wide cabin layout that completely breaks the mould of conventional single-aisle aircraft. In fact, the design is so radical, some engineers did not believe in its potential at first.

At Airbus, we understand society expects more from us in terms of improving the environmental performance of our aircraft. MAVERIC’s blended wing body configuration is a potential game-changer in this respect, and we’re keen to push the technology to the limit.

Adrien Bérard, MAVERIC Project Co-Leader

“Initially, many dismissed the MAVERIC project as merely a ‘hobby,’ or, in other words, a project Airbus wouldn’t learn very much from,” explains Adrien Bérard, MAVERIC Project Co-Leader. “So we had to prove them wrong by showing that we could deliver a very sound basis for future aircraft configuration.”

And the ten-person MAVERIC project team, part of the Flight Lab team within Airbus UpNext in Toulouse, did just that. In less than three years, the MAVERIC concept went from a simple sketch to a 3D computer-generated model to an aircraft demonstrator. In June 2019, the remote-controlled demonstrator took to the skies for the first time.

MAVERIC, blended wing body aircraft demonstrator

 
 
 
 
 
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Airbus has revealed MAVERIC (Model Aircraft for Validation and Experimentation of ... Read more

Pushing new aircraft design to the limit

At 2 metres long and 3 metres wide, MAVERIC is a small-scale, remote-controlled aircraft demonstrator. The development of demonstrators like MAVERIC enables Airbus to accelerate understanding of new aircraft configurations and to mature the technology necessary to fly such a radically different aircraft.

In fact, the MAVERIC demonstrator has been built with the same precision as other Airbus aircraft. For example, wind tunnel testing to verify MAVERIC’s aerodynamic characteristics was conducted—like all other Airbus aircraft—at Airbus’ Filton site in the UK. These types of tests help to better identify and analyse technical challenges.

One specific challenge was to assess the low-speed and stall dynamics. Future testing will analyse aspects such as MAVERIC’s handling qualities, flight control, multi-objective control surfaces and modularity.

Airbus has revealed MAVERIC (Model Aircraft for Validation and Experimentation of Robust Innovative Controls) its “blended wing body” scale model technological demonstrator. At 2 metres long and 3.2 metres wide, with a surface area of about 2.25m², MAVERIC features a disruptive aircraft design, that has the potential to reduce fuel consumption by up-to 20 percent compared to current single-aisle aircraft. The “blended wing body” configuration also opens up new possibilities for propulsion systems type and integration, as well as a versatile cabin for a totally new on-board passenger experience. Launched in 2017, MAVERIC first took to the skies in June 2019. Since then the flight-test campaign has been on-going and will continue until the end of Q2 2020.

Improving environmental performance & the passenger experience

For Airbus, the demonstrator’s potential to deliver real environmental performance benefits is of significant interest: approximately 20% less fuel burn compared to current single-aisle models with the same engine. The spacious configuration also opens up the design space, enabling the possible integration of various other types of propulsion systems. In addition, noise is expected to be significantly reduced thanks to a “shielded” engine that is mounted above the central body.

And, if commercialised, a MAVERIC-inspired aircraft could significantly improve the 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.

“At Airbus, we understand society expects more from us in terms of improving the environmental performance of our aircraft,” explains Adrien. “MAVERIC’s blended wing body configuration is a potential game-changer in this respect, and we’re keen to push the technology to the limit.”

MAVERIC CABIN
MAVERIC CABIN
MAVERIC CABIN
MAVERIC CABIN
Quelle: Airbus
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Airbus reveals its blended wing aircraft demonstrator

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Singapore, 11 February 2020 – Airbus has revealed MAVERIC (Model Aircraft for Validation and Experimentation of Robust Innovative Controls) its “blended wing body” scale model technological demonstrator.

At 2 metres long and 3.2 metres wide, with a surface area of about 2.25m², MAVERIC features a disruptive aircraft design, that has the potential to reduce fuel consumption by up-to 20 percent compared to current single-aisle aircraft. The “blended wing body” configuration also opens up new possibilities for propulsion systems type and integration, as well as a versatile cabin for a totally new on-board passenger experience.

Launched in 2017, MAVERIC first took to the skies in June 2019. Since then the flight-test campaign has been on-going and will continue until the end of Q2 2020.

“Airbus is leveraging emerging technologies to pioneer the future of flight. By testing disruptive aircraft configurations, Airbus is able to evaluate their potential as viable future products,” said Jean-Brice Dumont, EVP Engineering Airbus. “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.”

Airbus is using its core strengths and capabilities of engineering and manufacturing, in close collaboration with an extended innovation ecosystem, to accelerate traditional research and development cycles. By doing this Airbus is able to achieve proof of concepts, at a convincing scale and speed, thereby driving forward maturity and increasing their value.

Through AirbusUpNext, a research programme, Airbus is currently working on a number of demonstrator projects in parallel; E-FAN X (hybrid-electric propulsion), fello’fly (v-shaped “formation” flight) and ATTOL (Autonomous Taxi Take-Off & Landing).

Quelle: Airbus

 

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