TOULOUSE, FRANCE – Airbus has revealed its latest project at the Singapore Airshow this week, called MAVERIC (Model Aircraft for Validation and Experimentation of Robust Innovative Controls). Airbus has been working with a special team on the secret project for almost 3 years. The blended wing body scale model technological demonstrator is pushing innovative aircraft design to the limit and could be the passenger aircraft of tomorrow – combining the best in innovation and environmental standards.
Futuristic and fuel-efficient design
The MAVERIC scale model is 2 m long and 3.2 m wide and has a surface area of about 2.25 m², which gives the aircraft its unusual shape. But also the combination of 2 tails with 2 engines, is something quite new for a passenger jet.
MAVERIC features a remarkable blended wing body 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. And with its unusual shape, the aircraft automatically has a spatial and versatile cabin, creating a totally new on-board passenger experience.
Testing the MAVERIC
MAVERIC is a remote-controlled model aircraft demonstrator, which enables Airbus to learn about new aircraft configurations, so the aircraft manufacturer can develop the technology further to successfully fly such a radically different aircraft in real size.
According to Airbus, the MAVERIC demonstrator has been built with the same precision as all the other Airbus aircraft. The scale model’s aerodynamic characteristics for example, were also tested in a wind tunnel at Airbus’ Filton site in the UK. These tests are very helpful in identifying and analysing technical challenges.
The coming months Airbus will test the aircraft’s flight control, handling qualities, modularity and multi-objective control surfaces.
Airbus’ innovations for future aircraft
“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,” MAVERIC Project Co-Leader Adrien Bérard said.
“Initially, many dismissed the MAVERIC project as merely a ‘hobby,’ or – in other words – a project Airbus wouldn’t learn very much from,” Bérard also said. “So we had to prove them wrong by showing that we could deliver a very sound basis for future aircraft configuration,” he added.
The MAVERIC program was launched in 2017 and the scale model made its first flight in June 2019. The flight-test campaign will continue until mid-2020.
Time will tell if this remarkable passenger aircraft will ever fly for airlines around the world, and whether you like the new design or not, one day a real size version of MAVERIC perhaps will change the future of passenger aircraft forever.
Jerry Taha is the Founder, Chief Editor, and main contributor of flyhigh.news. He has written for avgeekery.com and luchtvaartnieuws.nl. Jerry is a passionate author, photographer, videographer, and YouTube creator. He lives south east of Amsterdam, Netherlands. In addition to his love for aviation, he also loves cars, traveling, being in nature, and he is an Ajax Amsterdam fan.
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