If you take a look back at the history of land-based vehicles, it’s easy to see how much they’ve evolved. The same can’t be said for airplanes though. Aside from new aviation laws and regulations, the conventional airplane design hasn’t changed much.
In an effort to shake up the industry, Airbus has unveiled a working model of its latest concept, the MAVERIC, which is an acronym for Model Aircraft for Validation and Experimentation of Robust Innovative Controls. As you can imagine, the design doesn’t resemble anything currently available in the aviation world.
The design of the MAVERIC replaces the tried and trusted tube and wing design and instead goes with a shape that resembles a manta-ray. Airbus refers to this design choice as BWB (Blended Wing Body) because there is hardly any visible or structural separation between the body and the wings. The manta ray design isn’t just for aesthetics because the airplane doesn’t conform to the conventional tube shape, it will have more interior space then current airplanes, which means airplanes would be able to cater to more people. The design also affects the aerodynamics, which Airbus claim could result in a 20% reduction of fuel consumption.
“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,” said MAVERIC Project Co-Leader, Adrien Bérard,
Unlike other companies who would be satisfied with just releasing a few concept designs and calling it a day, Airbus has built and flew a working 2 m long, 3,2 m wide model of the MAVERIC (hence the name) which was posted to the Airbus YouTube channel on 10 February 2020.
Image: Twitter/ @EG24NEWS