Last month, Airbus revealed a new type of aircraft called Maveric designed to reduce CO2 emissions by 20 percent. The airplane is very unique and has a “blended wing body”, which means the body and wings are closer to each other, extending the entire body of the aircraft.
This aircraft is currently a concept, but the airline manufacturer has developed a small version of the Maveric measuring 10.5 feet wide in order to run tests, which it’s been doing so since last year.
Interestingly enough, the “blended wing body” is an 80-year-old concept, yet has now become a notion for commercial travel. This type of airplane is much more efficient to fly because it creates less of a drag, and is also much more eco-friendly than current aircraft designs. The Airbus Executive VP of Engineering, Jean-Brice Dumont, 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”.
With flight tests at work, Airbus is now working on the cabin interior. How will it look like? Will there be real windows that airplanes currently have, or will they be artificial touch-screens? Airbus is also deciding on how airports will incorporate the Maveric—from the runway to the gate. In terms of the passenger, the airplane manufacturer is figuring out how the plane gestures will affect passengers since the layout of the plane is much wider and the distance from the seat to the edge is very different than the standard model on today’s aircraft. The reason this is important is that when the airplane turns, the pull felt by the passenger is much greater due to the increased cabin space. One option is to add additional freight weight to help stabilize the plane gestures when it turns.
Dumont does not think these planes would be ready to enter the market in 10 years—more time is needed. Nonetheless, with recent technological upgrades in materials used to build airplanes, it has helped to refine how the Airbus Maveric is controlled and powered. For a preview of the Airbus Maveric, preview the video below, courtesy of Airbus.
How do you feel about this type of aircraft? Are you looking forward to the evolution of technology that’s allowing such innovations to become more realistic?