The future of the aeronautical industry Go through more efficient airplanes. It is known by the airlines and the manufacturers themselves, who have been experimenting with hybrid or electric engines for some time and looking for designs and materials that reduce fuel consumption. Three years ago, a group of ten engineers from Airbus he embarked on the Maveric project (Model Aircraft for Validation adn Experimentation of Robust Innovative Controls) to develop a experimental plane at scale with which to experience the viability of new materials and designs. In June 2019, the device, directed by remote control, crossed the skies for the first time. Today, the European consortium has presented it to the world at the Singapore Aeronautical Fair.
The plane, of two meters in length, 3.2 wingspan and 2.25 square meters of surface, stands out for a futuristic design in which the wings and the body of the plane are integrated. A concept in which aircraft manufacturers have been working since the 40s and whose greatest exponent is the Northrop Grumman B-2 bomber. The commitment to this design is not accidental. By equipping the device with the shape of a giant wing, although airplanes are more difficult to control, it is produced lower aerodynamic drag, which makes the devices much more efficient. In fact, Airbus says the Maveric would have the potential to reduce consumption by 20%. In addition, the manufacturer adds, opens new possibilities for propulsion systems and their integration. In addition, the possibility of integrating the engines under its central body Airbus also hopes to significantly reduce the noise of the devices based on this design.
The Maveric configuration, built with the same precision as any of the Airbus models, provides “an extraordinary design to your cabin, allowing passengers to benefit from additional space for your legs and wider aisles and more comfortable, ”explains the company. However, the European manufacturer does not clarify one of the problems that this type of design has always caused: where the windows or video screens would go so that passengers are aware of their surroundings. The question of how to give a sense of movement is also not resolved.
At the moment, Airbus seems to worry few about these issues. The Marveric has no calendar to enter into service because, more than anything, it is an instrument to experience possible “changes in the designs of commercial airplanes that make the future of aviation environmentally sustainable”, as Jean-Brice Dumont explained , one of the people in charge of the project.