By Kirk Miller / June 4, 2019

Your Next Airline Seat Could Be Literally on the Wings If This Concept Is Approved

KLM will fund a new "Flying-V" prototype, debuting this fall

Flying V
A concept for the Flying-V aircraft, now in prototype production (Photo: Courtesy of TU Delft)

There’s probably a biting comment to be made about airlines putting passengers on a plane’s wings, but the Flying-V is no joke.

A fuel-efficient, V-shaped aircraft is being funded by carrier KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, according to CNN. The original idea for the airplane was conceived by a student at the Technical University of Berlin and developed by researchers at Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands.

And yes, the 314 passengers — along with the fuel tanks and cargo hold — are incorporated into the wings. Supposedly the design will save about 20% on fuel over a similarly-sized Airbus A350. The similar wingspan of the Flying-V to the Airbus means it could utilize the same infrastructure at airports.

As a press release from TU Delft notes, “Everything [in the plane] has to be as lightweight as possible in order to maximise [sic] the efficiency gain the new aircraft shape provides.” The release also unhelpfully suggests “passenger comfort [will] also taken into account” with vague ideas about “new options to having a rest” or “offering food from a buffet.”

A flying prototype will debut in October of this year.

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