Airbus have revealed their latest Blended Wing Body, the Maveric. The scaled down concept is designed to test low fuel and low emissions aircraft for the rest of the century and Airbus say they’re learning a great deal from the way it operates.
There’s a growing focus on the facts that in order to deliver the low consumption low pollution aircraft of the future, some radical re-thinking of the traditional aircraft type has to be made for the future.
The Maverick is a single aisle, and intended to demonstrate a future A320 size replacement.
The first phase was to learn how to control it, the second and third phases are about how to manufacture it and then how to manage it at airports.
Once they’re done with the Maveric, the EcoPulse demonstrator revealed last year and the Maveric will take their best elements and lessons learned towards what Airbus see as a viable future product.
One of the biggest challenges is the windowless nature of such an aircraft and how would customer s react to it? Years of study have shown repeatedly that non-military aircraft, trains, vehicles without windows are a problem for most of us. Even in Victorian London, underground trains had to have windows retrofitted because nobody liked a closed train, even though there was nothing outside to see.
Airbus are looking at all sorts of potential propulsion systems, from fans to low pressure turbines and electric. Whatever comes out of it, what we’ve been used to flying in for the past 70 years is certain to be very different.