Airbus has revealed MAVERIC (Model Aircraft for Validation and Experimentation of Robust Innovative Controls) its blended wing body scale model technological demonstrator.

At 2 metres long and 3.2 metres wide, with a surface area of about 2.25m², MAVERIC features a disruptive aircraft design, that has the potential to reduce fuel consumption by up to 20% compared to current single-aisle aircraft.

The scale model.

Airbus say that the ‘blended wing body’ configuration also opens up new possibilities for propulsion systems type and integration, as well as a versatile cabin for a totally new on-board passenger experience.

Launched in 2017, MAVERIC first took to the skies in June 2019. Since then the flight-test campaign has been on-going and will continue until the end of Q2 2020.

“Airbus is leveraging emerging technologies to pioneer the future of flight. By testing disruptive aircraft configurations, Airbus is able to evaluate their potential as viable future products,” said Jean-Brice Dumont, EVP Engineering Airbus.

“Although there is no specific time line for entry-into-service, this technological demonstrator could be instrumental in bringing about change in commercial aircraft architectures for an environmentally sustainable future for the aviation industry.”

0 0 vote
Article Rating
Subscribe
Notify of
guest
32 Comments
oldest
newest
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Herodotus
7 months ago

The end of the conventional aluminium tube! Airports around the world will need to be heavily modified in terms of boarding technology!

Levi Goldsteinberg
Levi Goldsteinberg
7 months ago

Potentially bad news for the UK, potentially good. Airbus builds their wings in Filton – so if the whole plane is a wing; well, either the whole fuselage will be built here or nothing will

RobW
RobW
7 months ago

I think we all know where the work will go if this happens. Suffice to say it will be sometime away though.

Steve Salt
Steve Salt
7 months ago

The bottom image shows separate wing structures I think.

Mark Wallace
Mark Wallace
7 months ago

The wings blend into the fuselage so Fulton could potentially still have work as they have the expertise. The change is the passenger part being part of the lift surfaces. This could also keep future aircraft from growing their wing breadth.

Steve Martin
Steve Martin
7 months ago

Also a lot of the aluminium is made by now Arconic (old Alcoa) who have a location in Brum. A lot depends on the amount of composites they use as to how much of a good/bad thing this is for UK manufacturing and/or if Arconic decide they want to give the orders to mother America.

Lordtemplar
Lordtemplar
7 months ago

This is just an experimental design. Talking about production is premature. I doubt Airbus is keen to take such a gamble on such a disruptive design for civil aviation. Although the A380 program broke even and was technologically impressive, it cannot be considered a commercial success, only a few airports could handle it. Thus they have shut down the A380 production lines. I do not think Airbus is in the mood to take an even bigger gamble anytime soon. This plane is as likely to fly as high altitude ramjet airliner concepts. Maybe one day, but still many decades away.

Rudeboy
Rudeboy
7 months ago
Reply to  Lordtemplar

Absolutely.

Boeing built the X-48 demonstrator in 2007 (actually built at Cranfield in the UK). Same concept….and it went….absolutely nowhere.

Cam
Cam
7 months ago

It’s not like they’ll stop building conventional winged aircraft.

Steve
Steve
7 months ago

Airbus is a European joint venture that we pulled out of. I highly suspect post brexit they will look to move that operation to the mainland.

Steve Salt
Steve Salt
7 months ago
Reply to  Steve

When did we pull out of Airbus ?
Has anyone told the staff at Broughton and Filton ?

David
David
7 months ago
Reply to  Steve Salt

Bae was a member of the Airbus consortium. It sold its stake a while back, when it decided to become a general defence contractor, rather than a pure aerospace company.

davetrousers
davetrousers
7 months ago

Ongoing isn’t hyphenated

Rfn_Weston
Rfn_Weston
7 months ago
Reply to  davetrousers

Hyphenated is missing a full stop after it.

Ron
Ron
7 months ago

Why does this aircraft remind me of Thunderbird 2?

Steve Salt
Steve Salt
7 months ago
Reply to  Ron

Yes, insert a detachable central cargo pod and paint it green and Bob`s your uncle.

Trevor
7 months ago
Reply to  Ron

Brilliant!

Mr Bell
Mr Bell
7 months ago
Reply to  Ron

Ron, you beat me to it. I was going to say that. Shows how far ahead of their time those Thunderbird ideas were.

DaveyB
DaveyB
7 months ago

I hate to “pass water” on Airbus’s parade, but this is nothing new. Here in the UK, Cranfield University had been developing the concept from as early as 2010. They actually produced a video of a future airliner, as part of a joint Master’s project – see below. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UfD0CIAscOI In the US, Boeing had the X48 blended wing body project. They made several models and were teamed up with Cranfield,. The models flew in 2012 with the final flight in 2013, under a NASA project. The X48 was itself a concept taken from a much earlier Mcdonnell Douglas design. The… Read more »

David
David
7 months ago
Reply to  DaveyB

I remember the original design for the A380 which was partially blended. It was not constructed because of regulation CS25 under Part-21. Evacuation of so many people from the aircraft within the constraints of CS25 was not achievable as the large increase in emergency exits (which greatly adds to weight) and the relative distance (of escape) by the middle row passengers was not possible. I would suggest its not the technological barrier this aircraft faces but a regulatory one!

Trevor
7 months ago
Reply to  DaveyB

“Instability ” Now thas a word that should stop us in our tracks.

maurice10
maurice10
7 months ago

Imagine the whole body being one huge aluminum blow moulding. The fitting of strategic strengthening braces could be welded in place using long reach robot arms, once the fuselage is moulded. The process would be similar to blowing thymus flasks and other aluminum bottles. If such a method was created just one master moulder would possibly suffice? Such a moulder would be of considerable size and complexity, but the time it would save over current construction processes, would make it very efficient. The military applications could be very exciting too! I can envisage a blended wing replacing the Persidon fleet,… Read more »

Ron
Ron
7 months ago
Reply to  maurice10

Agreed, give it a small turbine for electricity and refueling capability it could stay up for 7 days in the Maritime role. it would need 20 bunks for the techs on a 8 on 8 off and 9 crew for eight on 16 off. I know the eight on eight of for seven days is possible as that is what I used to do in the Signals in command of an ACC vehicle but after 10 days I was starting to make mistakes. The sonar bouy capacity would be huge as would the weapons bay. This type of aircraft has… Read more »

Rob
Rob
7 months ago

I believe the Luftwaffe were the first to experiment with ‘big wing’ bombers during WW2. Since then we’ve had the fantastic Vulcan and the US B2 but no civil application for this design. The above aircraft looks like an extremely good design, lots of lift, less energy needed by the engines and the seating arrangement inside would be more like a tennis court than a tube. I’m very surprised that someone hasn’t come up with this before. If the RAF bought some they could replace the seats with a bomb bay and you’d have a (not stealthy) strategic bomber or… Read more »

Trevor
7 months ago
Reply to  Rob

Yes but Indiana Jones blew it up!

maurice10
maurice10
7 months ago
Reply to  Trevor

And it tended to spin around and cut people’s heads off too!

Steve Salt
Steve Salt
7 months ago
Reply to  Rob

Didn`t Captain America crash it into the Arctic icesheet ?

PaulSergeant
PaulSergeant
7 months ago

A flying wing configuration was considered for the A380, I was told, but it needed to be bigger to achieve efficiencies. This demonstrator is for a smaller single aisle aircraft, I assume A320 class. The press release describes the configuration as blended wing body, but the first picture has Flying Wing Demonstrator written on the aircraft. There is “potential” for reduced fuel consumption but no claim on what has been demonstrated. All very much up in the air, as they say.

The conceptual renderings of the passenger cabin look good.
https://www.airbus.com/newsroom/stories/Imagine-travelling-in-this-blended-wing-body-aircraft.html

PaulSergeant
PaulSergeant
7 months ago
Reply to  PaulSergeant

When I wrote single aisle aircraft, I should have said equivalent to current aisle aircraft. The proposed passenger accommodation is clearly wider than 6 six abreast single aisle.

DaveyB
DaveyB
7 months ago
Reply to  PaulSergeant

I took more note of Airbus testing a BAe 146 with an 2MW electric motor fitted instead of one of its gas turbines. Not sure how they are going to power the motor? They would need to carry a serious amount of batteries which incurs a massive weight penalty. Or they need to power the motor from one of the gas turbines. There was mention of an on-board generator that needs cooling and exhaust. Which kind of defeats the object by removing cabin space.

IKnowNothing
IKnowNothing
7 months ago

I wonder if the Hybrid Air Vehicles solutions might be better placed for roles such as AEW etc were stupidly long loiter times at altitude are the key requirement.

You could even imagine them operating over a carrier group, especially if thought of more as a ship than a plane, resupply under way, refuel and crew change all handled in the air perhaps. Be a new challenge for the Merlin Crews to drop stores onto the top of an airship several thousand feet in the air!

Terence Patrick Hewett
Terence Patrick Hewett
7 months ago

Looks like another take on the rather ancient “lifting body” concept. MAGMA seems to be much more impressively disruptive.