We're just about convinced that the flying wing design is the future of passenger aircraft. It's been in military use for quite some time, perhaps most famously in the form of the Northrop Grumman B-2 Spirit Stealth Bomber. In revealing their Project MAVERIC, Airbus has laid down a design marker for the commercial airline industry with this concept plane's "blended wing body."
And the MAVERIC isn't just a sharp-looking plane fit for a near-future sci-fi movie—Airbus says this particular design could improve fuel economy by 20 percent as well as "significantly improve the passenger experience."
Airbus took the wrapping off MAVERIC at the 2020 Singapore Air Show, revealing a remotely-controlled scale model that turns single-wing design on its head.
In a press release, MAVERIC Project Co-Leader Adrien Bérard admitted that internally the design had been met with skepticism, but Airbus understands that "society expects more from us in terms of improving the environmental performance of our aircraft."
"MAVERIC’s blended wing body configuration is a potential game-changer in this respect," said Bérard, "and we’re keen to push the technology to the limit."
The thing that might eventually put MAVERICs on commercial airport runways the world over isn't potentially improved performance, though. according to Airbus, the "blended wing body design provides an exceptionally comfortable cabin layout, enabling passengers to benefit from additional legroom and larger aisles for more personal comfort."
Because let's be real, too often that very comfort seems to be what airlines push aside in favor of other improvements.
Currently, there is no public timeline for bringing the MAVERIC into full-scale reality, but Airbus will continue testing to see just how much potential this dynamic design truly has.