The Flying V - A new aircraft configuration for commercial passenger transport
In this work an idea on how to efficiently use the volume inside a pure flying wing for commercial passenger transport was derived and a configuration proposal was made with this idea. This configuration was then compared with a reference aircraft.
The idea is to arrange two cylindrical pressurized sections for the payload swept back in the shape of a V and place them inside the front section of a wing with the same sweep angle.
The streamwise cut through the oblique pressurized section is flat and elliptical and thus, it fits efficiently into conventional airfoils. The cut of the pressurized section orthogonal to the leading edge however, is circular. This leads to an efficient structural solution as pressure can be preserved well in a cylindrical shape.
The proposed configuration is called the Flying V. For this configuration transition and outer wings extend the span of the highly swept middle wing at a lower sweep angle to 65m. The Flying V was designed in this work with a capacity of 315 passengers in a two class layout for a cruise speed of Ma=0.85.
The Airbus A350-900 has the same capacity and cruise speed and was chosen as a reference aircraft. Preliminary estimations made in this work indicate that the Flying V might have a benefit over the reference in terms of aerodynamics (10% higher L/D) and mass (2% lower empty weight). More qualitative arguments in favor of the Flying V which could be derived are the compactness and simplicity of the configuration (less parts, no high-lift devices, no fairings, straight lines) and the shielding of the engines from the ground (low noise). Remarkable is also the elliptical lift distribution of the naturally stable design using only a moderate wing twist and no reflexed camber lines. A radio controlled model of the Flying V will be presented in this work to demonstrate these aerodynamic characteristics and support the estimations and simulations which were made.
So far, the Flying V is an idea and everything which is presented in this work can be regarded as the first step of a long iteration which will be necessary to develop the concept further.
Read more about the Flying V aircraft configuration on this website.