What’s The Latest With Airbus’ New Blended Fuselage Design Could Disrupt The Aviation Industry

The game-changing design could generate up to 20% less fuel burn compared to current single-aisle models.

  • Airbus unveiled the MAVERIC project in 2020, an innovative blended-wing-type aircraft that could revolutionize the industry.
  •  Its integrated fuselage and wing can potentially offer a new era of green flying.
  •  While Airbus has yet to provide many updates on the project, they continue to explore disruptive sustainable design projects.

In 2020, Airbus unveiled an entirely new demonstrator, a blended-wing-body aircraft that could change the future of the aviation industry. This project, called MAVERIC (Model Aircraft for Validation and Experimentation of Robust Innovative Controls), was introduced during the Singapore Air Show 2020, and it is a complete departure from traditional aircraft architecture.

How does the concept work?

With Airbus always looking to be at the forefront of innovation, the European OEM has created the MAVERIC concept. This project was, at first, dismissed as merely a ‘hobby’ and a project that Airbus would not learn very much from, according to Adrien Bérard, the project Co-Leader in 2020.

MAVERIC is an aircraft demonstrator known as a “blended wing body.” What does this mean? Essentially, the aircraft’s fuselage is also its wing, with the cabin integrated into the middle. Bérard believes MAVERIC could deliver a very sound basis for future aircraft configuration.
MAVERIC is a small-scale, remote-controlled aircraft demonstrator two meters long and three meters wide. According to an Airbus statement, this groundbreaking design could cut carbon emissions by up to 20% and propel us into a new age of green flying. In addition, because engines and other powerplants can be integrated into the aircraft, its propulsion could also be revolutionized.

Plus, this design has more interior space compared to the long-thin tubes we usually fly on, so the passenger flying experience would be completely different. However, we imagine that some airlines might utilize the extra room to fit in additional space-saving seats.

But whether or not Airbus will produce a model for commercial service remains to be seen, with the aircraft manufacturer making no plans to bring it to market.

“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, former Executive Vice President of Engineering at Airbus and current Executive Vice President of Military Aircraft at Airbus.

What has happened ever since?

Unfortunately, Airbus has not updated that much on the MAVERIC project since announcing it in 2020. The design is part of Airbus’s disruptive projects that could push aircraft to a new future.

On its website, Airbus has many fascinating design projects promising that perhaps “someday soon, passengers may find themselves traveling in aircraft that look nothing like the ones seen on today’s runways and helipads.” Airbus says to be testing new and exciting configurations that have the potential to deliver real environmental performance benefits and to improve the passenger experience.

Other disruptive design projects are Racer (a helicopter demonstrator advanced design that could be up to 15% more efficient than standard helicopters), Future Combat Air System (FCAS), and future aircraft projects such as ZEROe, CityAirbus Next Gen, and Zephyr. Airbus is also working on the BLADE project, which aims to reduce wing friction by 50%, and EcoPulse, a hybrid-propulsion aircraft demonstration.

By Mian Saeed Ahmed Khan.