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

MAVERIC features design which Airbus says will have the potential to reduce fuel consumption by up to 20 per cent, compared to current single-aisle aircraft. The aircraft measures 2 metres long and 3.2 metres wide and has a surface area of about 2.25 sq m.

Configuration will open up new propulsion possibilities

In a statement, Airbus said the “blended wing body” configuration will 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.

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

Jean-Brice Dumont, EVP Engineering at Airbus said: “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.”

He added: “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.”

One of a number of parallel demonstrator projects

Airbus is using its engineering and manufacturing capabilities along with an innovation ecosystem to accelerate traditional research and development cycles. In a media statement, the manufacturer said these strengths would enable the company to achieve proof of concepts at a convincing scale and speed, thereby driving forward maturity and increasing their value.

The company is currently working on a number of parallel demonstrator projects through its research programme. These include E-FAN X (hybrid-electric propulsion), fello’fly (v-shaped “formation” flight) and ATTOL (Autonomous Taxi Take-Off & Landing).