The Airbus 'MAVERIC' takes its first step towards becoming reality

Detailed designs have been released of a new single-aisle aircraft concept being tested by manufacturer Airbus.

The radical design looks like something you'd expect to see in a Star Wars film rather than your local airport terminal - and that's not the only film connection to the aircraft.

The miniature version of the design has been flying at Singapore's Airshow this week under the name of MAVERIC.

The name isn't entirely based on the Tom Cruise character in Top Gun, it actually stands for 'Model Aircraft for Validation and Experimentation of Robust Innovative Controls'; but I'm pretty certain they knew what they were spelling when they came up with it.

The aircraft shares its name with this icon of aviation history.
The aircraft shares its name with this icon of aviation history. Photo credit: Newshub.

The design is said to bring fuel savings of up to 20 percent, but it's the spacious interior design that's likely to get the attention of both the aviation industry and travellers alike.

The "blended wing body" design is a complete departure from traditional aircraft of today. The shape of the aircraft means the interior cabin is much wider than conventional aircraft.

"Initially, many dismissed the MAVERIC project as merely a 'hobby', or in other words, a project Airbus wouldn't learn very much from," said co-leader of the project Adrien Bérard.

It's not known if the aircraft can go inverted.
It's not known if the aircraft can go inverted. Photo credit: Airbus

"So we had to prove them wrong by showing that we could deliver a very sound basis for future aircraft configuration."

In less than three years, the MAVERIC concept went from a simple sketch to a 3D computer-generated model to an aircraft demonstrator.

In June 2019, the remote-controlled demonstrator took to the skies for the first time.

At just 2m long and 3m wide, the remote control version of the aircraft is tiny compared to the planned final product, but it's a big step towards proving the concept could have a future.

The modern interior is so relaxing it could take your breath away.
The modern interior is so relaxing it could take your breath away. Photo credit: Airbus

If a MAVERIC-inspired aircraft did take to the skies in the future as commercial airliner, its blended wing body design could attract customers with a more comfortable cabin layout, enabling passengers to benefit from additional legroom and larger aisles.

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