KLM Royal Dutch airlines

Airplane of the future? It may be the “Flying-V”

The airplane of the future may be shaped like a big V.

And it may be super sustainable.

On the heels of its announcement of an investment in a biofuel plant set to open in 2022, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines has announced it will partner with Delft University of Technology (TU Delft) to fund the development of an innovative flying machine known as the “Flying-V.

The new-fangled, aerodynamic aircraft design incorporates the passenger cabin, cargo hold and fuel tanks into the wings of a V-shaped aircraft.

As designed, the unusual shape would reduce an aircraft’s weight and use 20% less fuel than current airplanes. But it would allow the plane to easily land at airports and pull up to gates designed to welcome Airbus A350s.

Designers say the Flying-V will be able to carry the same number of passengers – 314 – and the same volume of cargo as an Airbus A350. But this new plane will be smaller than an A350 and more aerodynamic.

Although the Flying-V will initially fly on kerosene, it is designed make use of innovations in the propulsion system, such as electrically boosted turbofan engines.  

Designers say not only will the Flying-V look different and be energy-efficient, it could offer a better passenger experience, with seating in the wings and with a unique new design for seating and lavatories.

A flying scale model and full-size section of the interior of the “Flying-V” is set to be unveiled in October, during KLM Experience Days at Amsterdam Airport Schiphol, as a potential aircraft design of the future.

I plan to be there!

(Images/video courtesy TU Delft)

KLM’s augmented reality bag sizer for carry-on bags

KLM Royal Dutch Airlines has added an augmented reality bag sizer tool to its app to help passengers figure out if their carry-on bags comply with the airline’s rules.

The augmented reality bag check tool shows a virtual KLM suitcase that is the size of a carry-on bag that fits the dimensions of the bags KLM allows on board.

When the user points their phone at their own carry-on bag, the augmented reality tool can measure the bag against the sample bag.

Here’s a video that shows how the tool works.

 

While it seems that many passengers ignore most airlines’ rules about the dimensions of carry-on bags allowed,  the augmented reality tool seems like a great way for resposible travelres to comply with the rules.

This also seems like a good way to avoid arguments at the gate when KLM gate staffers are being sticklers about enforcing the rules.

If it works well, this is a tool every airline could add to their app.

Passengers could use it to measure their bag before they leave home. In the boarding area, gate agents who feel a bag is oversized could just aim their version of the app at a bag. If there’s debate, both passenger and gate agent could take a screen shot of the results.

Now there just needs to be a way to weigh bags with an app!

KLM’s app offers some other augmented reality features as well, including a 360-degree display of a Dreamliner aircraft and, in the KLM Houses App, a look at Anthony Fokker’s House 98.