Dutch airline KLM has agreed to contribute to the development of Delft University of Technology’s (TU Delft) new flight concept known as the ‘Flying-V’.

Both companies have signed a new cooperative agreement in order to work together on making aviation more sustainable.

The agreement was signed at the IATA Annual General Meeting in Seoul by KLM president and CEO Pieter Elbers and Delft University of Technology (TU Delft) Dean of the Faculty of Aerospace Engineering professor Henri Werij.

Flying-V incorporates a new approach in aircraft design in a bid to support sustainable long-distance flight in the future.

KLM president and CEO Pieter Elbers: “In recent years, KLM has developed as a pioneer in sustainability within the airline industry. The development of aviation has given the world a great deal, offering us an opportunity to connect people.”

The ‘Flying-V’ concept features a V-shaped aircraft that has been designed to integrate passenger cabin, cargo hold and the fuel tanks in the wings. With a new aerodynamic shape and reduced weight, the aircraft is claimed to consume 20% less fuel than the Airbus A350.

To be powered by fuel-efficient turbofan engines, Flying-V will have the capacity to carry 314 passengers and the same cargo volume of 160m³.

“Our cooperation with KLM offers a tremendous opportunity to bring about real change.”

TU Delft Aerospace Engineering Faculty dean professor Henri Werij said: “We are incredibly pleased to be able to cooperate with our trusted partner KLM on our combined mission to make aviation more sustainable.

“Radically new and highly energy-efficient aircraft designs such as the Flying-V are important in this respect, as are new forms of propulsion. Our ultimate aim is one of emission-free flight. Our cooperation with KLM offers a tremendous opportunity to bring about real change.”

The company intends to showcase a flying scale model and a full-size section of the interior of the Flying-V at the KLM Experience Days at Amsterdam Airport Schiphol in October.