TU Delft's cabin interior design for the Flying-V concept aircraft. Image via TU Delft

TU Delft’s cabin interior design for the Flying-V concept aircraft. Image via TU Delft

TU Delft has unveiled its experimental cabin interior design for the Flying-V concept aircraft. Similar to other futuristic cabin concepts, the design does away with the traditional separation of different cabin classes and instead groups various seating solutions together in one space.

A multidisciplinary team from the Delft University of Technology (TU Delft) has revealed its initial cabin interior designs for the Flying-V concept aircraft that it is researching together with Airbus and which has the financial support of KLM.

A full-scale mock-up of the cabin interior was debuted alongside a scaled model of the Flying-V aircraft during the KLM Experience Days at Amsterdam Airport Schiphol yesterday, which marked KLM’s 100th anniversary.

TU Delft believes the aerodynamic design of the aircraft, which integrates the passenger cabin, cargo-hold and fuel tanks into the wings, could require 20% less fuel compared to today’s Airbus A350s.

A group of 80 students led by the university’s Dr. Peter Vink, professor of Environmental Ergonomics and head of the Design Engineering Department and researcher Thomas Rotte, created a radical interior design for the Flying-V’s oval-shaped cabin that includes four different types of seating.

Vink explained, “The cabin interior is designed to be as lightweight as possible, contributing to the sustainability goals of the aircraft, but is also meant to improve the flying experience for passengers while still allowing the same number of passengers in the cabin.”

Each of the four seating types were devised to target specific passenger profiles identified by TU Delft’s research. They include group seating for four passengers around a table, individual seats, lounge chairs and collapsible beds. “The exact amount of different types, the ratio between these, as well as the effect on booking, boarding and on-board logistics are yet to be investigated,” Vink said.

The full-scale mock-up of the cabin interior design concept for the Flying-V aircraft, displayed at the KLM Experience Days. Image via TU Delft

Because passengers are located in the wings of the Flying-V, the designers found that the seats should be no more than 18 degrees from the flying direction. They achieved this requirement by using staggered seating in the middle of the cabin.

TU Delft has applied for a patent for its designs. Vink confirmed that while the number of exits corresponds with guidelines, “further study is needed to show that this indeed complies with the 90-second rule” for passenger evacuation.

The Flying-V aircraft has the same wingspan as an A350 but is shorter from nose to tail. The scaled model measures 3.06 meters wide and 2.76 meters long and will undergo flight tests later this year.