The model plane that might be the future of flying
There have been big aircraft advances since flying began: jet engines, lighter materials, computerised control systems. But the shape of the planes has stayed the same — fuselage, two wings and a tail. Aviation engineers have long seen the heavy fuselage as a nuisance. What if the passengers and cargo could be housed in a wing?
The flying wing might look futuristic but the idea is nothing new. Possibly the first flying wing was designed and flown by Czech aviation pioneer Igo Etrich in 1909, though he had to add a tail to keep it stable. During World War 2, both the Americans and Germans worked at flying-wing bombers, without fully succeeding. In the postwar era, the US managed to build flying-wing military aircraft such as the B-2 stealth bomber.