Airbus has chosen to lift the curtain on the Singapore Air Show (February 11-16) this Tuesday morning to lift the veil on a project that has so far been secret. Its code name: Maveric. This funny craft comes in the form of a flying wing, which foreshadows what will be, if the project is validated in a few years after being extensively tested, a possible successor to the A320neo, the giant's bestseller European aeronautics.
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Airbus presents on its stand a large model, 2 meters long and 3.2 meters wide, with an area of approximately 2.25 m². The aircraft manufacturer also built a model of this aircraft, which it first flew in June 2019. Since then, it has continued flight tests which will be completed at the end of the first half of 2020.
It is at this deadline that Airbus could decide to go further by building an even larger demonstrator, in order to reach new stages of project validation.
Maveric integrates the engines into the fuselage of the aircraft, unlike today's airliners, whose cigar-shaped silhouette with the engines hung under the wings, has not changed in fifty years.
Hybrid aircraft and autonomous taxi
Maveric is therefore a technological breakthrough aircraft which, according to Airbus, offers new possibilities in terms of "passenger experience" on board thanks to a "versatile" cabin. The manufacturer estimates that the successful version of Maveric would be even more energy efficient with a 20% reduction in jet fuel consumption compared to the A320neo.
This new generation aircraft will not enter service before 2030. This implies a launch around 2024-2025. Between today and this horizon, Airbus will have to decide between several projects that it is studying in parallel within its new upstream research program called AirbusUpNext.
The European manufacturer is also working on a regional plane project with electric hybrid propulsion (E-FAN X), as well as an autonomous taxi with vertical take-off and landing (ATTOL).