BBC News image captionThe Airbus Maveric is a remote-controlled blended-wing test aircraft At an undisclosed location Airbus has spent months testing a radical looking plane. At 10ft (3m) wide, it is only small, but it could be the start of something very big in the aerospace industry. It looks like a flying wedge – known in the trade as a blended-wing design. Airbus calls the remote-controlled aircraft Maveric and is keen to emphasise that, at the moment, it is only exploring how the configuration works. But it says the design has "great potential". One day it could be scaled up to the size of a regular passenger jet. In traditional aircraft the fuselage is basically dead weight and needs big wings to keep it in the sky. Under a blended-wing design, the whole airframe provides lift, so it can be lighter and smaller than current designs, but can potentially carry the same payload. Maveric is one of several initiatives from Airbus, and there are many by other aerospace firms, to meet an industry target to halve emissions from air travel by 2050, compared to 2005 levels. "There is a really big challenge there. And there is a big expectation […]


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