By Cailey Rizzo
February 12, 2020
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Model displays of Airbus' "blended-wing" body plane at the Singapore Airshow.
Getty Images

This week Airbus revealed that it has been been working on a new plane that could reduce carbon emissions by 20 percent. And although becoming more environmentally friendly in aviation is in full swing, this plane has a whole new look.

The MAVERIC (which stands for Model Aircraft for Validation and Experimentation of Robust Innovative Controls), that debuted at the Singapore Air Show on Tuesday, looks like a manta ray. The wings of the plane are blended into its body to create a more aerodynamic shape that would burn about 20 percent less fuel, compared to a traditional aircraft with the same engine. The aircraft would be more complicated to control but much more fuel-efficient, according to Reuters.

Airbus is currently working a scale-model technological demonstrater that has a surface area of about seven square feet. But if/when the aircraft is fully developed, t believes that it could create a more spacious cabin experience for passengers, with more legroom and wider aisles than the traditional single-aisle aircraft.

“Although there is no specific time line for entry-into-service, this technological demonstrator could be instrumental in bringing about change in commercial aircraft architectures for an environmentally sustainable future for the aviation industry,” Jean-Brice Dumont, Airbus’s executive vice president of engineering, said in a statement.

Airbus said that its flight test campaign for the demonstrator aircraft will continue through the middle of 2020.

Airbus is developing the MAVERIC alongside several other more experimental projects through a research program called AirbusUpNext. The manufacturer is also investigating aircraft with hybrid-electric propulsion, v-shaped “formation” flight and autonomous taxi take-off and landing.

The aviation industry is considering all sorts of new types of aircraft in an effort to reduce its carbon emissions. Earlier this week, a concept for a new jet that looks like a flying “T” emerged. The concept would operate with zero carbon emissions.