Nice plane :)
This image provided by NASA shows Boeing's X-48B Blended Wing Body at Rogers Dry Lake October 24, 2006.
The experimental jet that resembles a flying wing successfully flew for the first time in a program that could lead to more fuel-efficient, quieter
and higher-capacity aircraft, NASA said Thursday July 26, 2007.
The remotely controlled, 500-pound, three-engine jet with a 21-foot wingspan took off July 20, climbed to an altitude of 7,500 feet and landed about a
half-hour later, NASA's Dryden Flight Research Center said
The X-48B is an advanced concept, fuel-efficient blended wing body or BWB. It's called a blended wing body because it looks more like a modified
triangular-shaped wing than the traditional aircraft, which is a tube and wing with a tail.
The eight-and-a-half percent scale prototype is being tested in the Langley Full-Scale Tunnel at NASA's Langley Research Center in Hampton, Va.
Boeing Phantom Works' advanced research and development unit has partnered with NASA and the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) at Wright
Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, to explore and confirm the structural, aerodynamic and operational advantages of the blended wing body design.
The biggest difference between this aircraft and the
traditional tube and wing aircraft is that this does not have a tail.
The whole reason you have a tail is for stability and control. So what we want to do with this wind tunnel test is to look at how different multiple
control surfaces can be used to control this particular vehicle.
said Dan Vicroy, senior research engineer at NASA Langley.
The team has produced two high-tech prototypes of the BWB, built to Boeing specifications by Cranfield Aerospace in England, for wind tunnel and
flight-testing. The Air Force has designated the vehicles as the "X-48B" based on its interest in the design's potential as a multi-role,
long-range, high-capacity military aircraft.