X-48C wraps up blended wing body tests

written by australianaviation.com.au | April 15, 2013
NASA's X-48C Blended Wing-Body aircraft. (NASA)

Boeing’s X-48C research aircraft has completed an eight-month flight-testing program evaluating the aerodynamic characteristics of the Blended Wing Body (BWB) design concept.

The 30-flight test program was carried out at NASA’s Dryden Flight Research Center. The X-48C is a scale model of a subsonic heavy-lift aircraft with a triangular, tailless shape that merges the body and wings.

“Working closely with NASA, we have been privileged throughout X-48 flight-testing to explore and validate what we believe is a significant breakthrough in the science of flight,” said Bob Liebeck, Boeing’s BWB program manager. “We have shown that a BWB aircraft, which offers the tremendous promise of significantly greater fuel efficiency and reduced noise, can be controlled as effectively as a conventional tube-and-wing aircraft during take-offs, landings and other low-speed segments of the flight regime.”

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