Blended Wing Body Flies 50th
Boeing's remotely piloted X-48B Blended Wing Body aircraft completed its 50th flight recently at NASA's Dryden Flight Research Center.
The X-48B's first series of flight tests began in July 2007. The project is a collaborative effort of the Boeing Company, NASA's Fundamental Aeronautics Program, and the Air Force Research Laboratory.
The 21-foot wingspan, 500-pound, remotely piloted plane is designed to demonstrate the viability of the blended wing shape. NASA is interested in the potential benefits of the aircraft -- increased volume for carrying capacity, efficient aerodynamics for reduced fuel burn, and, possibly, significant reductions in noise due to propulsion integration options.
The research and testing team is finishing baseline high angle-of-attack test points with the aircraft before transitioning to more aggressive maneuvers to explore the limits of the flight envelope.
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