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May 8, 2006

Dryden Flight Research Center
P.O. Box 273
Edwards, California 93523
Phone 661/276-3449
FAX 661/276-3566

Alan Brown
NASA Dryden Flight Research Center
Phone: 661/276-2665


NASA Begins Blended Wing-Body Wind Tunnel Tests

Researchers at NASA's Langley Research Center in Hampton, Va., are testing a 21-foot wingspan 8.5 percent scale prototype of a blended wing body aircraft in Langley's historic full-scale wind tunnel. Boeing Phantom Works has partnered with NASA and the Air Force Research Laboratory to study the structural, aerodynamic and operational advantages of the advanced aircraft concept, a cross between a conventional plane and a flying wing design. The Air Force has designated the prototype the X-48B based on its interest in the design's potential as a multi-role, long-range, high-capacity military transport aircraft. A second X-48B blended-wing body prototype is due to arrive at NASA Dryden Flight Research Center in May, and after installation of test instrumentation and extensive checkout, begin flight tests later this year.

PHOTO EDITORS: Two publication-quality photos to support this release are available for downloading at: http://www.dfrc.nasa.gov/Gallery/Photo/X-48B/index.html

Technicians inspect the sub-scale X-48B Blended Wing Body concept demonstrator in the full-scale wind tunnel at NASA's Langley Research Center.
-Boeing Phantom Works / Bob Ferguson

The triangular planform of the sub-scale X-48B Blended Wing Body prototype is evident as it awaits testing in the full-scale wind tunnel at NASA Langley.
-Boeing Phantom Works / Bob Ferguson

For more information about NASA Dryden Flight Research Center and its research projects, visit: http://www.nasa.gov/centers/dryden on the Internet.


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