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Boeing X-48C Blended Wing Body Research Aircraft Completes Flight Testing 2013.04.14

Edwards Air Force Base, Calif., USA - April 12, 2013 - The Boeing (NYSE: BA) X-48C research aircraft flew for the 30th and final time April 9, marking the successful completion of an eight-month flight-test program to explore and further validate the aerodynamic characteristics of the Blended Wing Body design concept.

Boeing X-48C, the Blended Wing Body (BWB) concept.
The modified test vehicle was designed by Boeing and built by Cranfield Aerospace Ltd., in the United Kingdom, in accordance with Boeing requirements.
Courtesy of Boeing
 

Edwards Air Force Base, Calif., USA - April 12, 2013

The Boeing (NYSE: BA) X-48C research aircraft flew for the 30th and final time April 9, marking the successful completion of an eight-month flight-test program to explore and further validate the aerodynamic characteristics of the Blended Wing Body design concept.

All 30 flights were conducted at NASA's Dryden Flight Research Center.

The X-48C is a scale model of a heavy-lift, subsonic aircraft that possibly could be developed for military applications.
Boeing and NASA believe the Blended Wing Body (BWB) concept offers the potential over the long-term of significantly greater fuel efficiency and reduced noise.
Courtesy of Boeing
 
The X-48C typically flew for approximately 30 minutes on most flights, reaching speeds of up to 140 miles per hour and attaining an altitude of about 10,000 feet.

X-48C flight testing began Aug. 7, 2012.

The X-48C is a scale model of a heavy-lift, subsonic aircraft that possibly could be developed for military applications.
Boeing and NASA believe the Blended Wing Body (BWB) concept offers the potential over the long-term of significantly greater fuel efficiency and reduced noise.
Courtesy of Boeing / NASA photo
 
"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 – and it has been a tremendous success for Boeing,"
said Bob Liebeck, a Boeing Senior Technical Fellow and the company's BWB program manager.

The X-48C is a modified version of the X-48B aircraft, which flew 92 times at NASA Dryden between 2007 and 2010.
Courtesy of Boeing
 
"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 takeoffs, landings and other low-speed segments of the flight regime,
" Liebeck said.

Shaped like a manta ray, Blended Wing Body (BWB) is more than in idea. It's an experimental aircraft in active testing today in collaboration with NASA.
Courtesy of Boeing
 
The X-48C, designed by Boeing Research & Technology, built by Cranfield Aerospace Ltd., and flown in partnership with NASA and the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory, is a scale model of a heavy-lift, subsonic vehicle that forgoes the conventional tube-and-wing airplane design in favor of a triangular tailless aircraft that effectively merges the vehicle's wing and body.

The X-48C is configured with two 89-pound thrust turbojet engines, instead of three 50-pound thrust engines on the B-model.
In addition, the wingtip winglets were relocated inboard next to the engines on the C-model and the aft deck was extended about 2 feet at the rear.
Courtesy of Boeing
 
Boeing believes the concept could be developed in the next 15 to 20 years for military applications such as aerial refueling and cargo missions.

The X-48C is a modified version of the X-48B aircraft, which flew 92 times at NASA Dryden between 2007 and 2010.

Boeing believes the concept could be developed in the next 15 to 20 years for military applications such as aerial refueling and cargo missions.
Courtesy of Boeing
 
The X-48C is configured with two 89-pound thrust turbojet engines, instead of three 50-pound thrust engines on the B-model.

In addition, the wingtip winglets were relocated inboard next to the engines on the C-model and the aft deck was extended about 2 feet at the rear.

Boeing Flies X-48C Blended Wing Body Research Aircraft.
Chicago, August 07, 2012 - The remotely piloted X-48C Blended Wing Body research aircraft made its first-ever flight today at NASA's Dryden Flight Research Center at Edwards Air Force Base in California, USA.
Courtesy of Boeing image / NASA photo
 
"With the completion of X-48C flight testing, we have accomplished our goal of establishing a ground-to-flight database, and proving the low-speed controllability of concept throughout the flight envelope,"
said Fay Collier, director of NASA's Environmentally Responsible Aviation (ERA) project.
"Both very quiet and efficient, the concept has shown promise for meeting all of NASA's environmental goals for future aircraft designs."

Boeing X-48C Blended Wing Body Research Aircraft Completes Flight Testing.
The airplane is shown here during its 22nd flight on February 28, 2013.
Courtesy of Boeing image
 
Boeing and NASA's Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate funded the X-48 technology demonstration research.

The effort was aligned with NASA's ERA project, which has the goals to reduce fuel burn, emissions and noise of future aircraft.

Boeing and NASA will continue to develop Blended Wing Body technology, with the aspiration of developing a larger-scale, transonic BWB demonstrator in the future.

www.boeing.com  

Follow us on Twitter: @Boeing


Contact:

Tom Koehler
Boeing Communications
+1 425-373-2921
Thomas.j.koehler@boeing.com  

Gray Creech
NASA Dryden Flight Research Center Public Af
fairs
+1 661-276-2662
Gray.creech-1@nasa.gov  


SOURCE Boeing

http://boeing.mediaroom.com/  



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