X-48B Blended Wing Body

flateric

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http://www.nasa.gov/vision/earth/improvingflight/bwb_main.html - several streaming QuickTime videos of LARC WT tests
http://www.nasa.gov/vision/earth/improvingflight/x48b.html - several hi-res photos
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J.D. Harrington
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Kathy Barnstorff
Langley Research Center, Hampton, Va.
(757) 864-9886/344-8511

Tom Koehler
Boeing Phantom Works, St. Louis, Mo.
(206) 766-2923

Larine Barr
Air Force Research Laboratory, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio
(937) 656-9010


05.04.06
RELEASE: 06-034


Team Uses Historic NASA Tunnel to Test Blended Wing Body


An historic NASA wind tunnel is helping to test the prototype of a new, more fuel-efficient aircraft design.

Boeing Phantom Works, St. Louis, Mo., has partnered with NASA's Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate and the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory, Wright Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, to explore and validate the structural, aerodynamic and operational advantages of an advanced concept called the blended wing body or BWB. A BWB looks very different than most airplanes flying today. It's a modified triangular-shaped wing.

The team has produced two high-tech, 21-foot wingspan prototypes of the BWB 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.

"One big difference between this airplane and the traditional tube and wing aircraft is that -instead of a conventional tail - the blended wing body relies solely on multiple control surfaces on the wing for stability and control," said Dan Vicroy, senior research engineer at NASA's Langley Research Center in Hampton, Va. "What we want to do with this wind tunnel test is to look at how these surfaces can best be used to maneuver the aircraft."

X-48B Ship No. 1 began wind tunnel testing April 7 at the Langley Full-Scale Tunnel at NASA Langley. The Langley Full-Scale Tunnel, operated by Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Va., was built in 1930 and has been used to test everything from World War II fighters, to the Mercury capsule, to concepts for a supersonic transport and now a blended wing body prototype.

When testing is completed in mid-May, the prototype will be shipped to NASA's Dryden Flight Research Center, Edwards Air Force Base, Calif., to serve as a backup to Ship No. 2, which will be used for remotely-piloted flight tests later this year. According to the team, both phases of testing are focused on learning more about the low-speed flight-control characteristics of the BWB concept.

"The X-48B prototypes have been dynamically scaled to represent a much larger aircraft and are being used to demonstrate that a BWB is as controllable and safe during takeoff, approach and landing as a conventional military transport airplane," said Norm Princen, chief engineer for the X-48B program at Boeing Phantom Works.

The Boeing, NASA and the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) cooperative agreement on the X-48B program culminates years of BWB research by NASA and Boeing. AFRL is interested in the concept for its potential future military applications of the concept.

"We believe the BWB concept has the potential to cost effectively fill many roles required by the Air Force, such as tanking, weapons carriage, and command and control," said Captain Scott Bjorge, AFRL’s X-48B program manager. "This research is a great cooperative effort and a major step in the development of the BWB. AFRL is inspired to be involved in this critical test program."

Cranfield Aerospace Ltd., Cranfield, England, built the ground breaking X-48B prototypes to Boeing Phantom Works' specifications. Made primarily of advanced lightweight composite materials, the prototypes weigh about 400 pounds each. They are powered by three turbojet engines and can fly up to 120 knots or 138 miles an hour as high as 10,000 feet in altitude during flight-testing.

Cranfield Aerospace also provided the ground-control station. That's where a pilot will remotely control the X-48B during research flight tests.

For more information about NASA's Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate, please visit:

aeronautics.nasa.gov

- end -

Video is available by satellite on the NASA TV Videofile, which is replayed throughout the day. NASA TV's channels are available on an MPEG-2 digital C-band signal accessed via satellite AMC-6, at 72 degrees west longitude, transponder 17C, 4040 MHz, vertical polarization. For downlink information and Videofile times, visit: http://www.nasa.gov/ntv
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Boeing Phantom Works to Lead Research on X-48B Blended Wing Body Concept
HAMPTON, Va., May 04, 2006 -- In cooperation with NASA and the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory, the Phantom Works organization of Boeing [NYSE: BA] is taking another step toward exploring and validating the structural, aerodynamic and operational advantages of a futuristic aircraft design called the blended wing body, or BWB.

Two high-fidelity, 21-foot wingspan prototypes of the BWB concept have been designed and produced for wind tunnel and flight testing this year. The Air Force has designated the vehicles as the "X-48B," based on its interest in the design's potential as a flexible, long-range, high-capacity military aircraft.

X-48B Ship No. 1 began wind tunnel testing on April 7 at the Langley Full-Scale Tunnel at NASA's Langley Research Center. When testing is completed in early May, it will be shipped to NASA's Dryden Flight Research Center in California to serve as a backup to Ship No. 2, which will be used for flight testing later this year. According to the team, both phases of testing are focused on learning more about the low-speed flight-control characteristics of the BWB concept.

"The X-48B prototypes have been dynamically scaled to represent a much larger aircraft and are being used to demonstrate that a BWB is as controllable and safe during takeoff, approach and landing as a conventional military transport airplane," said Norm Princen, Boeing Phantom Works chief engineer for the X-48B program.

The X-48B cooperative agreement by Boeing, NASA and the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) culminates years of BWB research by NASA and Boeing. AFRL is interested in the concept for its potential future military applications.

"We believe the BWB concept has the potential to cost effectively fill many roles required by the Air Force, such as tanking, weapons carriage, and command and control," said Capt. Scott Bjorge, AFRL X-48B program manager. "This research is a great cooperative effort, and a major step in the development of the BWB. AFRL is inspired to be involved in this critical test program."

NASA also is committed to advancing the BWB concept. NASA and its partners have tested six different blended wing body models of various sizes over the last decade in four wind tunnels at the Langley Research Center.

"One big difference between this airplane and the traditional tube and wing aircraft is that -- instead of a conventional tail -- the blended wing body relies solely on multiple control surfaces on the wing for stability and control," said Dan Vicroy, NASA senior research engineer at the Langley Research Center. "What we want to do with this wind-tunnel test is to look at how these surfaces can be best used to maneuver the aircraft."

The two X-48B prototypes were built for Boeing Phantom Works by Cranfield Aerospace Ltd., in the United Kingdom in accordance with Boeing requirements and specifications. Made primarily of advanced lightweight composite materials, the prototypes weigh about 400 pounds each. Powered by three turbojet engines, they will be capable of flying up to 120 knots and 10,000 feet in altitude during flight testing.

Boeing also contracted with Cranfield Aerospace to provide the ground-control station, in which a pilot will remotely control the X-48B during flight research testing.

As part of Boeing's long-range business strategy, its Phantom Works advanced research and development organization defines and develops innovative technologies and systems such as the blended wing body concept to meet future aerospace needs.

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CammNut

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I discovered this unusual variation on Boeing's well-worn blended wing body theme. It was studied under a NASA project called Cruise Efficient Short Take-Off and Landing (CESTOL) and these images come from a January 2006 presentation.

The objective was to design a low-noise aircraft that could operate from small regional airports to relieve congestion at major hubs. The aircraft uses distributed propulsion (lots of engines) to increase lift for STOL and to fill in the wake for reduced drag in the cruise. Mounting the engines above the wing/body provides noise shielding.
 

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Sundog

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On that second design CammNut posted, I think it's safe to say an engine out condition isn't something to really worry about. ;)

That's very cool, I've never seen that version before. My favorite is the smaller twin engine BWB that Boeing art shows as an USAF tanker. I've often wondered if they will use it as the 737 replacement in the middle of the next decade and use it as a jumping off point for larger variants, based on that other document online that shows how they add sections to make the larger three engined (X-48 configuration) and four engined variants.
 

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And when the engines maintenance stuff saw the design, they said HOLY SH!T - not only the number of engines, but also their positions.
 

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Sentinel Chicken said:
That's what I call a fistful of throttle. And I thought the B-52's throttle quadrant was a handful!

You ever see that 16-engine next generation B-52?
 

CammNut

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Sundog said:
My favorite is the smaller twin engine BWB that Boeing art shows as an USAF tanker.

You mean this one?
 

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CammNut

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These two very convincing fakes have been circulating on the web for ages - not sure of their origins, maybe PopSci - but Boeing more than once has had to pour cold water on rumours of a BWB "797"...
 

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Antonio

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not sure of their origins, maybe PopSci

You're right, that beauty comes from a Popular Science article about the future of aeronautics
 

CammNut

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And just to prove that Boeing doesn't have a lock on BWB - here is a design by DLR, the German Aerospace Centre
 

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flateric

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http://boeing.com/news/releases/2007/q3/070726c_nr.html

Boeing Flies Blended Wing Body Research Aircraft

The 21-foot wingspan, 500-pound unmanned test vehicle took off for the first time at 8:42 a.m. Pacific Daylight Time on July 20 and climbed to an altitude of 7,500 feet before landing 31 minutes later.

"We've successfully passed another milestone in our work to explore and validate the structural, aerodynamic and operational efficiencies of the BWB concept," said Bob Liebeck, BWB program manager for Boeing Phantom Works, the company's advanced R&D unit. "We already have begun to compare actual flight-test data with the data generated earlier by our computer models and in the wind tunnel."

The X-48B flight test vehicle was developed by Boeing Phantom Works in cooperation with NASA and the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory to gather detailed information about the stability and flight-control characteristics of the BWB design, especially during takeoffs and landings. Up to 25 flights are planned to gather data in these low-speed flight regimes. Following completion of low-speed flight testing, the X-48B likely will be used to test the BWB's low-noise characteristics, as well as BWB handling characteristics at transonic speeds.

Two X-48B research vehicles have been built. The vehicle that flew on July 20 is Ship 2, which also was used for ground and taxi testing. Ship 1, a duplicate of Ship 2, completed extensive wind tunnel testing in 2006 at the Old Dominion University NASA Langley Full-Scale Tunnel in Virginia. Ship 1 will be available for use as a backup during the flight test program.

Three turbojet engines enable the composite-skinned research vehicle to fly up to 10,000 feet and 120 knots in its low-speed configuration. Modifications would need to be made to the vehicle to enable it to fly at higher speeds. The unmanned aircraft is remotely piloted from a ground control station in which the pilot uses conventional aircraft controls and instrumentation while looking at a monitor fed by a forward-looking camera on the aircraft.

The Boeing BWB design resembles a flying wing, but differs in that the wing blends smoothly into a wide, flat, tailless fuselage. This fuselage blending helps to get additional lift with less drag compared to a circular fuselage. This translates to reduced fuel use at cruise conditions. And because the engines mount high on the back of the aircraft, there is less noise inside and on the ground when it is in flight.

"While Boeing constantly explores and applies innovative technologies to enhance its current and next-generation products, the X-48B is a good example of how Boeing also looks much farther into the future at revolutionary concepts that promise even greater breakthroughs in flight," said Bob Krieger, Boeing chief technology officer and president of Phantom Works.

While a commercial passenger application for the BWB concept is not in Boeing's current 20-year market outlook, the Advanced Systems organization of Boeing Integrated Defense Systems' (IDS) is closely monitoring the research based on the BWB's potential as a flexible, long-range, high-capacity military aircraft.

"The BWB concept holds tremendous promise for the future of military aviation as a multi-purpose military platform in 15 to 20 years," said Darryl Davis, Boeing IDS Advanced Systems vice president and general manager of Advanced Precision Engagement and Mobility Systems. "Its unique design attributes will result in less fuel burn and a greatly reduced noise footprint, which are important capabilities to offer our Air Force and mobility customers."

NASA's participation in the project is focused on fundamental, edge-of-the-envelope flight dynamics and structural concepts of the BWB. Along with hosting the X-48B flight test and research activities, NASA Dryden provided engineering and technical support -- expertise garnered from years of operating cutting-edge unmanned air vehicles.

The two X-48B research vehicles were built by Cranfield Aerospace Ltd., in the United Kingdom, in accordance with Boeing requirements.

###

http://www.nasa.gov/centers/dryden/news/NewsReleases/2007/07-42.html

RELEASE: 07-42


X-48B Blended Wing Body Research Aircraft Makes First Flight

EDWARDS, Calif. -- NASA's Dryden Flight Research Center in Edwards, Calif., provided critical support for the first flight July 20 of the X-48B. The 21-foot wingspan, 500-pound remotely piloted test vehicle took off for the first time at 8:42 a.m. PDT and climbed to an altitude of 7,500 feet before landing 31 minutes later. The Boeing Co. of Seattle developed the blended wing body research aircraft.

"Friday's flight marked yet another aviation first achieved by a very hard-working Boeing, NASA and Cranfield team," said Gary Cosentino, Dryden's Blended Wing Body project manager. "The X-48B flew as well as we had predicted, and we look forward to many productive data flights this summer and fall."

NASA's participation in the blended wing body effort is focused on fundamental, advanced flight dynamics and structural concepts of the design. It is a Subsonic Fixed Wing project managed by NASA's Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate, Washington.

In addition to hosting the X-48B flight test and research activities, NASA provided engineering and technical support -- expertise garnered from years of operating cutting-edge air vehicles. NASA assisted with the hardware and software validation and verification process, the integration and testing of the aircraft's systems and the pilot's ground control station. NASA's range group provided critical telemetry and command and control communications during the flight, while flight operations provided a T-34 chase aircraft and essential flight scheduling. Photo and video support completed the effort.

Boeing's Phantom Works designed the X-48B flight test vehicles in cooperation with NASA and the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory at Wright Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, to gather detailed information about the stability and flight-control characteristics of the blended wing body design, especially during takeoffs and landings.

The Boeing blended wing body design resembles a flying wing, but differs in that the wing blends smoothly into a wide, flat, tailless fuselage. This fuselage blending provides additional lift with less drag compared to a circular fuselage, translating to reduced fuel use at cruise conditions. Since the engines mount high on the back of the aircraft, there is less noise inside and on the ground when it is in flight.

Three turbojet engines enable the composite-skinned, 8.5 percent scale vehicle to fly up to 10,000 feet and 120 knots in its low-speed configuration. The aircraft is flown remotely from a ground control station in which the pilot uses conventional aircraft controls and instrumentation while looking at a monitor fed by a forward-looking camera on the aircraft.

Up to 25 flights are planned to gather data in these low-speed flight regimes. Then the X-48B may be used to test the aircraft's low-noise and handling characteristics at transonic speeds.

NASA long has supported the development of the blended wing body shape and concept, participating in numerous collaborations with Boeing on vehicle design and analysis, as well as several wind tunnel entries of various sizes and design models.

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. In these initial flights, the principal focus is to validate the research on the aerodynamics and controllability of the shape, including comparisons of the flight data with the extensive wind-tunnel database.

Later studies will be conducted to provide a detailed understanding of this unique aircraft shape and a knowledge database to enable a future full-scale design.

Two X-48B research vehicles were built by Cranfield Aerospace Ltd., in Bedford, England, in accordance with Boeing requirements. The vehicle that flew on July 20 is Ship 2, which also was used for ground and taxi testing. Ship 1, a duplicate, completed extensive wind tunnel testing in 2006 at the Full-Scale Tunnel at NASA's Langley Research Center in Hampton, Va. Ship 1 will be available for use as a backup during the flight test program.

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

A high resolution photo of the X-48B is available at: http://www.nasa.gov/centers/dryden/images/content/182936main_X-48B_First_Flight.jpg
 

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TinWing

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It would seem that the issue of cabin pressurization would have been challenging for a BWB design in the past. Before the 787, airliner fuselages were simply continuous section alluminum tubes. Would the advent of large scale, composite fuselage technology simplify the task of the task of presurizing the irregularly shaped cabin of a BWB transport?
 

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Presumably the cheap seats in any BWB aircraft would be on the outside of the isle where the effects of banking would be most pronounced.........
 

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TinWing said:
It would seem that the issue of cabin pressurization would have been challenging for a BWB design in the past. Before the 787, airliner fuselages were simply continuous section alluminum tubes. Would the advent of large scale, composite fuselage technology simplify the task of the task of presurizing the irregularly shaped cabin of a BWB transport?


There's no reason you couldn't have pillars to help out with that. Be smart about it and you could take advantage of it. For example you could have a wall side to side with archways for the aisles and project HDTV movies on the solid sections. If you did it right you could make it a BETTER experience than flying in a tube.
 

sferrin

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PMN1 said:
Presumably the cheap seats in any BWB aircraft would be on the outside of the isle where the effects of banking would be most pronounced.........

Maybe they stick the baggage out there instead of under the floor and just have two levels of seating or something.
 

elmayerle

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TinWing said:
It would seem that the issue of cabin pressurization would have been challenging for a BWB design in the past. Before the 787, airliner fuselages were simply continuous section alluminum tubes. Would the advent of large scale, composite fuselage technology simplify the task of the task of presurizing the irregularly shaped cabin of a BWB transport?

Go looking for the layout of the airliner version of the YB-49 that Northrop proposed, they found ways of pressurizing an irregularly shaped cabin.
 

flateric

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http://dailyreport.afa.org/AFA/Features/newtech/box092507boeing.htm

A Boeing Technology Brief

September 24, 2007— Boeing officials at the Air Force Association’s 2007 Air & Space Conference and Technology Exposition in Washington expounded on technologies to come and some current and imminent programs. Their talks ranged from the advanced bomber to the tanker replacement program to unusual unmanned aerial vehicles and new missiles.

On Tanker Replacement, Boeing is hoping to have its Blended Wing Body X-48 demonstrator technology ready in time to compete for the Air Force’s second big buy of aerial refueling replacement aircraft, slated for about 2020 and dubbed KC-Y. (The service plans a three-phase replacement effort, starting with the current KC-X competition and followed by KC-Y and KC-Z.) A subscale BWB demonstrator with a 21-foot wingspan recently flew, and Boeing said full-size types could fill a wide variety of passenger, cargo, or tanker functions. It expects to be able to make a proposal on a full-size tanker by about 2015. Besides offering far more internal volume than today’s tube and wing configurations, a BWB tanker could also fly with two refueling booms, doubling the speed at which USAF aircraft could gas up. The program is teaching Boeing how to build rectangular pressure vessels versus the standard tubes and about the BWB flight control laws. However, the BWB would not be a candidate for a long-range strike aircraft. With three engines mounted on top of the rear of the aircraft, it wouldn’t be very stealthy. The placement of the engines does make it quieter than today’s airliners and cargo aircraft, says Boeing.
 

hesham

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Hi,

http://www.aoe.vt.edu/research/groups/bwb/
 

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hesham

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Hi,

http://www.flightglobal.com/pdfarchive/view/2004/2004-09%20-%200879.html?search=blended%20body%20aircraft
 

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flateric

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Hesham, while these are BWB, THEY ARE NOT X-48B
 

sferrin

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X-48C

http://www.aviationweek.com/media/images/awst_images/large/AW_08_17_2009_737_L.jpg

"Data from the Langley tests will be used to refine flight control software, which will be used when the X-48C is taken to Edwards for the flying phase in 2010. “We’re not 100% sure how it is going to work right now,” says Princen. “We may modify both to the C configuration, or keep one B so we can do back-to-back comparisons.” "
 

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quellish

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Family photo.
 

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bobbymike

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This is a great design for a semi-stealthly long loiter weapons carrier. In the AFRL news release it mentioned weapons carriage as a future function. It is also intertesting that the Missile Defense Agency has tested Patriots and examined Thaad on F-15s. With the anti-ship threat from China growing especially MRBMs you could load up a BWB bomber sized aircraft with probably over 100 anti-air missiles. You could sneak F-22s in close to cue to targets or maybe a future space based radar. You could even have a second BWB aircraft loaded with hypersonic weapons such as a future X-51 to "stand-off" and fire at ground targets outside of "double digit" SAM range.
 

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OM

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...And a NASA Dryden agitprop clip of the demonstrator in actual takeoff and flight:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QAIWYqUWi2Y&feature=related
 

hesham

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Hi,

http://www.dtic.mil/cgi-bin/GetTRDoc?AD=ADA526601&Location=U2&doc=GetTRDoc.pdf
 

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bobbymike

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The BWB design and load carrying capacity just seems to be a wonderful solution to so many military requirements. I personally like the "bomb truck" or "anti-air/anti-missile" carrier able to loiter from stand off ranges with very large weapons payloads.
 

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sferrin said:
PMN1 said:
Presumably the cheap seats in any BWB aircraft would be on the outside of the isle where the effects of banking would be most pronounced.........

Maybe they stick the baggage out there instead of under the floor and just have two levels of seating or something.

Roll on/Roll off passenger pods?
 

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Boeing Flies X-48C Blended Wing Body Research Aircraft

CHICAGO, Aug. 7, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- A modified Boeing (NYSE: BA) Blended Wing Body research aircraft – designated the X-48C – flew for the first time today at NASA's Dryden Flight Research Center at Edwards Air Force Base in California.

The remotely piloted X-48C aircraft took off at 7:56 a.m. Pacific Daylight Time and climbed to an altitude of 5,500 feet before landing 9 minutes later.

The X-48C is a scale model of a heavy-lift, subsonic vehicle that forgoes the conventional tube-and-wing airplane design in favor of a triangular aircraft that effectively merges the vehicle's wing and body. Boeing and NASA believe the BWB concept offers the potential over the long-term of significantly greater fuel efficiency and reduced noise.

"Working with NASA, we are very pleased to enter into the next flight-test phase of our work to explore and validate the aerodynamic characteristics and efficiencies of the Blended Wing Body concept," said Bob Liebeck, a Boeing Senior Technical Fellow and the company's BWB program manager.

"In our earlier flight testing of the X-48B, we proved that a BWB aircraft can be controlled as effectively as a conventional tube-and-wing aircraft during takeoffs and landings and other low-speed segments of the flight regime," Liebeck said. "With the X-48C, we will be evaluating the impact of noise shielding concepts on low-speed flight characteristics."

The X-48C is a modified version of the X-48B aircraft, which flew 92 times at NASA Dryden between 2007 and 2010. The X-48C is configured with two 89-pound thrust turbojet engines, instead of three 50-pound thrust engines on the B-model; and wingtip winglets have been relocated inboard next to the engines on the C-model, effectively turning them into twin tails. The aft deck also was extended about 2 feet at the rear.

"We are thrilled to get back in the air to start collecting data in this low-noise configuration," said Heather Maliska, NASA Dryden's X-48C project manager.

The modified test vehicle was designed by Boeing and built by Cranfield Aerospace Ltd., in the United Kingdom, in accordance with Boeing requirements.

While Boeing continuously explores and applies innovative technologies at its own expense to enhance its current and next-generation products, the X-48C flight-test research is an example of how the company also is looking much farther into the future at revolutionary concepts that offer even greater breakthroughs in the science of flight.

"Boeing has been a leader in technology and aerospace for almost 100 years. Our employees work to solve big challenges and create complex, highly capable systems, from today's 787 Dreamliner airplane and P-8A Poseidon multi-mission military aircraft to the X-48C, which explores ideas for future advances. Every day our team is building on our legacy of groundbreaking technical achievements that have improved life for people worldwide," said John Tracy, Boeing chief technology officer and senior vice president of Engineering, Operations & Technology.

Engineers from Boeing Research & Technology, the company's central research, technology and innovation organization, will be working closely with NASA engineers during flight tests of the X-48C, which are expected to continue throughout 2012. As handling qualities of the X-48C will be different than those of the X-48B, the project team developed flight control software modifications, including flight control limiters to keep the airplane flying within a safe flight envelope.

With a 21-foot wingspan, the 500-pound aircraft is an 8.5 percent scale model of a heavy-lift, subsonic airplane with a 240-foot wingspan that possibly could be developed in the next 15 to 20 years for military applications such as aerial refueling and cargo missions. The X-48C has an estimated top speed of about 140 miles per hour, with a maximum altitude of 10,000 feet. The X-48C project team consists of Boeing, NASA, Cranfield Aeropace, and the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory.

Boeing and NASA's Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate are funding X-48 technology demonstration research. The effort supports NASA's Environmentally Responsible Aviation project, which has goals to reduce fuel burn, emissions and noise of future aircraft.

http://boeing.mediaroom.com/index.php?s=43&item=2383
 

VTOLicious

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Out of curiosity I have tried to determine the CG-position with a rather simple freeware-tool. I´ve used the 3-view previously posted by obb.

After having a closer look at pics of the real model I noticed that the location of the main gear and the markings on top of the center body don´t match the drawing!

See pics attached...what do you think?
 

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AeroFranz

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VTOLicious, i congratulate you for trying to reverse engineer the cg location on the X-48...with most aircraft this approach would be valid, but with blended wings it's difficult to calculate the center of lift (for example: the centerbody probably does not lift as well as the proper wings). Still, it could possibly work. There's other ways, likely to be about as accurate and definitely easier.
If you want to find the cg location, a good rule of thumb is that it lies on a line 15 degrees ahead of the vertical line passing through the ground contact point of the main landing gear, as seen on a side view. You have to guess where along that line the cg is, but the X-48 is fairly flat, so you can probably achieve decent accuracy.
Good luck! ;)
 

Triton

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"Blended Wing Body: The shape of things to come" video by Boeing:

Learn about Blended Wing Body aircraft, a remotely piloted experimental jet shaped like a manta ray. Engineer Bob Liebeck explains how Boeing is working with NASA to explore fuel savings and other potential benefits of this exciting airplane design.

http://youtu.be/lxM_D93gHJY
 

flateric

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It's said right there - Energy Efficient Transport
 
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