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X-48B BWB Prototype to Fly in 2006

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posted on Nov, 28 2005 @ 03:03 AM
The only solution to the turning problem for now is simply to have them turn less. The only problem with that is the extra distance, time, and fuel a BWB will need to circle a airport.

Time/distance will mean more headaches for traffic controllers until they get used to it.

posted on Nov, 28 2005 @ 03:04 AM
They're working on level turns for it. There is a way they can turn with either very little or no banking at all.

posted on Nov, 28 2005 @ 07:24 AM
Although Boeing certainly has it's eye on eventual commercial sales of the blended wing design, it is important to note, (especially due to the direction this conversation is going), that the funding for this project is for a multi-role aircraft for the military; the intended functions for this particular aircraft are tanker, cargo, transport plane and even a bomber.
Only one of these functions actually deals with a large number of passengers and thats the transport configuration.

No doubt that Boeing would like to make a passenger aircraft from this concept as well, and it is true that flatter turning abilities are being researched but even so you still have to deal with the added g-force on the outer edges of the aircraft even in a flat turn.

Perhaps then, the solution could also be placement of passengers, cargo and fuel... passengers could sit closer to the center, while fuel and cargo would be positioned towards the outer wing areas.

[edit on 11-28-2005 by intelgurl]

posted on Nov, 28 2005 @ 12:19 PM
Just popped into my head.....Why not just vector the thrust?
For the flight you could use all the normal flaps and whatnot, and when your circling the airport waiting for your turn to land, you can vector the thrust to the left or right...perhaps they could use some derivative of the X-31 paddles.

posted on Nov, 28 2005 @ 02:41 PM
I don't think vectored thrust would be necessary, as the powerful lift created by the body-wing would provide enough directional force for both lift and turns. I'll bet you that this will have a take-off distance comparable to the C-17, despite the larger airframe.

I am curious to see this in a bomber configuration. And I imagine it would make an outstanding AWACS aircraft.

Intelgurl, I guess the discussion went toward commercial varients because of Murcielago's post. You have to admit... all the prospects are exciting.

posted on Nov, 28 2005 @ 04:57 PM

Originally posted by CyberianHusky
I don't think vectored thrust would be necessary

It wouldn't be necessary per se, but it would be desirable for a Carrier version. Less need for Catapults would be a good thing I would think.

posted on Nov, 28 2005 @ 07:25 PM
Yes, its shape would provide enough lift...but I was talking about the thrust vectoring for turns only. The Raptor's thrust vectoring is up & down only...This aircraft should be the opposite, which would make it be able to turn relatively sharp, while keeping all the people inside eye level with each other.

BTW...I don’t see any big advantage this would have for a bomber, since it wont be capable of going supersonic, what would this offer that the B-1 or B-2 doesn't have.

Honestly, other then commercial, I would only want this plane as a tanker, and some for transports. But I would want the brunt of the transport be done by WALRUS types of Airships.
While I’m sure a transport BWB would be much more efficient then the C-5 Galaxy, how much more could it hold? Or would they want a smaller version which would replace the C-17?

The C-5 can lift 145 tons...while the WALRUS will eventually be able to lift 1,000 tons.

Here’s the WALRUS, sitting next to C-5's. (This is the best picture I have of it, which I extracted from a Lockheed pdf, so if you have a better version of the Lockheed WALRUS, please show or send it)

[edit on 28-11-2005 by Murcielago]

posted on Nov, 28 2005 @ 07:40 PM
intelgurl made a good point, some of the problems we discussed mean little for a cargo or tanker plane.

Come to think of it I saw a concept picture of one of these planes as a tanker and it had two fuel boons one on each side. That way it could refuel two planes at the same time.

Im not sure if any convential tankers can do that now

posted on Nov, 28 2005 @ 07:44 PM
Heres picture of a tanker version I never saw

This picture looks like it has enough room for atleast 4 UCAVs to refuel.


posted on Nov, 28 2005 @ 07:49 PM
They can, but only with Navy/Marine/Foreign planes. They can only refuel more than one currently with the hose and drogue system.

posted on Nov, 28 2005 @ 07:51 PM
Not with the boom system but the hose and drogue system used by the RAF and USN has commonly been used as a three point tanker, ie refuelling three aircraft at once, for many years.

[edit on 28-11-2005 by waynos]

[edit on 28-11-2005 by waynos]

posted on Nov, 28 2005 @ 08:01 PM
Oh ok so the hose and drogue system is more of a flexible tube and the pilot of the plane trying to refuel has to do all the working hooking up.

With the boom arm the controller in the tanker can do some of the work?

Is that the major difference between designs?

posted on Nov, 28 2005 @ 08:09 PM
Yes. The boom operator flies the boom into the receiver after the receiver is in the precontact position. Once connected both systems use a series of magnets to lock into place so that a minor bump or movement by the receiver won't disconnect them. For years the Navy was required to refuel the KA-6s from the KC-135s and then refuel the other planes, because they kept breaking the drogues. The Hornet pilots in particular would drop straight down, instead of backing out, then dropping, which would cause damage to the drogue.

posted on Nov, 28 2005 @ 08:16 PM
Makes me wonder if they ever considdered the C-5 as a civilian airliner.

I would be pretty excited if they started making BWB airliners, they look real cool and i'm sure you could fit lots of fun stuff in it...almost like a cruiseship in the air if you took out some of the chairs.

posted on Nov, 28 2005 @ 08:18 PM
They actually had a design for the MD-17, which was going to be released for commercial markets, but there wasn't anyone that could afford/wanted it.

posted on Nov, 28 2005 @ 08:25 PM
One problem with the windows...

They're assuming people use them to just have a look-see. Many people (including myself) who get anxiety attacks mightn't feel at all comfortable not having a window, since staring out at the distance/horizon makes the sickness better.

Having screens showing the outside would be worse than having no windows at all; like trying to read or watch a video in a moving car.

posted on Nov, 28 2005 @ 09:31 PM
maybe the version can be a uav carrier bomber? what a better way to bring uavs to the area of operations than a "mothership" mated to a tanker version like a modern version of the ship in SKycaptian and the world of tomorrow.

The walrus would be a good laser ion particle airship platform just like a rebirth of the ww1 airship!

posted on Nov, 28 2005 @ 09:48 PM
I love the walrus idea, as we all know, you can essentially build an airship to carry as much weight as you possibly wanted. Fluid dynamics is a marvelous subject and the way balloons and stuff work is immensily valuable. I would love to see the BWB cargo version just swamp all existing airplanes in size and capacity.


posted on Nov, 29 2005 @ 01:11 AM

Originally posted by Murcielago
BTW...I don’t see any big advantage this would have for a bomber, since it wont be capable of going supersonic, what would this offer that the B-1 or B-2 doesn't have.

I guess its advantage would be in the massive payload capacity. And we don't yet know what its operation ceiling might be. I'm just speculating (or day dreaming) about how it could fit in. I think as a transport (cargo and troops) or as a tanker are the ideal roles. I do like the idea of it carrying small UCAVs, as someone said, or even as a cruise missile platform. Imagine that... a flying missile cruiser just sitting outside of the front, launching cruise missiles for hours on end. I still think a combat capable AWACS would be a great role for such an aircraft. Arm it with HARMs, JASSMs, and a couple AAMs and you're good to go.

posted on Nov, 29 2005 @ 05:17 AM

Originally posted by Darkpr0
Remember the problem with the 747 when it was going to airports? The guys had to widen the airstrips and runways to accomodate the monster wingspan. This thing looks even wider. How's it supposed to fit on a runway like that?

EDIT: Also, one more thing. How the heck is this thing supposed to fit into those itty-bitty gates at the airports? Folding wings, maybe, but thats where the passengers can sit, ain't it?

[edit on 11/27/2005 by Darkpr0]

When the dimensions will not exceed 80 x 80 meters [about 262.5 feets], it is not problem to handle it in any international airport. But I can agree that some artists impressions are much bigger.

Passangers entrace doors are on the left leading edge behind the cockpit. The cargo is on the both sides of passanger cabin. Airbus BWB called A20.30 has better array [I think], because on the upper deck are passangers and on the lower is cargo.

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