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Boeing shows off X-48C

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posted on Jun, 24 2012 @ 01:13 AM
Boeing has released photos of the X-48C scale model remotely piloted aircraft. It is a modified version of the X-48B Blended Wing Body that flew over 90 times. They removed one engine, and moved the two remaining farther forward from the trailing edge, and moved the wingtip vertical fins in towards the center of the fuselage on either side of the engines. This configuration should make the aircraft even quieter.

The BWB design could be as much as 50% more efficient and 40% quieter than tube and wing designs. The design is also being studied under the NASA Environmentally Responsible Aviation (ERA) program. This program seeks to develop unconventional aircraft that will be more efficient, with fewer emissions than current aircraft.


Boeing plans to fly up to 25 flights with the X-48C, and eventually build a scale model large enough to be piloted for testing.


edit on 6/24/2012 by Zaphod58 because: (no reason given)

posted on Jun, 24 2012 @ 01:25 AM
The first time I saw this concept, it just seemed ridiculous. Once I was able to get my mind over the tube shaped paradigm, I could see a lot of potential for the design.

I had seen one concept version of it, when it still had three engined, but they were set along the horizontal plane of the aircraft. I thought that the potential for such a feature would be phenomenal. Current military fighters have internal engines with intakes blended in with the body. If these larger blended wing craft would incorporate that I would think it would make the aircraft even better.

I have always thought that if the plane were large enough with intakes like a fighter, you could have sensors and devices to prevent bird strikes from damaging the engines.

posted on Jun, 24 2012 @ 01:37 AM
The biggest concerns with a passenger version of this aircraft is passenger comfort. There won't be standard windows like a tube and wing design, so motion sickness is a real concern.

With a tube and wing design, the passengers are so close to where the fuselage rotates when banking, that they don't notice nearly as much as they will with this design. The passengers at the ends will notice a bank much more than those on a standard design. One of the things being worked on is a way to make efficient level turns.

posted on Jun, 24 2012 @ 01:46 AM
reply to post by Zaphod58

I had thought about that aspect of it, but figured they would just use these mostly for cargo planes. I don't know how what the demand for planes that can carry as many passengers as this would be. When you take the materials cost, manufacturing plant cost, fuel efficiency savings and demand into account, I don't know if the idea is even worth it if it is primarily a passenger aircraft.
edit on 24-6-2012 by Wolf321 because: (no reason given)

posted on Jun, 24 2012 @ 01:52 AM
reply to post by Wolf321

That was one of the points brought up when talking about the design. We'll probably only see cargo versions for a long time. The amount of cargo one of these aircraft would be able to carry is substantial, and they'd be able to carry oversized cargo, without having to resort to a C-130 or C-17 sized aircraft. Theoretically they could also put self loading cargo equipment onboard for operations at outside fields that don't have the equipment they need.

posted on Jun, 26 2012 @ 10:46 PM
First flight is set for the middle of July, with 25 flights scheduled by the end of the year.

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