New X-Plane Flies at Calif. Air Base

An X-48B Blended Wing Body jet successfully flew for the first time in a program that could lead to more fuel-efficient, quieter and higher- capacity aircraft, NASA said Thursday.

The remotely controlled, 500-pound, three-engine jet with a 21-foot wingspan took off July 20, climbed to an altitude of 7,500 feet and landed about a half-hour later, NASA’s Dryden Flight Research Center said.

It was controlled by a pilot at a ground station. NASA and Boeing said data from the flight is already being compared with data from wind tunnel tests.

The aircraft and a duplicate were designed by Boeing Co.’s Phantom Works in cooperation with NASA and the Air Force Research Laboratory at Wright Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio. Built by Cranfield Aerospace Ltd. in Bedford, England, they are 8.5 percent-scale versions of a future full-size design.

The X-48B resembles a flying wing, but the wing blends into a wide, flat and tailless fuselage, NASA and Boeing said.

Source:  Associated Press

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One Response to “New X-Plane Flies at Calif. Air Base”

  1. teliczan Says:

    The body design reminds me of the Starship that Raytheon took out of production.

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