back to article X-48B mini flying-wing drone prototype resumes testing

A NASA/Boeing project working on the aerodynamics of proposed "blended wing body" (BWB) flying-wing-esque aircraft has entered its second phase of flight tests. The test programme is using one-twelfth-scale model aircraft, manufactured in the UK and remotely controlled from the ground. The X-48B in wind tunnel testing The …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    Super Space Detective

    From that angle it looks a little bit like the Douglas F4D Skyray of the late 1940s, if you squint and you're a bit drunk. Perhaps that's why they called it the Skyray 48. Could this be the first remote-controlled mini-scale concept model that kids will want to have posters of on their bedroom walls?

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    At the moment there are no funds in place...

    Must be British then. Should be the national motto that.

  3. graeme leggett

    Geniuses at work?

    " "With slats retracted the take-off and landing approach speeds are about 70 knots (129kph), [which is] 15 knots higher than with slats extended," Boeing X-48B boffin Norman Princeon told Flight "

    How is this a news story, that's what slats do - lower the take-off and landing speeds - Handley Page told the world that around 1919. HP had a biplane with a stall speed of 33 mph in 1934 and the (jet powered) Hunting H.126 32 mph in the 60s.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Jobs Halo

    Flying wings

    There is nothing new about flying wings. Avro Vulcan for one. And that was certainly not quiet. Bloody hell no!

    Maybe the devil is in the detail.

  5. Alain Moran

    @ graeme

    I think the point is that the difference between slats out and in is only 15 knots, making it possible? to land without extending the slats ... resulting in a considerable reduction in landing noise ;)

  6. Secretgeek

    What are the chances...

    ...of picking one of these babies up at my local model store?

    I want one.

  7. Anton Ivanov

    History repeating

    Here is a very good picture of a 40 year old airplane:

    It is done from the right angle so you can see the blend. It is not a big blend, but blend none the less.

    Apparently, a more blended profile was tested during the early parts of the test program, but abandoned due to the difficulty in manufacturing.

    Anyway... History repeating (and so much for the aforementioned airplane being a "copy of concorde").

  8. Matthew LaShure

    Standard Union Workers

    You can just tell... They're a union... One person working, two people watching, one more person on a beer run.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters

    avro vulcan?

    was a delta wing configuration, not a true flying wing.

  10. Anonymous Coward

    @ everyone

    make sure you are clear between a delta winged aircraft and a flying wing. The latter is a blended wing body where the whole aircraft is the lifting mass. A Delta wing aircraft is still a tube with wings.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    First blended wing

    Like most things aeronautical, it was German. May I introduce the pre-war Junkers G38:

    A passenger aircraft which could carry passengers inside the thick wings as well as the fuselage.

  12. Solomon Grundy

    Made in the UK

    Well, seeing as how it's made in the UK, it's doomed. They'll figure out a way to do it really cheap, then the entire program will inexplicably grow 5000% in the first year, and then the only working prototype will crash (or disappear in orbit around another planet).

    Proudly made in the U.K. hahaha.

    Just send the contract to the Yanks and be done with it, it's cheaper in the long run and it only costs you your privacy.

  13. Phil Gault

    Yet more German engineering.

    Check this whole range of Horten machines:

  14. Anonymous Coward

    Just Build It Already!

    Look, it looks cool, so can we just build it and be done with it please! The law of building stuff is:

    Is it cool?

    If cool build, if not what you doing designing uncool stuff!

  15. Andus McCoatover

    @Flying vulcan noise

    <<There is nothing new about flying wings. Avro Vulcan for one. And that was certainly not quiet. Bloody hell no!>>

    Too right! I was at an airshow years ago when I got hit by the full force of the engines directed at me from one of the last remaining birds flying. It must've been a few hundred yards away and airborne, but it was fuc*king painfully deafening. Almost knocked me off my feet.

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