Here's some pictures of Boeing's new X-48B flight demo aircraft. 

As you can see, it's a radical departure from any traditional airliner or

cargo plane in use today.
(There is text concerning the X-48B at the end of the photos)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Boeing X48B - here's some interesting info from Boeing & NASA

 

 Good day friends,

 

 You may remember a year or two ago we shared a "photo" of what  looked a little like a B2 bomber in United livery. It was described as a Boeing project and, as usual for all things engineering and Boeing related, we asked Gordon McKinzie whether it was fact or fantasy. As you may also recall, Gordon advised the project was real and had to do with new a blended wing design.

 

 The airplane concept is not new: It first surfaced at McDonnell-Douglas in the early '90s and then migrated up to Boeing when the two companies merged in 1997. I was around Boeing at the time and remember them poo-pooing the concept big time, for several reasons ( most importantly, they were looking at the Sonic Cruiser and other preliminary designs at the time, and had no time for the Douglas NIH "intrusion"). First negative was the bad stability of the airplane (except with computers -- no natural stability), second was the lack of windows for the passengers (none), and third was the difficult evacuation scenario in case of a  crash landing. The lone, persevering, and dogged promoter of the concept, Bob Liebeck, and I became good friends when he sought airline technical  input. I think I was his staunchest supporter, and only recently I was honored  to be a nominee for Bob to elect him Honorary Fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics.

 

 Boeing is a long way from a full scale proof-of-concept airplane,  but I'm happy to report that the stability issue is now resolved. Still working on the windowless and evacuation problem, and for that reason the first "real" BWB will most likely be a cargo or tanker aircraft for the military.

 

 Because almost all of the fuselage is a lifting surface, the BWB is more than 10 percent lighter than a conventional "wing and tube" airplane with the same payload. The fuel efficiency is pegged at a genuine 30% savings below even the most efficient large aircraft flying today. And yes, Airbus is already looking into a concept very much like the BWB, only their engines are in the leading edge and they have a semblance of a tail structure. I understand they have already launched some wind tunnel tests of their design.

 

 One interesting attribute of the Boeing BWB pax airplane design is the fact that the guy sitting on the furthest outboard seat will experience higher "g's" in a turn than the other pax seated more inboard. We'll  save those seats for those yank-and-bank fighter pilots.

 

 http://www.nasa.gov/vision/earth/improvingflight/x48b.html

 

 So that's what may be on the horizon. Probably no meal service though. :)

 

 Have a nice afternoon and evening.