NASA

November 9, 2012

X-48 Blended Wing Body Research aircraft makes 100th test flight

The upgraded X-48C version of Boeing’s Blending Wing Body subscale research aircraft banks over Rogers Dry Lake near “Contractors’ Row” at Edwards Air Force Base during a test flight Oct. 16, 2012. Combined with the earlier X-48B version, the X-48 technology demonstrator has now flown 100 test missions, more than any other single unmanned X-plane.

The Boeing X-48 Blended Wing Body subscale research aircraft made its 100th flight in late October at NASA’s Dryden Flight Research Center at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif.

The milestone occurred Oct. 30 when the unmanned X-48C aircraft was flown on two separate 25-minute flights – the seventh and eighth flights for the X-48C since it began flying Aug. 7. Between 2007 and 2010, the aircraft, then in the X-48B configuration, made 92 flights.

“Once again, working closely with NASA, we have been pleased to pass another flight-test milestone in our work to explore and validate the aerodynamic characteristics and efficiencies of the Blended Wing Body concept,” said Boeing X-48 project manager Mike Kisska of Boeing Research and Technology. “We are thrilled by the continued success of our flight testing and the useful data that we have collected during the first eight X-48C flights,” added Heather Maliska, NASA Dryden’s X-48C project manager.
Kisska noted that with 100 test flights flown, the X-48 has far surpassed the previous record of 40 flights performed by a single unmanned X-plane, held by one of the X-45A Joint Unmanned Combat Aircraft technology demonstrators, also developed by Boeing.

Boeing’s X-48C Blended Wing Body research aircraft is silhouetted against the morning sky over Edwards Air Force Base during its fifth test flight on Oct. 16. It has flown eight times since Aug. 7.

The X-48 is a scale model of a heavy-lift, subsonic aircraft that forgoes the conventional tube-and-wing airplane design in favor of a triangular aircraft that effectively merges the vehicle’s wing and body. Boeing and NASA believe the blended or hybrid wing body concept offers the long-term potential of significantly greater fuel efficiency and reduced noise.

Boeing’s blended wing body program manager Bob Liebeck said earlier flight tests of the X-48B proved that a blended wing body aircraft can be controlled as effectively as a conventional tube-and-wing aircraft during takeoffs and landings and other low-speed segments of the flight regime. With the X-48C, the team has been evaluating the impact of noise-shielding concepts on low-speed flight characteristics.

The X-48C, which was modified from the previous X-48B version, is configured with two small 89-pound-thrust turbojet engines instead of the three 50-pound-thrust engines on the B-model. The wingtip winglets on the X-48B have been relocated inboard next to the engines on the C-model, effectively turning them into twin tails, and the aft deck was extended about two feet at the rear.

The Boeing-NASA team expects to fly the X-48C approximately 20 more times by the end of this year.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 
Air Force photograph by Rebecca Amber

Lakebed creature re-surfaces in time for Halloween

Air Force photograph by Rebecca Amber Class 14B of the United States Air Force Test Pilot School took the liberty of having the shark fin fixed-up with the help of the 412th Maintenance Group, after it was re-discovered in 2013...
 
 

Nurturing relationships and a culture of caring*

When life gets challenging, stressors can build and conflicts can escalate, sometimes leading to abuse. Preventing domestic abuse is fundamental to basic relationship maintenance. Partners in healthy relationships work together every day to nurture their relationship, taking care to address issues and concerns when they occur. Healthy relationships should be safe, respectful and positive. Octob...
 
 

Solar eclipse

Air Force photograph by Jet Fabara Philip Harvey, 412th Operations Support Squadron flight chief and staff meteorologist, adjusts a precision spectral pyranometer in order to plot data he collects from the beginning to the end of the partial solar eclipse that occurred Oct. 23 near the Base Operations building. The data recorded is used to...
 

 

News Briefs October 24, 2014

M4/M9 Firing Range closure The Edwards AFB Combat Arms Firing Range is closed for M4 and M9 firing until further notice. Any required firing for PCS or deployments will temporarily be accomplished at March ARB, Calif. To schedule training, contact the Combat Arms section at 661-277-2103. It is strongly recommended that all firing be scheduled as soon...
 
 
town-hall

Edwards community holds town hall meeting

Air Force photograph by Jena Romo Col. Eric Leshinksy, 412th Mission Support Group commander, addresses the audience at a town hall meeting Oct. 15 at the Airmen and Family Readiness Center. The Edwards community gathered at th...
 
 
Instagram by Master Sgt. Sonny Cohrs

Online vigilance helps reduce risk

Instagram by Master Sgt. Sonny Cohrs The Air Force reminds us not to post information about deployment departures, locations, and on-going operations. However, even a simple photo of your family pet can reveal personal informat...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>