The Air Force Flight Test Museum placed an X-48C on display Aug. 20. According to X-48B/C project manager for Boeing Research Technology, Michael Kisska, the aircraft is “on loan” to the museum while Boeing, NASA Dryden Flight Research Center and the Air Force Research Laboratory actively pursue research opportunities for the aircraft.
“Putting the X-48C in the museum not only allows us to share its accomplishments with the public, but it also keeps it in a near flight configuration such that if we do get more research funding we can pull it right back out and take it down to the flight line,” said Kisska.
He explained that the X-48C was reconfigured from the original B model by replacing the winglet rutters with inboard verticals on the tail and removing one of the three engines representing a low-noise configuration.
The aircraft is designed to test the low-speed handling qualities and stall characteristics of a blended wing body class of aircraft. It has flown 92 missions as an X-48B and 30 as a C model for a total of 122 successful missions.
“This is a wonderful opportunity for the museum to exhibit some of the modern technology being developed here at Edwards. This is kind of rare because usually the things that we end up with are already completed or in the past and this aircraft is fairly up to date,” said George Welsh, 412th Test Wing museum curator.