Tech

November 5, 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.

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.


 
 

 

Headlines March 30, 2015

News: Pentagon chief mulls easing military enlistment standards - Defense Secretary Ash Carter is considering easing some military enlistment standards as part of a broader set of initiatives to better attract and keep quality service members and civilians across the Defense Department.   Business: Lockheed pays $2 million to settle government overbilling charges - Lockheed Martin Corpor...
 
 

News Briefs March 30, 2015

Landing mishap for military chopper; two aboard unhurt Two Navy officers were unhurt after their helicopter rolled on its side while landing in the Florida Panhandle. The mishap happened the night of March 27 at a Navy landing site in Pensacola, Fla. The Pensacola News Journal reports a pilot instructor and a student were able...
 
 
Air Force photograph by TSgt. Matt Hecht

Laser-based aircraft countermeasure provides ‘unlimited rounds’ against MANPADS

Air Force photograph by TSgt. Matt Hecht A U.S. Army AH-64 Apache attack helicopter prepares to depart Bagram Air Field, Afghanistan, on Jan 7, 2012. The Apache conducts distributed operations, precision strikes against relocat...
 

 

Navy, Air Force advocate for modernizing combat aviation

Top Navy and Air Force officials today told the House Armed Services subcommittee on tactical air and land forces the president’s budget request for fiscal year 2016 will support modernizing combat aviation programs. Cavy Vice Adm. Paul A. Grosklags, principal military deputy to the assistant secretary of the Navy for research, development and acquisitions; Air...
 
 

Raytheon wins $46 million contract for South Korean Global Hawk ground stations

Raytheon has been awarded a contract valued at up to $45.7 million by Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems for ground segments in support of four Global Hawk unmanned aircraft systems recently purchased by the Republic of Korea. Under this contract, Raytheon will deliver one building-based and one mobile ground segment to locations in South Korea. Work...
 
 
Air Force photograph by SrA. Victor J. Caputo

McConnell community marks B-29 rollout

Air Force photograph by SrA. Victor J. Caputo A B-29 Superfortress aircraft, named Doc after its nose art, sit on the flightline March 23, 2015, in Wichita, Kan. Doc will be one of two Superfortresses in the world capable of fl...
 




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>