Business

April 12, 2013

Boeing X-48C research aircraft completes flight testing

boeing-x48
EDWARDS AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. – The Boeing X-48C research aircraft flew for the 30th and final time April 9, marking the successful completion of an eight-month flight-test program to explore and further validate the aerodynamic characteristics of the Blended Wing Body design concept.

All 30 flights were conducted at NASA’s Dryden Flight Research Center. The X-48C typically flew for approximately 30 minutes on most flights, reaching speeds of up to 140 miles per hour and attaining an altitude of about 10,000 feet. X-48C flight testing began Aug. 7, 2012.

“Working closely with NASA, we have been privileged throughout X-48 flight-testing to explore and validate what we believe is a significant breakthrough in the science of flight – and it has been a tremendous success for Boeing,” said Bob Liebeck, a Boeing Senior Technical Fellow and the company’s BWB program manager.

“We have shown that a BWB aircraft, which offers the tremendous promise of significantly greater fuel efficiency and reduced noise, can be controlled as effectively as a conventional tube-and-wing aircraft during takeoffs, landings and other low-speed segments of the flight regime,” Liebeck said.

The X-48C, designed by Boeing Research & Technology, built by Cranfield Aerospace Ltd., and flown in partnership with NASA and the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory, is a scale model of a heavy-lift, subsonic vehicle that forgoes the conventional tube-and-wing airplane design in favor of a triangular tailless aircraft that effectively merges the vehicle’s wing and body. Boeing believes the concept could be developed in the next 15 to 20 years for military applications such as aerial refueling and cargo missions.

The X-48C is a modified version of the X-48B aircraft, which flew 92 times at NASA Dryden between 2007 and 2010. The X-48C is configured with two 89-pound thrust turbojet engines, instead of three 50-pound thrust engines on the B-model. In addition, the wingtip winglets were relocated inboard next to the engines on the C-model and the aft deck was extended about 2 feet at the rear.

“With the completion of X-48C flight testing, we have accomplished our goal of establishing a ground-to-flight database, and proving the low-speed controllability of concept throughout the flight envelope,” said Fay Collier, director of NASA’s Environmentally Responsible Aviation (ERA) project. “Both very quiet and efficient, the concept has shown promise for meeting all of NASA’s environmental goals for future aircraft designs.”

Boeing and NASA’s Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate funded the X-48 technology demonstration research. The effort was aligned with NASA’s ERA project, which has the goals to reduce fuel burn, emissions and noise of future aircraft.

Boeing and NASA will continue to develop Blended Wing Body technology, with the aspiration of developing a larger-scale, transonic BWB demonstrator in the future.

 




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


 
 

 

Lockheed Martin Australia to deliver modern, affordable C-130J training solutions to RAAF

The Royal Australian Air Force has awarded Lockheed Martin Australia a contract to supply a modern C-130J-30 Virtual Maintenance Trainer and a Multi-Function Training Aid to support maintenance and aircrew training at RAAF Base Richmond. Through this major upgrade, the RAAF will have a standardized curriculum tailored for its operations and based on decades of...
 
 

Raytheon awarded U.S. Air Force aircraft integration, life cycle technical support contract

Raytheon has been awarded a $35 million sole-source contract by the U.S. Air Force to provide aircraft integration and life-cycle technical support on an advanced bomb carriage and release system for aircraft. The advanced system will allow both the Air Force and U.S. Navy to perform more missions utilizing less aircraft. “JMM BRU end users...
 
 

General Dynamics UK completes review for SCOUT reconnaissance variant

OAKDALE, South Wales – General Dynamics UK has successfully completed the Critical Design Review for the SCOUT Reconnaissance variant, as part of the SCOUT Specialist Vehicle program. The completion of the SCOUT Reconnaissance variant CDR is a significant marker in the SCOUT SV program, with the first SCOUT Reconnaissance pre-production prototype to be completed later...
 

 

Boeing, Royal Australian Air Force test extended range weapon

The Boeing Joint Direct Attack Munition Extended Range demonstrated significant range increase while maintaining its expected accuracy during flight testing conducted by Boeing and the Royal Australian Air Force. The testing centered on a new wing kit that, when used in conjunction with the weaponís guidance kit, increases the bomb’s range from approximately 15 miles...
 
 

DRS Technologies to provide comm systems for Royal New Zealand Navy frigates

DRS Technologies Inc., a Finmeccanica Company, announced Feb. 25 that its Canadian subsidiary will be providing tactical integrated communications systems to the New Zealand Ministry of Defense for the Royal New Zealand Navy’s ANZAC-class frigates. This subcontract was awarded to DRS Technologies Canada Ltd. in support of a communications modernization contract from Lockheed Martin Canada...
 
 

Northrop Grumman LITENING achieves two million operating hour milestone

In the life cycle of every military system, some milestones stand out as signature achievements. One million operating hours is one of them – and Northrop Grumman’s fielded AN/AAQ-28(V) LITENING pods have hit that number for the second time. “This is a significant milestone for the LITENING program and our team is proud to be...
 




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>