Blended Wing Body Concept

How it might have looked the McDonnell Douglas Blended Wing Body Concept (BWB)

, , ,

6 Responses to Blended Wing Body Concept

  1. John Price 23 May, 2008 at 2:03 pm #

    Looks similar to something Aerospatiale (as was) showed at several Air Shows some years ago, as well as what Boeing’s now letting people have peeps at …
    Is this the new “single path” among aircraft designers ???
    Is so, what about passenger access and emergency exits ???

  2. zorg 26 May, 2008 at 5:59 pm #

    @john price: It’s not that I think you’re a low-grade moron or anything, but I’m guessing that aircraft designers actually do think about “passenger access” and “emergency exits” and even other stuff too!

    Are you thinking they’re going to roll up to the gate for the first flight and call the control tower to explain that they have to hoist the passengers through a window, one peep at a time? And maybe give each passenger a can opener so they can peel away the hull in case of emergency?

  3. n8mcd 18 June, 2008 at 4:13 am #

    I am a former Boeing engineer…

    @ John Price: The BWB is *far* more fuel efficient than a conventional tubular aircraft fuselage. Almost the entire payload section of the plane develops lift, dramatically reducing take-off fuel consumption and thrust requirements.

    The design also allows for greater passenger comfort and access to amenities, and with creative emergency access options, is no more difficult to evacuate than a conventional aircraft. In fact, the Airbus A380 ‘superjumbo’ has had to beg off special consideration for emergency access due to the limitations of a tubular design on such a large scale. BWB’s stable rectangular cross section allows egress thru the floor without compromising structural integrity, cargo space, fuel capacity, or perhaps most importantly, the passengers ability to evacuate the aircraft*.

    *Floor based escape options in tubular fuselage compromise the aisle access, so that once the escape hatch is opened, some passengers are prevented from safely using either the aisle or the egress.

  4. Laurence Tenney 12 May, 2009 at 11:01 pm #

    Actually, Boeing has long since “sewn up” most patentable and industry-secretable technology relating to lifting body and blended-wing designs quite some time ago and then has “sat” on it for at least 10 years because they BELIEVE (based upon NO test-marketing other than among their own not-particularly-innovative-of-late executives, the 747 excepted) that the admittedly EXCEEDINGLY limited direct passenger views out of any windows would render such an aircraft “unmarketable.”

    All of this despite

    1. much lower takeoff speeds, greatly reducing takeoff noise, strains on engines, TYRES (viz. the ONLY Concorde crash!) and airframe,

    2. despite GREAT advantages in fuel efficiency (~50% per aircraft weight mile, by some estimates, and Deity only knows what per passenger mile!!!),

    3. despite at least arguably—based upon one test-piloted crash of a lifting-body design—MUCH greater passenger and crew crash survivability,

    4. despite the fact that XXIst Century video technology could EASILY make virtually identical-to-Mark-1-Eyeball visibility in any direction available, at the push of a button, to every passenger on the high-definition screen that will already be in front of him or her, and

    5. despite the fact that NOBODY disputes that it would, in any case, be a helluva CARGO design!

    Boeing (Airbus, McDonnell Douglas??), are you listening?!?

    [Oh I forgot, Boeing ate McDonnell Douglas a while back, dammit!]

  5. Martin 13 April, 2010 at 2:49 pm #

    Looks pretty cool, but would they ever get it off the ground – looks like Spruce Goose but bigger and with no floats? :-)
    Arguments about passenger windows remind me of similar about early London Underground trains: ‘If it’s underground, why do passengers need windows?’, with end result that Tube trains nowadays have windows in them.
    Think passenger windows are here to stay, and that the structural engineers will have to find a way of making holes in their new babies for us to look out of..

  6. Martin 13 April, 2010 at 3:05 pm #

    @zorg – Ideal scenario for passengers (dependent on degree of nervousness) would be a sort of flying greenhouse – lots of windows to look out of etc!
    No doubt it’d be a structural impossibility to build a glass aeroplane, but real life engineering asks for lots of compromises
    I love your ideas about giving passengers tin-openers for emergencies (Don’t UK trains already do something similar ‘break glass for the glass-breaking hammer’?) or hoisting them in one at a time thru some sort of passenger chute (Maybe the luggage carousel in reverse?)

    Bring back the Zeppelin!

Leave a Reply