As rising fuel costs and pressure to cut emissions drive most of the aviation industry to seek even small improvements in aircraft efficiency, NASA is pushing to mature technologies that may realise in the 2020s an aircraft concept that could slash fuel consumption by up to a third.
The so-called flying wing, or blended wing body, is not a new idea.
Serious work on the concept goes back to the 1940s, but only now with a
coming together of composite material construction and computer-aided
fly-by-wire control are its huge gains in aerodynamic efficiency
realistically achievable. Continue reading...