Sir - Although I am a life-long flying-wing fanatic, I do not see how blended-body airliners can work. The aerodynamic advantages are real, and avionics - fly-by-wire - cure the stability snags, but there is still pressurisation. The standard 0.55bar (8lb/in2) represents a lot of pressure on the 280m2 (3,000ft2) or so cabin ceiling of blended-body machines. Close to a couple of thousand of tonnes is trying to tear them apart.

Anything other than the conventional, circular, airliner fuselage must distort under pressurisation, with fatigue implications. Of course, this can be handled, but the structure to do so would seem literally to outweigh the benefits of so radical a departure from circularity.

So, the airliner of the future appears to me as a "super-jumbo", not a flying wing. Much as I might wish otherwise, I suspect that engineering imperatives limit us to a mid-wing on a V-tailed fuselage. Accountants apprehensive about passenger acceptance might stifle even that, however!


Stockport, UK

Source: Flight International