A McDonnell Douglas (MDC) remotely piloted blended-wing-body (BWB) demonstrator aircraft, designed and built by Stanford University in California, has been successfully flown at El Mirage Dry Lake, also in California. The 6%-scale model is part of a $2.3 million project to evaluate flight-control laws for a full-scale 85.4m wingspan BWB aircraft, intended to carry 800 passengers 13,000km (7,000nm). Before its first flight, the model was tested in NASA Langley Research Center's windtunnel to validate the design. The inherently unstable BWB concept promises high fuel-efficiency because of its low drag and the low-weight "blended" structure.

Source: Flight International