The Boeing/NASA X-48B blended-wing body research aircraft is back in the air after undergoing a major overhaul and upgrades. A checkout flight of the one-eighth scale model was conducted at NASA's Dryden flight research centre at Edwards air base in California on 21 September. Intended to demonstrate technologies for quieter and more fuel-efficient aircraft, the X-48B had been disassembled for inspection and refurbishment following completion of its test campaign's first phase, which spanned 80 flights. The next phase is aimed at evaluating a new flight computer. Alongside Boeing and NASA, the UK's Cranfield Aerospace and the US Air Force Research Laboratory in Dayton, Ohio, participate in the X-48B team.
© NASA/Tony Landis