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PICTURE: X-48B flying-wing design makes first flight

The Boeing X-48B Blended Wing Body (BWB) completed first flight on 21 July at NASA’s Dryden Flight Research Center at Edwards Air Force Base, California.

The Boeing and NASA-sponsored X-48B programme aims to demonstrate a new airframe that is designed to carry more passengers and cargo at more efficient rates than standard configurations.

 

The 21-foot wingspan prototype will be joined by a second aircraft in flight tests to determined the flying-wing design’s low-speed handling qualities.

 

Boeing believes the X-48B is about 8-10 years away from becoming a production programme, but is already pursuing partnerships with military and commercial customers.

 

Boeing X-48B

 

The FlightGlobal.com blog "The Woracle", edited by Graham Warwick, speculates that the X-48B first flight may pave the way for the next Boeing airliner programme.

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