"Working closely with NASA, we have been privileged throughout X-48 flight-testing to explore and validate what we believe is a significant breakthrough in the science of flight and this has been a tremendous success for Boeing," said Bob Liebeck, a Boeing senior technical fellow and the company's Blended Wing Body (BWB) Program manager. "We have shown a BWB aircraft, which offers the tremendous promise of significantly greater fuel efficiency and reduced noise, can be controlled as effectively as a conventional tube-and-wing aircraft during takeoffs, landings and other low-speed segments of the flight regime."
"Our goal was to define the low-speed envelope and explore the low-speed handling qualities of the blended wing body class of tailless aircraft, and we have accomplished that," added Mike Kisska, Boeing X-48 project manager.
Because handling qualities of the X-48C were different from those of the X-48B, the project team modified the flight control system software, including flight control limiters to keep the airplane flying within a safe flight envelope. This enabled a stronger and safer prototype flight control system suitable for future full-scale commercial hybrid or blended wing aircraft.
NASA's Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate and Boeing funded the X-48 technology demonstration research effort, which supported NASA's goals of reduced fuel burn, emissions, and noise. The Air Force Research Laboratory in Dayton, Ohio, also was a member of the project team.For more information about aeronautics research at NASA, visit: http://www.aeronautics.nasa.gov SOURCE NASA