Boeing, one of the leading manufacturers of airplanes in the world, announced that its blended wing body research aircraft, the X-48C, took to the skies for the first time on the 7th of August, 2012 at the NASA Dryden Flight Research Centre.
The X-48C is an 8.5% scale replica of a heavy-lift subsonic aircraft that does not use the traditional tube and wing aircraft design that has seen us through half a decade of passenger air travel. It is a remotely-piloted triangular-shaped hybrid wing-body aircraft, and it offers more internal space for passengers and cargo, and cuts through the air with greater efficiency.
The model X-48C has a wingspan of 21 feet, and it weighs 500 pounds. It is capable of flying for 35 minutes, and it can reach a maximum altitude of 10,000 feet. Although the test flight lasted for only 9 minutes, it was enough for NASA to consider it a successful test.
The actual heavy-lift aircraft that Boeing is planning to develop has a wingspan of 240 feet, and it may be constructed for military applications, or even commercial flights, in the next 15 to 20 years. Other than providing more internal space and increasing flight efficiency, this aircraft is also expected to improve fuel efficiency and reduce noise.
While this revolutionary aircraft is still being developed, airlines and aircraft owners can try other ways to reduce fuel costs and noise pollution. Using aircraft tugs to move airplanes can help you reduce fuel, labor, and repair costs, as well as harmful emissions and noise. Take a look at Lindbergh Aircraft Tug Company’s great selection of superior quality airplane tow tugs.