Headlines > News > X-48B Resumes Flight Tests at NASA Dryden

X-48B Resumes Flight Tests at NASA Dryden

Published by Matt on Thu Sep 23, 2010 8:17 am via: NASA
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After undergoing a major overhaul and upgrades, the Boeing / NASA X-48B Blended Wing Body research aircraft resumed flight tests with a checkout flight Sept. 21 from NASA’s Dryden Flight Research Center at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif.

A joint NASA/Boeing team has completed the first phase of flight tests on the unique X-48B Blended Wing Body aircraft at NASA's Dryden Flight Research Center on Edwards Air Force Base, Calif. The team completed the 80th and last flight of the project's first phase on March 19, 2010. Credit: NASA / Tony Landis

A joint NASA/Boeing team has completed the first phase of flight tests on the unique X-48B Blended Wing Body aircraft at NASA's Dryden Flight Research Center on Edwards Air Force Base, Calif. The team completed the 80th and last flight of the project's first phase on March 19, 2010. Credit: NASA / Tony Landis

The subscale, manta ray-shaped, remotely piloted airplane, also called a hybrid wing body, is a tool of NASA’s new Environmentally Responsible Aviation, or ERA, project. ERA aims to develop the technology needed to create quieter, cleaner, and more fuel-efficient airplanes for the future.

After completion of its first phase of flight testing, the airplane was disassembled for a complete inspection and refurbishment. This new series of flight tests will focus on additional parameter identification investigations following installation and checkout of a new flight computer. The parameter identification work will evaluate the new computer’s control of the aircraft’s flight control surfaces and the airplane’s performance.

With its spin parachute tail stinger extending aft, Boeing's sub-scale X-48B BWB technology demonstrator shows off its clean semi-triangular shape. Credit: NASA / Tony Landis

With its spin parachute tail stinger extending aft, Boeing's sub-scale X-48B BWB technology demonstrator shows off its clean semi-triangular shape. Credit: NASA / Tony Landis

The X-48B blended wing body research aircraft performing flight test at NASA’s Dryden Flight Research Center.(NASA / Carla Thomas) In addition to NASA and Boeing, the X-48B team includes Cranfield Aerospace Ltd. in the United Kingdom, and the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory in Dayton, Ohio.

The team completed the 80th and last flight of the project’s first phase on March 19, 2010, almost three years after the X-48B’s first flight on July 20, 2007.

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