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X-48B Blended Wing Body Research Aircraft Takes First Flight
On July 20, 2007, Boeing's Phantom Works and NASA's Langley Research Center successfully flew the X-48B blended wing remotely piloted vehicle. Designed to test the concept of a blended wing configuration for a future generation of transport aircraft, the X-48B design promises much greater strength and efficiency than conventional aircraft. The Boeing blended wing body design resembles a flying wing, but differs in that the wing blends smoothly into a wide, flat, tailless fuselage. This fuselage blending provides additional lift with less drag compared to a circular fuselage, translating to reduced fuel use at cruise conditions. Since the engines mount high on the back of the aircraft, there is less noise inside when it is in flight and on the ground.