Boeing and NASA said they completed the flight-test program of the X-48C blended wing body (BWB) research aircraft on April 9. The program consisted of 30 flights over eight months at NASA’s Dryden Flight Research Center at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif.
Blended wing body
Aviation Partners has flight-tested its new split scimitar blended winglet on a Boeing Business Jet. The new design adds a blended ventral fin and scimitar winglet tips to the original blended winglet design, and the company says the tests confirmed a “measurable speed increase and drag decrease.” However, the company does not have current plans to make the new winglet available for any specific aircraft. Aviation Partners is displaying a full-scale mockup of its split scimitar blended winglet here at its NBAA booth (No. 5035).
Boeing reported the first flight of the X-48C blended wing body (BWB) research aircraft at Edwards AFB on August 7. The unmanned 8.5-percent scale model reached 5,500 feet during a nine-minute flight. A week later, however, the company’s third X-51 Waverider hypersonic testbed flight ended in failure when its scramjet failed to ignite.
Aviation Partners (API, Booth No. 2218) has selected Lanseria, South Africa-based National Airways Corp. (NAC) as the first authorized Blended Winglet installer outside North America.
API said it expects a “significant” increase in Blended Winglet sales due to NAC’s strong relationships throughout the region. To date there are three Hawker Beechcraft Hawker 800 series aircraft with Blended Winglets flying in Africa.
A major research program launched three years ago by the European Union has identified open rotors and natural laminar flow as key technologies to be taken forward in the Clean Sky joint technology initiative and potentially into the mooted replacement for the Airbus A320.
Aviation Partners Boeing (APB) has announced today that Spanish carrier Air Europa has become the latest customer for its “Blended Winglet” technology, which is said to offer airlines block fuel savings of up to 5 percent. The operator is to buy up to 21 shipsets for retrofit to Boeing 737-800s, as well as ordering a further 34 sets to equip 34 B737-800s scheduled for delivery between 2007 and 2014.