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.
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.
Boeing has flown the Phantom Eye high-altitude long-endurance (Hale) unmanned aircraft system powered by liquid hydrogen (LH2). The 150-foot-wingspan, all-composite aircraft flew for 28 minutes from the NASA Dryden Flight Research Center at Edwards AFB in Southern California on June 1, reaching an altitude of slightly more than 4,000 feet. “This flight puts Boeing on a path to accomplish another aerospace first–four days of unrefueled, autonomous flight,” said Boeing Phantom Works president Darryl Davis.
Boeing’s Phantom Works has taken a number of important strides toward flying the Phantom Eye high-altitude long-endurance unmanned aircraft system (UAS). The first vehicle has just completed 12 days of ground vibration and structural mode interaction tests at the NASA Dryden Flight Research Center at Edwards Air Force Base, California. It has also had its fuel tanks filled for the first time.
Boeing 787 pilots last week conducted the program’s first stall tests–in which pilots intentionally reduce power to both engines and then recover normal flight speeds–as part of the initial airworthiness program for the airplane. Additional stall tests will take place throughout the flight test period.
Hummingbirds are incredibly aerobatic, can hover, fly backward and can even hover and fly upside down. But the most amazing thing about hummingbirds is their endurance–these tiny birds, weighing little more than five grams, fly for 20 hours as they migrate across the Gulf of Mexico.