The remotely operated X-48C Blended Wing Body aircraft lifts off Rogers Dry Lake at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif., on its first test flight Aug. 7, 2012. The sub-scale technology demonstrator, modified from the prior X-48B configuration, is entering a new flight test phase in a partnership between NASA and The Boeing Company's Phantom Works research and technology division.
The aircraft, designed by the Boeing Co. and built by Cranfield Aerospace Ltd. of the United Kingdom, is flying again in partnership with NASA. The new X-48C model, which was formerly the X-48B Blended Wing Body aircraft, was modified to evaluate the low-speed stability and control of a low-noise version of a notional, future Hybrid Wing Body (HWB) aircraft design. The HWB design stems from concept studies being conducted by NASA's Environmentally Responsible Aviation project of future potential aircraft designs 20 years from now.
Image Credit: NASA/Carla Thomas