Boeing and NASA collaborate for BWB development

By Nell Walker
Boeing is on schedule for testing of its Blended Wing Body design. A blended wing body is a type of fixed-wing aircraft; while it is composed of separa...

Boeing is on schedule for testing of its Blended Wing Body design.

A blended wing body is a type of fixed-wing aircraft; while it is composed of separate wings and body, they are seamlessly blended into one shape when the aircraft is put together, giving the appearance of one single entity.

Boeing is testing a small-scale version of the BWB at the NASA Langley Research Center. The demonstration model is only six percent the width of a full-sized craft, at four meters across.

The wind tunnel at NASA maps airflow over the demonstrator using a technique called particle imagery velocimetry. This ensures the greatest possible level of accuracy required to move the development of the BWB forward.

The more traditional fuselage shape has been overlooked in favour of a ‘flying wedge’ shape, similar to contemporary drones.

The technology for Boeing’s BWB has been in development for years, but this step-up in R&D suggests the company plans to commercialise it soon. The full-sized BWB would be used as a tanker aircraft or military transport. Boeing hopes that it will be ready within the next 10 years.

According to The Manufacturer, Naveed Hussain, Vice President of Aeromechanics Technology at Boeing, stated: “The BWB is showing great potential to offer structural, aerodynamic and operating efficiencies as well as the capability to be more fuel efficient and quieter over more traditional aircraft designs.”

 

Follow @ManufacturingGL and @NellWalkerMG

Share

Featured Articles

Microsoft’s Çağlayan Arkan explores the supply chain

Çağlayan Arkan, Microsoft’s VP Global Strategy & Sales Lead for Manufacturing & Supply Chain, gives his take on digital factories and ‘the art of possible’

Elisabeth Brinton on the Microsoft Cloud for Sustainability

Microsoft’s Elisabeth Brinton discusses the Microsoft Cloud for Sustainability programme & how manufacturers are being supported by their new technology

Aiimi’s Head of Solution Engineering Matt Eustace on risks

Aiimi utilises AI to provide businesses insights that eliminate risks ‒ including how to manage sanctioned individuals in your supply chain

5 minutes with Nicolai Peitersen, co-founder of Wikifactory

Procurement & Supply Chain

Three steps to building a resilient enterprise ecosystem

Procurement & Supply Chain

Chocolate manufacturer Venchi on sustainable packaging

Procurement & Supply Chain