As NASA aeronautics engineers prepare to develop a series of greener, quieter, faster X-planes, they are already testing concepts that could be candidates.
One of those is a blended wing body (BWB). A six-percent scale model of a Boeing BWB is being tested for six weeks in the 14-by 22-Foot Subsonic Tunnel at NASA's Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia."We're happy to have the model back in our wind tunnel," said Dan Vicroy, principal investigator at NASA Langley. "It gives us a couple of opportunities - to add to our knowledge about this configuration as well as how to improve our testing methods."A blended wing body doesn't look like a conventional airplane. Instead of the usual tube and wing design - it's shaped more like a triangle where the wings are, in essence, merged into the body. Another difference is that it does not have a tail.This same model was put through its paces in the Langley 14-by 22-Foot tunnel in 2014 and in the 40-by 80-Foot Wind Tunnel at NASA's Ames Research Center in California in 2015. That work was part of NASA's Environmentally Responsible Aviation program, which developed technologies to improve fuel efficiencies, lower noise levels and reduce emissions.But for this test it looks a little different. more
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