United States is building a blended-wing body aircraft

While Boeing and NASA are messing with the X-66A as a platform for the development of new technologies to make civil aviation more sustainable, the United States Air Force (USAF) has just commissioned the construction of a prototype fuselage aircraft integrated (or integrated wing). The idea is to achieve a reduction in fuel and a longer range with the same consumption.

An aircraft with an integrated fuselage or integrated wing ( Blended Wing Body or BWB for its acronym in English) is a design that is halfway between traditional aircraft (tube and wing) such as a B-52 and flying wings. like the B-2 .

The $235 million commission has been awarded to the relatively unknown JetZero , which has been promoting its BWB design for some time, though it will be supported by more established companies such as Northrop Grumman and Scaled Composites.

The objective is that by 2027 –although it will be later– a manned prototype of a BWB with a potential capacity of about 200 people will be in flight, which will serve to study in the Real World™ the possibilities offered by this design, which on paper has 30% less aerodynamic drag than traditional designs, as well as providing more lift. The USAF speaks of up to 50% improvement in terms of fuel consumption.

A BWB could replace traditional designs in terms of cargo and passenger transport aircraft and tankers.

And it is not entirely unreasonable that it could have applications in civil aviation, although there the airports would need to adapt to the shape of these aircraft. In fact, one of the future Airbus aircraft with zero emissions powered by hydrogen is a BWB.