X-48B Set for Ground Tests

Boeing says its X-48B blended wing body concept aircraft will soon begin ground testing at NASA’s Dryden Flight Research Center at Edwards AFB, Calif., in preparation for flight testing early next year. “Earlier wind tunnel testing and the upcoming flight testing are focused on learning more about the BWB’s low-speed flight-control characteristics, especially during takeoffs and landings,” said Norm Princen, Boeing Phantom Works chief engineer, in a company release. X-48B Ship 1 completed wind tunnel testing at NASA Langley this summer before it was shipped to NASA Dryden to be used as a backup to Ship 2 during flight testing scheduled for early next year. Ground testing for Ship 2 includes validation of engine and fuel-system integrity, as well as operation of its flight-control software and its low-and high-speed taxiing characteristics.