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USAF selects JetZero for blended-wing body prototype plane


lucklucky

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https://www.defenseone.com/technology/2023/08/air-force-selects-jetzero-blended-wing-body-prototype-plane/389482/

Now this is an interesting development with possible impact in civilian market too.

https://www.jetzero.aero/why-jetzero

 

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Lower Fuel Burn

Designing
for Ultra-Efficiency

Traditional tube-and-wing planes have reached the end of the road on efficiency gains. We also face a new era of steep increases in fuel cost. That's why starting with an airframe that cuts fuel burn and emissions in half is the best first step for sustainable aviation.

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Lower Fuel Burn-1

Infrastructure Compatibility

The JetZero blended wing aircraft integrates seamlessly into existing airport infrastructure. Its single-deck design fits existing runways and gates.

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Improved Cabin Experience

The blended-wing shape offers a unique opportunity to move past the space constraints of tube-and-wing aircraft, raising the bar for passenger and crew comfort. We’ve designed a flying experience people will love.

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Faster Turn Times

Our unique cabin layout provides more aisles and more bin space with a dedicated place for every passenger's carry-on bag. The result will be reduced turn times and improved operations for airlines and airports.

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Less Community Noise

Mounting the engines on top results in much less noise. In fact, to the surrounding community, it sounds 4-times farther away than a traditional tube-and-wing plane.

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Multi-Mission Platform

Our design allows the JetZero BWB to serve many missions. Already engaged with commercial airlines and freight companies, JetZero offers the best path toward achieving their ambitious sustainability goals. The US Air Force has also laid out its climate impact goals and has supported our development of a commercial jet with capability to provide a military variant as a tanker or freighter.

Edited by lucklucky
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Classical drawback of those designs is evacuation in case of accident, as people in the center-rear of the cabin have more obstacles, and distance to reach the exit.

Edited by sunday
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Popular Mechanics has been running articles about blended wing-body aircraft for about 30 years or so.  The question IMHO is can this design deliver lower costs per mile than conventional tube and wing aircraft.  Unducted fan engines were a big thing 30 years ago also :)

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The claim that "tube-and-wing" aeroplanes have reached their limits is not true, either. It may be true that an equivalent technology level blended wing-body aircraft may be more efficient, but it brings its own problems, as already stated. I'd be intrigued as to what a C-17 BWB replacement would look like, and how easy it would be to load and unload without creating some interesting CofG movements - it's hard enough to get it right when you're restricted to putting stuff on the centreline.

On the other hand, the last two US bomber designs are essentially BWB, so there is that advantage.

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I remember some 40 years ago reading that the air force had been idly considering a blended wing design in the 1940's and 50's, and idly went with a conventional concept for an aircraft. No idea why they killed it, unless the stablity problems they found with the Northrop flying wing had anything to do with it.

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4 hours ago, sunday said:

Those are not cargo planes, however.

Well, bombers are cargo planes in their core, delivering goods from one part of globe to other. :)

Edited by bojan
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14 minutes ago, bojan said:

Well, bombers are cargo planes in their core, delivering goods from one part of globe to other. :)

Yes, they are cargo planes with very defined, rigid, load plans that need to be certified every time they changed, ideally, and a set of fixed hardpoints in the bomb ways to fix the cargo.

Are they flexible, multipurpose cargo carrying vehicles?

Not at all.

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2 hours ago, lucklucky said:

The point here is that there will be a prototype, so it is not just Popular Mech vaporware.

The X-48B is just about old enough to vote.

The X-48C is only 10 years old.

The funniest thing about these apparently successful "Boeing" aircraft is that they were built by Cranfield Aerospace Ltd. i.e. they're British. :D Of course, there are other examples, depending on how tightly you define a BWB. it does sort of beg the question as to why they're starting again, I suppose.

 

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3 hours ago, DB said:

The funniest thing about these apparently successful "Boeing" aircraft is that they were built by Cranfield Aerospace Ltd. i.e. they're British. :D Of course, there are other examples, depending on how tightly you define a BWB.

Aviation equivalent of the Shelby Cobra. Imported AC Cobra chassis, American engine and gearbox.  

it does sort of beg the question as to why they're starting again, I suppose.

It certaintly couldn't be to jazz up the common share prices in a pump-and-dump, because that would be wrong. 

 

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22 hours ago, beans4 said:

Popular Mechanics has been running articles about blended wing-body aircraft for about 30 years or so.  The question IMHO is can this design deliver lower costs per mile than conventional tube and wing aircraft.  Unducted fan engines were a big thing 30 years ago also :)

Direct Operating Cost may be lower in the long run due to L/D type factors, but the purchase cost may be far higher (can't just mill out 40 nearly identical fuselage frames at a go). 

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18 hours ago, DB said:

The X-48B is just about old enough to vote.

The X-48C is only 10 years old.

The funniest thing about these apparently successful "Boeing" aircraft is that they were built by Cranfield Aerospace Ltd. i.e. they're British. :D Of course, there are other examples, depending on how tightly you define a BWB. it does sort of beg the question as to why they're starting again, I suppose.

 

That was a toy, only 227kg, that cockpit was not real , a person is taller than the whole thing .  At 235 M$ this should be more substantial.

Edited by lucklucky
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