16 thoughts on “Airbus unveils ‘blended wing body’ plane design”

  1. ctlaw:
    What is this? A plane for ants?!

    What are the problems with this design, CT?

    A normal wing flexes. This doesn’t look like it will flex. Is that important? I think the flexing absorbs things so it makes for a more comfortable flight.

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  2. G.D.:
    I dunno, where are the passenger windows?

    Aircraft designers have been wanting to get rid of windows for a long time.  They’re heavy, especially in the added structure that’s needed to compensate for a non-stress-bearing hole in the fuselage.  They’re also a maintenance headache.  The argument is that on many current wide-body planes the fraction of the seats who can actually look out of a window is already small.  Windows are also a bone of contention with the customers between those who want to look out and those who want to pull down the shade.

    Here is a proposal for a business jet with virtual windows which essentially makes the airplane transparent to passengers.

    Emirates is already installing virtual windows in their first class middle suites on long-haul 777s.

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  3. John Walker:
    Emirates is already installing virtual windows in their first class middle suites on long-haul 777s.

    In the spirit of Brexit, British Airways should program its virtual windows on flights to the continent to simulate a wing of Lancaster bombers.

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  4. 10 Cents:

    ctlaw:
    What is this? A plane for ants?!

    What are the problems with this design, CT?

    A normal wing flexes. This doesn’t look like it will flex. Is that important? I think the flexing absorbs things so it makes for a more comfortable flight.

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  5. ctlaw:

    10 Cents:

    ctlaw:
    What is this? A plane for ants?!

    What are the problems with this design, CT?

    A normal wing flexes. This doesn’t look like it will flex. Is that important? I think the flexing absorbs things so it makes for a more comfortable flight.

    I got the joke. I wondered if you studied about flying wings.

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  6. Manufacturers have been discussing blended wing bodies for decades. There are lots of problems.

    First, cylindrical fuselages are very simple pressure vessels. The fuselage of a blended wing aircraft is quite complex in its stress behavior. It is almost guaranteed that any design will eventually experience premature structural failure somewhere.

    Engine location creates a lot of problems. Noise prevents integration of the engines into the fuselage in distinction to military aircraft. Additionally, access to the engines for maintenance is a problem if they are anywhere other than under wing.

    Location of passenger and cargo doors is an issue.

    Also, anything approaching manual control is impossible.

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  7. drlorentz:

    ctlaw:
    What is this? A plane for ants?!

    Why not? There are ants in space. Why not have ants on a plane?

    Somehow it don’t seem like it would make for a good movie, on the other hand “Snakes on a Plane” wasn’t a good movie either.

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  8. “Blended wing body?” It’s called a lifting body and the concept has been around for over a century. It is inefficient at low airspeed — too much drag for the lift — so it went into the “not yet” bin. NASA started goofing around with it in the early 60s.

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  9. Percival:
    “Blended wing body?” It’s called a lifting body and the concept has been around for over a century. It is inefficient at low airspeed — too much drag for the lift — so it went into the “not yet” bin. NASA started goofing around with it in the early 60s.

    Did any one see changes to the leading edges at slow speeds?

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