Recently Approved Articles:

    jet blue Airlines Competition Why Airlines Need Competition .
    by: James Post
    The airline holds a virtual monopoly for intra-Caribbean flights, and it shows. Once they canceled a flight because of "technical reasons". Most people realised that the real reason was economy as the flight was poorly booked. No apology, let alone compensation. Another time I almost missed a flight because it left half an hour early. Since I only had hand luggage it was so convenient to kick me out.
    [Read More....]
    jet blue Airlines Competition
    jet blue Jetlag Stop Jetlag .
    by: Chance Buckman
    Jetlag has been a problem for air travelers ever since air flight was invented. Our bodies are creatures of habit and once we have adjusted to a specific time zone, they don't like things to change. When we do disrupt our circadian rhythms or biological clock to the layperson, we experience jetlag. Depending on how far we have traveled, in which direction and what shape our body is in ....
    [Read More....]
    jet blue Jetlag
    jet blue Cheap Flight Tickets How to Purchase Cheap Flight Tickets .
    by: A. Adler
    Where do you want to go? Are you ready to travel the world? Does the thought of taking a romantic getaway with the one you love just make you feel good inside? What about money? How much will it cost you to take a family vacation? Normal averages are around $1000 to $3,000 for three to five days for 4 people. That's not including airfare! This article is about introducing you to a better way ....
    [Read More....]
    jet blue Cheap Flight Tickets
    jet blue Discount Air Tickets Avail Discount Air Tickets and Save Money .
    by: Ashu Kaushik
    Regular travelers know the time when to call the travel agents for cheap air tickets or discount tickets. If you are not a frequent traveler and you do not know when to call the travel agents to avail discount tickets ....
    [Read More....]
    jet blue Discount Air Tickets
    jet blue Avoiding Jetlag Avoiding Jetlag .
    by: Catharine Allado
    Jet lag is a temporary disorder as a result of the change in time zone when traveling. It causes disruption to our body clock, which may affect our physical, emotional and mental condition. As our body struggles to cope with the current time, we might experience some common symptoms like: headaches, difficulty in sleeping at night, fatigue, loss of appetite, disorientation, dehydration and other discomforts ....
    [Read More....]
    jet blue Avoiding Jetlag
    jet blue Cheap Flights The Basics of Cheap Flights .
    by: Keith Driscoll
    You can currently get cheap flights to nearly anywhere in the world. Las Vegas, Orlando, Sydney, Singapore, Hong Kong, etc, all possess airlines cutting each other throats in favor of your custom. A low-cost carrier or low-cost airline (also identified as a no-frills, concession or budget carrier or airline) is an airline that gives commonly low fares in exchange for eliminating numerous traditional passenger services.
    [Read More....]
    jet blue Cheap Flights
    jet blue Book Airport Parking Always Book Airport Parking in Advance to Save Money .
    by: Reece Coleman
    How to save money on airport parking? Unless you like paying over the odds, you should never ever just turn up at an airport car park, without pre-booking your parking for the period of your travel! Travelling to destinations around the world is more accessible than ever, thanks to the quick & easy access to cheap flights and accommodation. However, when it comes to the parts of our holiday ...
    [Read More....]
    jet blue Book Airport Parking
    jet blue Airplane Tips For When You're on an Airplane .
    by: Angela Linton
    As intriguing as travelling on an aeroplane (airplane) is, it can become a bit uncomfortable. However, while flying, there are several things can be done to help in making the flight a bit safer and easier. Keep Shoes on when... It is usually tempting to take off ones footwear during the flight. While this is okay during the in-flight movie or as you are taking a nap, do not allow your socked feet to come ....
    [Read More....]
    jet blue Airplane
    jet blue Discounted Business Class Ticket Find a Great Discounted Business Class Ticket All the Time .
    by: J. Fernandez
    A discounted business class ticket is not hard to come across, but there are so many individuals who travel not knowing or caring how to find them. Did you know that 30% of all travellers are business travellers? What if you found a discount on every business flight, this would save you and your business tons of money in the long run. Let's go over a couple different strategies towards finding a good deal ...
    [Read More....]
    jet blue Discounted Business Class Ticket
    jet blue Lowest Airline Tickets Some Key Factors That Could Help You Get the Lowest Airline Tickets .
    by: Luis JJ Teixeira
    You need to understand that there is no such thing as discounted airfare and/or getting the cheapest airfare available. This is simply because there is no base price to work off. For example, a flight from New York to London should cost $600, but airline companies are offering it at $400. People really need to understand the reason for this is that there is no such thing as a fixed ticket price.
    [Read More....]
    jet blue Lowest Airline Tickets
    jet blue Business Travel How to Save Money on Business Travel .
    by: Micke Jack
    If your work involves a lot of travelling, and you are not lucky enough to have an unlimited expense account, then you will most likely want to keep your outgoings to a minimum if you are to get the most, financially, from your road bound endeavours. Here are some tips to help you save money on your travels ...
    [Read More....]
    jet blue Business Travel
    jet blue Airplane Tips For Children on an Airplane .
    by: Angela Linton
    The possibility of taking a six-year- old child to a wonderful destination via the airplane can be filled with both excitement and trepidation. Excitement speaks for itself, whereas, trepidation because you do not think that he/she will be able to handle such an enclosed area, especially when it's going to be a long flight. ...
    [Read More....]
    jet blue Airplane
    jet blue Cheap Flights How to Get Cheap Flights Today .
    by: Kim T Chambers
    When you are booking a flight, the advice, which I think is now common knowledge is book flights as early as possible. Business travellers will pay high prices and since they usual travel at short notice, airlines hike prices for last minute bookings.
    [Read More....]
    jet blue Cheap Flights
    jet blue travelling I Hate Flying .
    by: James Post
    Today I am travelling to visit my youngest son in California. We do this trip a couple of times each year to pick him up, take him home or simply to visit. Something strikes me though: is there such a thing as a good flight? I have travelled on most major airlines. But nothing ever seems to go to plan. The lines are long. They always manage to mess up your ticket or seats...or something. Besides the fact that I hate flying ...
    [Read More....]
    jet blue travelling
    jet blue white-knuckle-flyers Are You Afraid to Fly? .
    by: Al Carmickle
    Many people are concerned about flying and are often referred to as "white-knuckle-flyers." I retired after thirty six years as a pilot for a major airline. Every pilot during his or her career has experienced situations where they've thought it would be nice to be on the ground instead of in the air. However, such experiences are not reasons that would make us afraid to fly ...
    [Read More....]
    jet blue white-knuckle-flyers

Future of Flight Gets a Lift with 'Blended Wing' Design

Future of flight gets a lift with 'blended wing' design
Los Angeles — It has taken wing a half-dozen times now, like a white manta ray streaking over the dusty Mojave Desert northeast of here.

The experimental plane is just a scale model, controlled remotely from the ground. With its 21-foot wingspan, it's bigger than a kid's model, but not nearly big enough to hold a human being or much else.
If all goes as planned, though, full-scale versions of Boeing Co.'s unusual X-48B airplane may forever change the shape of aviation.

Called a "blended wing body," the three-engine plane vaguely resembles a B-2 stealth bomber. The X-48B is made not for secrecy or speed, however, but for heavy lifting and high efficiency.

Researchers say the new design and the lightweight, plasticlike composite materials it's made from could improve the fuel efficiency of future planes by 20 to 30 percent. That could make planes based on the design ideal for hauling heavy cargo long distances and perhaps ultimately, for carrying more passengers than today's typical commercial airliners.

As a result, the X-48B has attracted keen interest from NASA, the Air Force Research Laboratory and others. Officials from the Air Force lab, located at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base near Dayton, Ohio, have shelled out an undisclosed amount of money to help pay for the testing, and have helped shuttle the two experimental aircraft based on the design around the country for testing.

"My understanding is that it has the potential to be a very efficient plane," said Lt. Scott Vanhoogen, X-48B project manager for the Air Force Research Lab.

When it comes to improving the efficiency of airplanes, the military could use everything it can get. The Air Force alone uses about 3 billion gallons of fuel each year, or about 8 million gallons every day.

Already, it is considering a wide variety of options for existing planes — everything from replacing old engines with more efficient ones to using synthetic fuels that blend petroleum with natural gas or other additives — to improve gas mileage and limit dependence on foreign oil. But to really increase efficiency in the future, observers say, the Air Force must consider new aircraft designs.

"To make double-digit improvements, you have to move beyond the current design standard," said Richard Aboulafia, vice president of analysis at Teal Group, a commercial and military aircraft consulting firm. Boeing's blended wing design, he added, "is one of the more promising designs out there."

The lighter-than-metal composite materials help, but what really makes Boeing's experimental airplane more efficient is aerodynamics. Instead of a typical tube with wings and tail attached, the X-48B design has no tail, and the fuselage blends in smoothly with the wings. The design substantially reduces drag and improves lift.

When it comes to fuel efficiency, "it's a bit like a hybrid car" in its advantage over conventional designs, said Norm Princen, the chief engineer in Boeing's Phantom Works division who's responsible for the X-48B project. "That's what makes this very attractive, especially when such a large part of the Air Force's operating budget is fuel expenses."

Design isn't new
So-called "flying wing" designs like the X-48B aren't new.

As far back as the late 1920s, aviation pioneer Jack Northrop began experimenting with flying wings, and in the 1940s rolled out the first U.S. airplanes based on the design.

After World War II, the military ordered more than a dozen of Northrop's XB-35 and YB-35 planes to be used as bombers.

But like other flying wings, the planes were plagued with problems. In June 1948, renowned Air Force test pilot Capt. Glen Edwards and a crew of four took off in a jet-powered version of Northrop's flying wing from what was then called Muroc Army Air Field in California. Shortly into the flight, the crew lost control, and the plane broke apart, killing everyone on board.

Despite their infamous past, the early flying wings ultimately influenced the design of Northrop Grumman Corp.'s B-2 stealth bomber. And last year, the Defense Department's research division selected Northrop Grumman to design what could become the first-ever supersonic flying wing. The company expects to start test flights of its "Oblique Flying Wing" by 2011.

It's at the former Muroc Field — renamed Edwards Air Force Base after Glen Edwards' flying wing disaster — where Boeing, NASA and the Air Force Research Lab are conducting the test flights of the X-48B.

Because it lacks a tail for stability, the new design isn't immune to the same sorts of control problems as the early flying wings, acknowledges chief engineer Princen.

"It can have some really nasty flying characteristics," he said.

High-technology makes the difference
What's different today, Princen added, is technology.

Special software and computers constantly adjust a long series of curved flaps along the edges of the wings, helping solve many of the pitch and yaw problems Edwards and other test pilots of the early flying wings encountered, Princen said.

Composite material construction techniques Boeing pioneered with the design of its much-vaunted forthcoming passenger plane, the 787 Dreamliner, help with pressurization problems and other issues.

Princen said full-scale working military planes based on the X-48B design could become reality within 15 years. After that, they could be adapted for commercial use.

Boeing is about to take a month-long respite from test flights to analyze the data it has collected so far, but plans to resume flights at Edwards and ultimately take the X-48B into the air 25 times by the end of the year.

"As far as first flights go, they've gone about as smooth as anybody could expect so far," Princen said. "We haven't had any surprises."

Of course, remotely flying an experimental, unmanned plane is one thing. Putting them into production and use is another thing altogether.

Aboulafia, the industry analyst, said there are clear reasons why earlier flying wing designs didn't make it into mass production.

To build them, manufacturers used to making tube-wing-and-tail designs would have to completely change factories and retrain workers. Likewise, pilots and ground crew would have to be retrained to fly and maintain them.

"You'd have to change everything," Aboulafia said.

Other experimental planes have come and gone over the years, many never making it even as far as the X-48B has so far.

Natalie Crawford, director of the Air Force program at consulting and research firm Rand Corp., said technical demonstrations like Boeing's are only the beginning of a long and arduous process. If the blended wing design is ever to become anything more than an experiment, Boeing must ultimately convince the Air Force that such planes are needed, then convince the government to spend billions to buy them — not easy tasks by any measure.

"This is a first step," Crawford said. "It's an important first step ... but it's just a first step."

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

0 komentar: