In the middle of 90-ies the company Mc Donnell Douglas, which now is a part of the corporation "Boeing" aircraft engaged in the development scheme BWB. These machines were not pronounced combination of fuselage and wing. This circuit structure is also known as the "flying wing". In 1997 the company with support from NASA was able to create the first car BWB, which had a wingspan of at 5,2 meters. The unit was installed conventional propeller engine. All flight tests of the device held in the same year, they were successful.

In 2000, Boeing, namely Phantom Works, began development of the BWB project, with the aircraft being equipped with three turbojet engines. Almost all of the department's developments were ahead of their time, and this aircraft, which was originally dubbed as BWB-LSV, was no exception. Yet it was a design model, had only 14% of the size of the actual proportions of the finished car. It was created to study the shortcomings of flight, takeoff and landing. In 2001, the project received the official designation X-48. Of course, the X index spoke of the increased interest on the part of the Pentagon.

Created UAV X-48 was almost all made of composite materials, with a wingspan reaching 10,7 meters. The power plant was submitted by three small engines model J24-8 type turbojet powered by Williams. Yet in 2002, the government is developing the project was closed down because of problems in management. Despite this, the company continued fine-tuning of the machine, and then in year X 2003-48 passed all ground tests. Flight tests began in 2004 year. This helped the British company Cranfield Aerospace.

Two prototype models of the X-78 type were produced by Boeing in 2005, and the first flights were planned for 2006 year. In parallel, NASA fulfilled the performance of the machine in the wind tunnel. Flight tests began only 20.07.2007 years, for this used a second manufactured machine. The whole flight was completely under the control of the operator on the ground, while on the control panel a real-time image was transmitted from the camera installed in the nose of the aircraft. The first stage consisted of 11 flights, while it was possible to accelerate the vehicle to the speed of 113 km / h. Further improvements allowed to reach the speed of 140 km / h.

The second stage consisted of 6 flights, which were worked out aerobatic capabilities of the UAV. Custom machines were absolutely identical and have a wingspan in 6,4 meters at weight design in 500 kilos. Normal cruising speed was 200 km / h and a maximum altitude - 3 kilometers. It should be noted that a scheme such as BWB aircraft should be spent on 20% less fuel.

A large number of internal space of the device allows you to install a very powerful equipment for the calculation and control of troops. Due to the installation of various equipment, the machine is multifunctional. It should be noted that the world-famous Times edition in 2007 recognized the X-48 UAV as the invention of the year. 

X-48. Characteristics:

Modification   X-48B
Wingspan, m   6.22
Length m  
Wing area, m2  
Weight, kg  
  empty   225
The maximum speed, km   200
Practical range, km  
Practical ceiling, m   3000


Other UAVs