In the design of aircraft, the configurations of the wings have been the main goal and focus for the aircraft designers to achieve the maximum aerodynamic efficiency and power reduction needed for the aircraft.
The wing configuration which we are currently developing this time is the BWB (Blended Wing Body) or HWB (Hybrid Wing Body). Simply this type is wing and fuselage are blended in one whole piece.
The advantages of this configuration are the following
- greater internal volume
- aerodynamics and structural efficiency
- noise reduction
- recently significant improvement on cost-per-seat-mile
Moreover, the blend of wing and body make it unique almost having no tail standing alone giving it a sleek simple design. The aerodynamic efficiency comes from the wetted area, as most of the aircraft area is wing it generates more lift.
From structural standpoint the BWB has a wing root area which is larger than a conventional wing configuration. This gives the aircraft with this design a stronger and lighter structure using light composite materials.
This concept is not new as it has been presented from 27 years ago and applied for military uses. One major example is the B-2 Spirt known as the stealth bomber and it is usually known for its anti-aircraft defenses penetration.
Nowadays most of the mega aircraft manufactures are in rush of developing their new concepts to serve the civil aviation. As this configuration gives the advantage of a new propulsion system design and location on the aircraft to achieve less drag. The BWB design can serve as a good platform for a hybrid or fully electric propulsion system to be introduced.
Boeing, Airbus, and NASA are lunching their concepts to the world. If you are following the latest news in the aviation world, Airbus have launched their three new zero emission concept aircraft. The final concept is the blended wing airplane which will have up to 200 seat capacity.