Friday, January 16, 2015

Strangely-shaped Aircraft: Avrocar, XP-79B and Blended-Wing-Body

Three more strangely shaped airplanes await you below.

The Avrocar

Image result for avrocarThis saucer-shaped craft is just one of a number of weird and wonderful experimental aircraft built around the world. The Avrocar was intended to fly at three times the speed of sound, but the project was abandoned in 1961. The Avrocar was built in 1958 for the US Air Force. It was able to hover a few feet off the ground and when flown without tethers, it was unstable and could reach top speed of only 35 mph. (Right): A picture of the Avrocar.

Northrop XP-79B Flying Wing

Image result for Northrop XP-79B Flying WingThe Northrop XP-79B flying wing aircraft, built in 1945 by Jack Northrop for the US Army; it was designed as a flying wing fighter aircraft powered by two jet engines. it was quite a failure, and even the first flight of this radical aircraft took place after many delays due to various technical faults. The craft was destroyed on its maiden flight. After 15 minutes of flight, control over the craft was lost for some reason, and the pilot Harry Crosby tried to eject, but was hit by the plane and subsequently fell to his death. Later, the second prototype and the whole project were cancelled. (Above-Right): A picture of the XP-79B.

X-48B Blended Wing Body

Image result for x-48b bwb
The X-48B Blended Wing Body aircraft model is a prototype cross between a conventional plane and a flying wing design. This design was initially studied by Boeing for passenger crafts, but they found out that people did not like sitting side by side like in a movie theatre. Later, the company dropped it for conventional liners but retained the design for military purposes. This shape has many advantages over a normal aircraft shape, but the main concern over using this design for conventional shape is the evacuation plan in case of a accident. The position of the emergency exits will be completely different from the current positions. However, the flight testing of the X-48B has been an amazing success and bodes well for the future. (Above-Left): A picture of the X-48B.

If you want to see more strangely-shaped planes, follow any of the links below:

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