There is an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) built by Boeing, called X-48. This flying machine is being sent on and off the ground to collect as much data as possible regarding the flight and technical and physical aspect to cater engineers to write some solid and flawless algorithms with enough redundancy in the model.
As you can imagine, this is one of the views of engineers for the upgrade and evolution of aircraft. To learn more about this unique vehicle, keep on reading this article.
Testing new planes
Writing flawless algorithms and taking careful examination of each components before setting this out to build and carry hundreds of lives is one of the most crucial part of this project. Lot of things can go wrong when we are leaving the whole control mechanism primarily on computer. Hence, this is not yet out in the commercial space but remained as an experimental figure.
There was something similar carried out in one of the similar design in the plane B2. In of the day when the B2 was on the test flight, something terribly went wrong. When the B2 was taking off and still was closer to the ground, a failure in the airspeed sensors fed the controlled computer absolutely inaccurate data.
That data told the computer that the aircraft was pointing downward, whereas, it was not. This forced the head upward at a very low speed while it was close to ground. This caused on the wing to hit the ground and crashed the plane. Fortunately, the pilots managed eject in time without caught in the explosion. A loss of billion dollars for an erroneous sensor is something unimaginable.
Hence, with X-48 on board for test, and being an unmanned vehicle, there is no loss of life and not as expensive as whole plane built. Safe to carry out the test.
The advantages of X-48
The major advantage of this design over tube-and-wing is the steep cut in the fuel consumption. This model if approved flawless, can significantly reduce the fuel consumption to a noticeable degree. The design does come out with some drawback of course. The most disappointing one is there is no windows other than in the cockpit for pilots. This may deprive them from the pleasure of watching the earth with birds eye view, out of the passenger the most terrible experience will be for those with claustrophobia. To bring some comfort engineers do plan to install monitor on each sit so that the passengers still can see the magnificent view, via display although it cannot compensate the whole experience of watching the earth top down.
While these are the drawbacks we may have to endure, we can not certainly overlook the advantage like six aisles for passengers, removing the passenger clog, multiple emergency exit closer the passenger due to the short body, way faster boarding and deboarding time. The whole design accommodate the total weight and life weight equally.