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The future of flight?

X48B....................................(4168.jpg)

If you've ever flown a paper airplane, you might wonder why passenger jets have looked the way they have for as long as they have. This prototype jet, the X-48B, created by Boeing Phantom Works, NASA and the US Air Force, turns conventional design on its head. 

X48B....................................(4169.jpg)

At present the airplane, with its Blended Wing Body (BWB), is flight-testing at NASA Dryden Flight Research Center, in Edwards Air Force Base. So for now it's 8.5 percent scale and remotely controlled, but experts predict that it could take to the skies in 10 to 15 years. In addition to looking cool, the X-48B is quieter, more efficient by 30 percent, and roomier than current planes. With all this space, will they finally give us some more leg room? RM

Images: Boeing; Boeing/Bob Ferguson

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