London, Aug 8 (IANS) NASA has successfully demonstrated a working prototype of the triangle-shaped “plane of the future” – and it hopes the aircraft will become the next universally adopted design.
The plane is a radical re-design of the traditional “fixed-wing” plane shape that has seen us through 50 years of passenger air-travel, the Daily Mail reported Wednesday.
On Tuesday, NASA in collaboration with Boeing took a test-run of the plane, and though it was only of nine minutes, NASA deemed it a “successful” test.
The X-48C is a “hybrid wing-body” plane, which offers greater internal volume for passengers and cargo.
Its triangular shape, reminiscent of spy planes, cuts through the air more efficiently.
The test vehicle was designed by Boeing and built by Cranfield Aerospace Ltd. in Britain in accordance with Boeing requirements, the daily said.
Engineers from Boeing will be working with NASA engineers during flight tests of the X-48C, which will continue throughout 2012.
The plane could be developed in the next 15 to 20 years.
Boeing chief engineer Normal Princen said fuel efficiency has increased by around 50 percent since the planes of the late 1950s, but in order to improve further “you have to make a radical shift in the shape of a plane”.
Other benefits of the improved shape include reduced noise.