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Frontiers December 2012/January 2013 Issue

“It’s a very small team doing some year 2025, a generation away, when PHOTOS: (Clockwise from far left) very, very extraordinary work,” Kisska said. such an airplane might be built. Ted Rothaupt, left, X-48C test director, “Some of the people working on flight test Two of the challenges Boeing and and Jonathan Vass, X-48C test conductor, prepare the aircraft for a test flight at the at Dryden have been living out of hotel NASA engineers addressed included Dryden Flight Research Center in California. rooms for six or more years. You have developing low-speed flight controls for BOB FERGUSON/BOEING The X-48C takes off on to love what you’re doing to make that the airplane and finding a strong, light- its first flight, Aug. 7, 2012; the X-48B on sort of personal sacrifice.” weight material for its structure, Collier an early test flight near the Dryden Flight Two X-48 airplanes, built by Cranfield said. The flight controls issue was largely Research Center. NASA Aerospace in the United Kingdom, will resolved during X-48B testing. For the likely be the last unmanned prototypes airplane’s structure, researchers looked flown. Liebeck is hopeful the next tests to a Boeing-developed composite will be of a manned demonstrator manufacturing process called Pultruded military aircraft. Rod Stitched Efficient Unitized Structure, Fay Collier, NASA’s project manager or PRSEUS. for the Environmentally Responsible “NASA and Boeing have maintained Aviation Project, said NASA has long a very good relationship throughout maintained an interest in the technology this program,” Collier said. “We believe due to its promising potential—projecting we have made some groundbreaking ahead to technological advances by the progress that will be broadly applicable BOEING FRONTIERS / DECEMBER 2012–JANUARY 2013 23


Frontiers December 2012/January 2013 Issue
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