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Batwing airplanes

  1. Nov 4, 2005 #1
    This is interesting. I would like to hear comments from the engineers in this forum.

  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 5, 2005 #2


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    They had so many plans for Jack Northrops flying wing back in the '50s and '60s. This idea is nothing new. The notion that the contrails are enough to help trap heat is a dubious statement at best.

    I also don't know of a single plastic today that can be used in the fashion they are stating. I would think today's technology is limited to composites. Even with them, not all of the aircraft is usually composite material although some are coming very close to that.

    They also mention boundary layer control via the vacuum system approach. That too has been around for a very long time.

    Personally, I think we need new ideas and such, but this story seems to take all of the ideas from the past 40 years and put them together in a happy feel good notion of what we should do. It'd be great if it can be done.

    Last edited: Nov 5, 2005
  4. Nov 5, 2005 #3
    that concept goes back to World War 2. Jack Northop and the German engineers both had designs of it in the works but both of them weren't fast enough to get developed before the wars end, and after that funding was stopped.
  5. Nov 5, 2005 #4


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    Absolutely awful article. Environazi drivel. As the others stated, the flying wing is Northrop's idea - I've never heard of Frederick Handley Page. And climate change? Whaaa? Saving 20% on fuel is a beautiful thing, for sure, but climate change wasn't even in the back of people's minds when Northrop first proposed the idea. It's all about lift/drag ratio.

    Flying wings will certanly happen. And they are viable now, if Boeing and Airbus choose to spend the little extra in development costs required. The reason for them to be viable as airliners is pure and simple economics: they are cheaper to fly than conventional designs.
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2005
  6. Nov 5, 2005 #5


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    Well, the problem wasn't time and funding, it was stability. Flying wings are inherrently unstable in pitch and yaw, and because of that, they simply didn't work at the time. That problem is only solvable (but easily solvable) with fly-by-wire. The B-2 was an inevitability, but Jack Northrop was ahead of his time.
  7. Nov 6, 2005 #6
    yea, the first flying wing aircraft flipped over and crashed because it didn't have the computers and control systems we do today

    after the war jack stopped getting funded by the gov. but kept going with his own money. but after the accident he "gave up"

    truly revolutionary thinker. he also made giant leaps in the vertical take off aircraft too
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