Boeing Blended Wing
The November 25, 2002 issue of Business Week magazine had an excellent article on the Boeing Blended Wing.

Offering advantages such as:

- 32% Lower fuel cost per passenger mile.

- 15% Lower operating costs than a 747.

- 25% Lower manufacturing costs.

One would think Boeing would have this craft in project to offset the market share gains made by Airbus. Especially since the airlines of the world rejected the Sonic Cruiser which offered higher speed with higher costs.
The message was clear, the flying public wants economy.

So why is the project stalled? Boeing management says off the record, �the airplane lacks windows, the public won�t accept it!�

Critics say the BBW was conceived by Boeing�s acquisition McDonnell Douglas, so the �not invented here� syndrome has kicked in and Seattle management lacks interest in the project.

What makes the BBW so efficient? As the diagram below illustrates, the inertia (read weight) of the aircraft is carried at the point where it is lifted, unlike a conventional airplane where weight from the fuselage has to be translated out to be distributed along the span of the wing.

Plus a conventional airplane has a horizontal and vertical tail to keep the airplane pointed in the right direction. With the BBW, these dead weight items plus the aft fuselage and the drag component associated with these structures is not required. Little wonder the BBW is so efficient.

While it could be argued that without computer control, the airplane would be uncontrollable. It is true of a lot of airplanes flying today. But with triple redundant fly-by-wire systems, loss of control from a failure can be virtually eliminated. This technology is certainly in a mature stage of development.