Gravityloss
A tanker is a good fit for a blended wing body. Fuel efficiency is important for that mission, fuel tanks can be easily adapted to the odd shape (compared to cargo), and fuel doesn't care about the bobbing up and down in turns that comes from the wide hull shape (compared to passengers who don't like about that).

Reconnaissance would work too.

mauvehaus
The KC-46 program has not gone swimmingly. I'm curious how they think they're going to get a demonstrator flying in 5 years when they can't get a tanker that's based on an existing production airframe flying on schedule.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boeing_KC-46_Pegasus

walrus01
I think that a blended wing body design extremely similar to this was one of the more radical proposals on the table, when they were developing the budget and concept for the 787.

Ultimately ended up with a carbon fiber bodied more conventional aircraft of course.

Reading the URL, I think that anything about the Air Force caring about a climate action plan, or environmental sensitivity, is window dressing to say that it's also a operational benefit to have a tanker aircraft with greater loiter time, and greater distance possible from base with full fuel load, loiter time, and return distance.

d_silin
Blended-wing body makes a lot of sense for cargo/tanker aircraft. No issues with emergency evacuation procedure for passengers.
kart23
I thought the issue was that it was hard to pressurize a blended wing design. All pressurized planes are pretty much a tube shape, which are easier to design to endure metal fatigue and lots of pressurization cycles. The skin of an airliner is 2-4mm thick, I think you would need a substantially thicker skin for this shape.
belter
The Air Force should have forced some kind of transatlantic agreement, and make the A380 the new tanker, instead of letting the airplane go out of production.
6stringmerc
Personally, I think it looks beautiful. I hope it works. Generation 3 of the flying wing. A worthy tradition and a genuine problem to solve. Also, for the record, I think military operations get a different category on emissions. Yes they pollute but just hope they aren’t dropping ordinance. That stuff really pollutes.

I live by a major cargo hub airport with occasional military traffic. The occasional C-5 Galaxy doing a few touch and go practices, a pair of F-18s or trainers. The airshow is this month and I’m lucky to be at a waypoint for the aerobatic demonstration team. Last year Super Hornets at 500 feet for 3 days. Heaven!

Can you imagine how gorgeous the photo would be of this refueling a B2? Or dust off the last up to it Sr71 and buzz Ukraine and Crimea for an afternoon. Yes it is all ridiculous but most military might is proverbial dick waving in the first place, so might as well add some confetti and glitter to the mix.

MR4D
An updated B2 design without stealth would probably be highly achievable in this timeframe.

The problem being a cargo plane usually wants a fast approach and takeoff to eliminate threats near the runway. I don’t know if a B2 (or flying wing in general) would be good at that.

robotnikman
The design in the photo reminds me a lot of the Lockheed CL-1201 design
skybrian
They say there's a lot more volume, but would it carry more weight, and where would the weight have to be placed?

Why isn't this design used commercially?

dghughes
The pilot for the weight and balance calculations of a wide body aircraft must need a PhD in physics.
jbverschoor
Lol it looks like one of my first 3dsmax models. I should still have it somewhere
galaxyLogic
" lack of highly radar-reflective vertical stabilizers."

Then how do they stabilize it?

raydiatian
Man… does anybody believe we’ll actually make it to 2027, let alone “want” to be there?
sr.ht