It is on a “mixed wing” type architecture that the US Air Force relies to advantageously replace its in-flight refueling aircraft. Such a shape would make it possible to increase the radius of action, while consuming less and carrying more fuel or freight.
To transport heavier and further or carry more fuel in the case of a tanker, the USStrength put on a in the form of a . Otherwise called canopy this form comes to mix the cabin with the wings, so that one has the impression that it is a single large . Current tankers are based on a Boeing 767 structure, i.e. a in the form of a tube and wings. A classic architecture that does not optimize the and generates a lot of drag, hence this idea of designing a in the form of a flying wing or a mixed wing. With its flattened shape and large surface , this specific shape makes it possible to increase lift and reduce drag to a minimum. In the end, fuel consumption is reduced and this particular shape makes it possible to carry more voluminous equipment or even more fuel in the case of a tanker.
Interested commercial aviation
Aircraft manufacturers Boeing and Lockheed Martin have already developed prototypes of mixed-wing aircraft. This was the case for thefrom Boeing in 2007. At Lockheed Martin, the Hybrid Wing Body concept was developed. A equipped with a mixed wing with a fuel price. Such could reduce the current energy bill by $2 billion. The tanker could also travel longer distances, while having the capacity to supply more aircraft than today. This type of project is not reserved for the military alone. Several are being developed to design commercial aircraft of this shape. They would necessarily lead to major changes in airport infrastructure, in particular for boarding passengers.