LONG BEACH, Calif.
Boeing engineers are working on an
800-seat airliner with wings that blend smoothly into the fuselage
instead of protruding from its sides.
The so-called blended wing-body aircraft would fly at the same
speed and altitude as a 416-seat Boeing 747-400, but it would use
25 percent less fuel and generate less noise, the Los Angeles Times
Unlike other airline jets, the proposed Boeing jet wouldn't have
a traditional fuselage or tail with fins. Passengers would be
seated in two decks, and since most would not be seated near a
window, the backs of each seat would have a video monitor providing
a view of the outside.
"It looks different, but it isn't that much different from the
B-2 (stealth bomber), and we know that works," said Robert H.
Liebeck, a Boeing program manager working on the new plane.
Liebeck said the new plane should be completed within a decade
but the program could be accelerated if Boeing gives priority to
competing with the A-380, a double-decker airliner under
development by European consortium Airbus Industrie.
The A-380, which will seat about 600, is expected to be in the
air by 2006.