Blended wing aircraft coming, eventually

Apparently, the big old tails of normal airplanes create a load of drag, hogging gas and making flights kind of inefficient. This blended wing design is meant to cut down on drag and promises to improve fuel efficiency by 30%. There's hope that the new body design can be used in military vehicles and then, eventually, in civilian aircraft.

Unfortunately, this is the only prototype out there, the X-48B, and it's a mere 1/10th the size of the 240-foot-wingspan monsters that there are hopes will eventually be built. Due to all the crazy science involved, it'll be at least 2022 before this thing hits the skies as an air force plane, and another decade before normal folks get to fly the friendly skies in one. Well, here's to being patient.

CNN, via New Launches