An aviation design that was overlooked for decades is now the rage with the latest in fighters, stealth and UAV fuselages that not only carry instruments and weapons but do some of the lifting of the craft as well.
Imagine a large airliner or military transport that could take off at 100 mph or even less, yet travel to the edge of the speed of sound with little drag penalty. Imagine also that it could make engine bird strikes a thing of the past, the engines no longer bird targets hanging from the wings. With the rapid advancements in battery technology, this plane will easily transition from volatile, carbon fuels to electric power, when that time comes.
The blended wing or hybrid wing design has promised a great future for flight. Now, a new design promises more for that future with a simpler, less expensive and more practical design, the Lifting Fuselage Configuration (LFC).
The University of Toronto's first study of the LFC in 2016 found that it could not only out perform the BWB in many ways but be much more practical for smaller, regional airlines. http://oddjob.utias.utoronto.ca/~dwz/Miscellaneous/ReistZinggJofA2016.pdf
The minimal wingspan required for the LFC, as well as its VSTOL properties, works well with larger military transport and fuel tanker designs giving it the ability to land at smaller airports, military and civilian alike. The natural continuous curve of the body lends itself to the possibility of stealth.
With practical battery power not yet available, the jet powered LFC can out perform all current tube and wing designs. In a comparison from Boeing in the 70's, the LFC was shown to carry more than twice the load compared to a similarly powered 767 design. It could also load cargo containers directly onto the plane, eliminating almost all labor costs and time loading and unloading cargo. Ref: http://www.meridian-int-res.com/Aeronautics/Burnelli.htm See Performance Advantage halfway down the page. The LFC is the B754 in the example.
Now that NASA's PRSEUS composite has proven to hold an atmosphere in a non-spherical body at altitude, the LFC can now be produced for passengers as well as cargo. https://www.compositesworld.com/articles/prseus-update-hybrid-wing-body-passenger-cabin-takes-shape Lighter, stronger and safer, this material can make the LFC's airfoil body cheaply in any size then attach wings to it. The BWB is proposed as an all one piece design. Sounds crazy expensive and again, impractical.
The only thing holding back this superior design is the will to make the change. We've been flying the same design for over 100 years with tiny changes to improve flight performance and safety by small increments. The biggest change was from propellers to jets. Isn't it time we made the other big change? It's time to change the body from a log with wings to a wing with wings. It's a good change. Let's do it.