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enter image description here

Here the jet intakes are placed to blend in with the flying wing shape. The section where the intakes are located doesn't have the cross section of a conventional airfoil. Will the area along the jet intakes still contribute in efficient lift production?

EDIT: Similar features can also be found in some real life examples

X47 A

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X47 B

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  • $\begingroup$ Aren't you giving this picture a bit much credit? It's not so much a concept as an artist's idea of what "a B-2, but not the B-2" might look like. $\endgroup$
    – Therac
    May 9, 2023 at 3:56
  • $\begingroup$ @Therac consider it a what if kind of question... $\endgroup$
    – Mridul
    May 9, 2023 at 4:09

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The critical section for lift is the root of the outer wing with its narrow chord. Here a very high lift coefficient is needed which will be limiting for the service ceiling (unless the engines pose this limit). The midsection with its massive chord needs to keep pressure variations from ambient low so the lift distribution does not become distorted.

Intake location here is completely subject to low observable characteristics, and of course there would be better possibilities to place the intakes, but on the upper forward wing they will still work acceptably without spoiling the radar returns too much.

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A simplified, maybe overly so, explanation is, that during cruise the intakes will have very little effect on the aerodynamics.

The intakes are usually designed such, that during cruise conditions they simply "scoop" in a slice of air that is the size of the cross section of the intake: There is no suction or overflow at the intake during cruise.

That will, of course be different during takeoff and descent. During takeoff, at slow speed the high rate of in flow will cause low pressure around the intake, and during descent vice versa.

The B-2 has additional scoops behind on the normal inlets to mitigate the low pressure at the intake during takeoff.

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