So, it recently came up in another forum that flying wings were "imposible without comptuers". And we know that to be patently untrue. We have had flying wings from nearly the begining of aviation. But in that disucssion, it struck me, that the difference between a delta and a flying wing is not much. Why isn't a F102 a flying wing? Why is the YB-49, or even a vulcan, any different from say, a Mirage III or IV. You can build and fly a conventional plane, without a tail. (The X-36 is an example) Typically you dont' design for it, but B17's, Concordes, and even a B-52 have made it home missing most of their vertical tail. So the "no rudder and fin" thing isn't unique to flying wings. Even the flying wings that are out there, many have vertical control surfaces. Hang gliders, almost universally, are flying wings, depending on how you look at it. So.. where's the big difference? What's the useful difference? It seems to me that a B2, and a Space shuttle are just edge cases of the same thing. Which is a single flying surface airplane. If you'd like other "extreme" examples, the Rutan Quickie, is a Canard plane. So was the Wright Flyer. They're VERY different, but are still "canards" based on how they maintained control. I'm not sure this is a settle-able argument, but it'll be fun to see what you have to say. To ask the question directly, where does a delta or single surface plane, become a flying wing?