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Category Archives: Flight
Spike Aerospace, designers of the Spike S-512 Supersonic Jet, has just announced another innovation in aircraft design they plan to incorporate into the jet. The new supersonic jet will feature a revolutionary windowless passenger cabin so no more glaring sun and no more shades to pull down or push up. Instead, the interior walls will be covered with a thin display screens embedded into the wall. Cameras surrounding the entire aircraft will construct breathtaking panoramic views displayed on the cabin … Continue reading
Quadrotors are everywhere nowadays. Researchers have them, hobbyists have them, the military has them, and they’re being used commercially to do lots of stuff, from shooting movies to gathering aerial imagery to performing in shows and commercials. You’d think that by now, we’d have settled on a more or less optimized design, but at IROS 2013 last week, researchers from the University of Queensland, Australia, presented a paper suggesting that maybe we’ve been doing it wrong. As cool as quadrotors … Continue reading
Aeromobil is a “flying car” that perfectly makes use of existing infrastructure created for automobiles and planes, and opens doors to real door-to-door travel. In terms of automobile configuration, it fits to a standard parking space, its engine enables it to tank at any gas station, it is fully accustomed to road traffic and as a plane it could both take off and land at any airport in the world. With its ambition to become a real “flying car”, the current version … Continue reading
The New Zealand developers of a personalised jetpack said Tuesday that aviation regulators have issued the device with a flying permit, allowing for manned test flights. Martin Aircraft chief executive Peter Coker said the certification was a significant milestone in the development of the jetpack, which the company hopes to begin selling next year. “For us it’s a very important step because it moves it out of what I call a dream into something which I believe we’re now in a … Continue reading
Officially unveiled on March 4th, just prior to the Heli-Expo 2013 in Las Vegas, USA, the revolutionary AgustaWestland “Project Zero” all-electric tiltrotor technology demonstrator is the result of close collaborations with Finmeccanica companies – Selex ES, Ansaldo Breda, and Ansaldo Energia – and partner companies from Italy, U.K., U.S.A. and Japan. Dr. James Wang, Vice President of Research and Technology at AgustaWestland, said, “Project Zero was a fast-paced, complex project involving partners and suppliers across different time zones. Our partners … Continue reading
After many years on the drawing board and $15bn (£9.5bn) of investment the latest potential blockbuster from Airbus made its long-awaited first flight on Friday. The A350XWB (extra wide body) is an aircraft which Airbus says will set new standards in fuel efficiency and environmental performance. The long-range, twin-engined plane is being pitched as a direct rival to Boeing’s radical 787 Dreamliner, another airliner which claims to have taken aircraft technology to new heights. Yet, the A350 is also an aircraft that Airbus … Continue reading
Maybe I’ve just watched “Back to the Future” too many times but the latest design from Ma.-based Terrafugia, the maker of flying aircrafts that also work as cars, looks like all that’s missing is Doc and some plutonium. The next-gen TF-X will be a street legal plug-in hybrid car that has collapsible wings, retractable propellers, and is capable of driving and flying on its own in the event of an emergency. When I talked to Terrafugia co-founder and CEO Carl Dietrich about … Continue reading
In the wake of the Space Shuttle’s demise, new spacecraft are being developed in droves. While all existing craft are space capsules, not unlike those used back in the Apollo era, several of the next generation of spacecraft may be spaceplanes. One contender is being built in Switzerland, with the first prototype to be completed next year. The SOAR spaceplane is being developed by Swiss Space Systems, or S3 for short, a new company that intends to put Swiss technology … Continue reading
The massive blimp-like aircraft flies but just barely, hovering only a dozen feet off a military hangar floor during flight testing south of Los Angeles. Still, the fact that the hulking Aeroscraft could fly for just a few minutes represents a step forward in aviation, according to the engineers who developed it. The Department of Defense and NASA have invested $35 million in the prototype because of its potential to one day carry more cargo than any other aircraft to … Continue reading
A hypersonic “SpaceLiner” would whisk up to 50 passengers from Europe to Australia in 90 minutes. The futuristic vehicle would do so by riding a rocket into Earth’s upper atmosphere, reaching 24 times the speed of sound before gliding in for a landing. Many challenges still remain, including finding the right shape for the vehicle, said Martin Sippel, project coordinator for SpaceLiner at the German Aerospace Center. But he suggested the project could make enough progress to begin attracting private … Continue reading
Boeing has been working on a project that signifies the future of commercial air transportation. As the story goes, about five years ago at a conference on advanced aircraft technologies, posing questions on what the future of aircraft would look like, somebody stood up and said, “What about an electric airplane?” Almost everyone laughed. Boeing personnel did not laugh. Can we make an airplane that has batteries that actually works? They took it as a challenge, in designing a commercial … Continue reading
We all know that 65.5 million years ago an asteroid slammed into the Earth off the coast of the Yucatán Peninsula and wiped out the dinosaurs. But there’s another dinosaur (of sorts) that died a little more recently. The U.S. Air Force’s Dyna-Soar, a precursor to the space shuttle, was wiped out by bureaucracy and bad timing. Dyna-Soar was a hypersonic glider. A flat, triangular base with flicked up wing tips and a one-man crew cabin on top, it was … Continue reading
The dirigible airship, the oddball aircraft of another era, is making a comeback. California-based Aeros Corporation has created a prototype of its new breed of variable buoyancy aircraft and expects the vehicle to be finished before the end of 2012. With its new cargo handling technology, minimum fuel consumption, vertical take-off and landing features and point to point delivery, the Aeroscraft platform promises to revolutionize airship technology. The Aeroscraft ship uses a suite of new mechanical and aerospace technologies. It … Continue reading
The only thing that differentiates this remote control safety cage RC helicopter from the one designed by robot researchers at the EPFL is an $80 price tag. Because you can actually buy this one from Kyosho, and don’t need a research grant to build your own. Otherwise, you can crash this eight-inch sphere into the walls, the furniture, and even the people in your home. Its plastic 360-degree roll cage will shrug off any impact and prevent its spinning rotors … Continue reading
The Air Force’s mysterious X-37B space plane is now readying for its third space mission, slated to begin in October. And perhaps not surprising for the hush-hush orbital drone, the third time into space remains as secretive as the first two. Next month, the X-37B will blast off again aboard an Atlas 5 rocket from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. The exact timing of the October launch is unknown and subject to change due to weather conditions, and there’s … Continue reading
“There’s a certain excitement in this breakthrough but at the same time it’s not a happy history.” Historian John Swinfield is cautiously optimistic about a Bedfordshire firm making a success of modern-day airship engineering. He knows how volatile the industry has been, beset by heavy loss of life and UK firms left out of business. But firm Hybrid Air Vehicles Limited’s success brings up to date a near century of history, with the new designs taking shape close to Cardington where, in … Continue reading
A team that has created a supersonic jet design resembling a flying shuriken has been awarded a US$100, 000 grant from NASA’s Innovative Advanced Concepts (NIAC) program to continue development of the aircraft. Aside from looking suitably futuristic, the concept plane’s four-pointed star design serves a practical purpose. By rotating in mid air, the plane can transition between broad-wing subsonic and shorter wingspan supersonic configurations. Aircraft design is usually a compromise between subsonic and supersonic performance. At low speeds, broad … Continue reading
The most common question asked of crash experts is “Is there a safest seat?” Official sources say that it makes no difference because no two plane crashes are alike. Popular Mechanics magazine did some exhaustive research that seems to point to the rear of the plane as the safest spot. They studied data of every U.S. commercial jet crash in the last 36 years and found that passengers in the rear of the plane are 40 percent more likely to … Continue reading
With a traditional airplane, a propellor or jet engine pulls it forward, and lift is created as air subsequently flows over the wings. FanWing aircraft are a little different. They have a powered horizontal rotary fan along the leading edge of their single wing, which serves to pull air over it, creating lift without the need for speed. Britain’s FanWing company has been developing the technology since 1999, and has already had success with radio-controlled proof-of-concept models. This month, however, … Continue reading