Category Archives: Flight

Personal helicopter will be as easy to drive as a car

Volocopter: easy to fly <i>(Image: E-Volo)</i>

Within two years, an 18-rotor battery-powered helicopter will be on sale to rich commuters who dream of open skies instead of gridlocked highways. After slipping into the pilot’s seat, I am handed a sick bag – “just in case” – and given about 5 minutes of flight instructions. Then, despite never having flown a plane, I take off vertically in my futuristic aircraft and explore the UK city of Liverpool from the air, touching down in the centre circle of the … Continue reading

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Top-secret space plane lands on California coast

The plane spent nearly two years circling Earth on a classified mission. Known as the X-37B, it resembles a mini space shuttle. It safely touched down at 9:24 a.m. Friday, officials at Vandenberg Air Force Base said. Just what the plane was doing during its 674 days in orbit has been the subject of sometimes spectacular speculation. Several experts have theorized it carried a payload of spy gear in its cargo bay. Other theories sound straight out of a James … Continue reading

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European air traffic data visualization

This data visualization was created from real flight data taken from a day in July 2013. It highlights the intensity of the operation in Europe – an operation which runs 24 x 7 x 365. NATS and the UK are at the heart of the operation. With Heathrow as the busiest international airport in Europe, and Gatwick as the busiest single runway airport in the world, we play a key role in ensuring air traffic under our control in European … Continue reading

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Fantastic Flights

Here is a treat for anyone with a love of flight. Both videos really worth watching on full screen. Enjoy – Deskarati Credit to Yannick Barthe a swiss filmmaker specialised in aviation film and aerial discipline videos.

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These Two Planes Really Are Flying Like This

It’s called a Calypso Pass. That’s when two jets fly in a mirror image pattern like this, often only inches apart. A few weeks ago, two U.S. Air Force Thunderbird F-16 Fighting Falcons did just that. The Thunderbirds performed for a huge crowd on March 23, at MacDill Air Force Base in Florida, and the Calypso Pass was just one of their moves. Via io9

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Solar Impulse global flight plane unveiled

The team behind the Solar Impulse project – a mission to fly around the world in a plane powered only by the sun – has revealed the plane in which the pilots will make their attempt. Its predecessor, Solar Impulse 1, has already been flown across America, and stored sufficient power in its batteries to fly all night. With a wingspan of 72m (236ft), Solar Impulse 2 is the width of a Boeing 747, but weighs about the same as a … Continue reading

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Supersonic Jet To Have Windowless Cabin

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

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Should Quadrotors All Look Like This?

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

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Has the Flying Car Arrived at Last?

flying car2

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

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Personal jetpack gets flight permit for manned test

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

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“Project Zero” All-Electric Tilt Rotor Unveiled

zero1

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

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A350: The aircraft that Airbus did not want to build

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

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Landing a Plane on a Moving Motorhome

 

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Plug-In Hybrid Vehicle Has Wings

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

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Swiss Spaceplane Set to SOAR

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

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High-tech cargo airship being built in California

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

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Hypersonic ‘SpaceLiner’ to Fly Passengers in 2050

space plane

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

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SUGAR Volt: Boeing’s hybrid electric aircraft

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

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When the Dyna-Soar Went Extinct

dyna soar

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

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Aeroscraft dirigible airship prototype approaches completion

aeroscraft-prototype-3

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

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