Highlights from the 2014 LA Auto Show

Aircraft

The AVX Aircraft concept has coaxial rotors, ducted fans and a top speed of over 270 mph (...

As one of the contenders in the race to win a $US100 billion contract from the US government for the Army’s next generation of attack helicopter, AVX Aircraft Company has conceived a futuristic machine kitted out with coaxial rotors, ducted fans and a retractable undercarriage that could hit speeds of over 270 mph (435 km/h).  Read More

According to BAE Systems researchers, military aircraft could be fitted with 3D printers t...

Requests for backup might usually trigger a halt in a military operations, but two fast-moving technologies could one day combine to deliver much-needed reinforcements exactly where they're needed. Such is the vision of defense firm BAE Systems, which sees aircraft having advanced onboard 3D printers that are capable of producing UAVs for wide-ranging military purposes.  Read More

The virtual cockpit display widens the pilot's field of vision

Imagine showing up at the airport to catch your flight, looking at your plane, and noticing that instead of windows, the cockpit is now a smooth cone of aluminum. It may seem like the worst case of quality control in history, but Airbus argues that this could be the airliner of the future. In a new US patent application, the EU aircraft consortium outlines a new cockpit design that replaces the traditional cockpit with one that uses 3D view screens instead of conventional windows.  Read More

The happiness blanket monitors brain activity and displays it on the fiber optic blanket

British Airways recently flew a group of volunteers on flight BA 189 Dreamliner from Heathrow to New York as part of an experiment to study how people react to the night-time flight across time zones. What made this particular flight unusual were the high-tech "happiness blankets" used to measure how relaxed passengers were as part of a study of how to combat jet lag.  Read More

Thanks to an app update, the DJI Phantom 2 Vision and Vision+ are now able to follow pre-p...

You could almost say that the DJI Phantom is to consumer drones what the GoPro Hero is to actioncams – not the first or the cheapest, but certainly among the best-known. One thing that the Phantom has lacked in comparison to some of its competitors, however, is the ability to fly on its own. Well, it's now able to do that too, thanks to the addition of the Ground Station feature to its existing camera app.  Read More

IntelliCabin is designed to make cabin operation more efficient and flights more pleasant ...

Modern air travel isn't always a pleasant experience – especially for those flying in the back. It’s partly a matter of economics, partly engineering. The eternal question is, how to make economy travel more pleasant while keeping the airline's overall operating costs down? BAE System’s IntelliCabin system aims to address such concerns by making cabin operation more efficient for the crew and improving the comfort of passengers.  Read More

The first production HondaJet made its first flight at the company's world headquarters in...

Honda Aircraft Company has announced that its first production HondaJet has taken to the skies. The flight, which took place at HondaJet’s headquarters at Piedmont Triad International Airport in Greensboro, North Carolina, moves the executive jet aircraft closer to certification ahead of a planned entry into service next year.  Read More

Saab's remote aircraft tower places human air controllers miles away from the airfield to ...

In a world first, air traffic controllers armed with a suite of high-tech video and sensor equipment have been authorized to direct flights over 100 km (61 mi) away at an airport in Örnsköldsvik, Sweden. The technology, developed by Saab, offers alternatives to consolidate smaller airfields with smaller budgets under one control, and provides options for training, crisis situations, and tower maintenance or refurbishing.  Read More

In this lab setup, the glider is able to locate and perch in front of a power line

Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) are currently being considered for many applications, although one factor that a lot of people tend to gloss over is the aircrafts' limited battery range – being able to stay airborne for only 10 to 30 minutes at a time definitely limits their usefulness. Researchers at MIT, however, are developing a possible solution. They're working on a fixed-wing UAV that can perch on power lines and use their emitted magnetic fields to recharge its battery, before continuing on its way.  Read More

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