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Aircraft

As consumer drones are becoming increasingly common, we seem to be seeing more of a certain "value-added" feature – quadcopters that are able to hover as needed, but which can also transition to faster and more efficient fixed-wing flight. Recent examples have included the Skyprowler and the X PlusOne. Now, there's also the Vertex. Read More
Researchers at Siemens have created a new prototype electric motor specifically designed for aircraft that weighs in at just 50 kg (110 lb) and is claimed to produce about 260 kW (348 hp) at just 2,500 RPM. With a quoted power five times greater than any comparable powerplant, the new motor promises enough grunt to get aircraft with take-off weights of up to 1,800 kg (2 ton) off the ground. Read More
We've only just begun to see the huge impact 3D-printing technology will have on manufacturing, and the aerospace industry is a prime example. Earlier this year we saw the first example of a 3D-printed jet engine, now GE has announced the first 3D-printed part certified by the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) for a commercial jet engine. The fist-sized T25 housing for a compressor inlet temperature sensor was fabricated by GE Aviation and will be retrofitted to over 400 GE90-94B jet engines on Boeing 777 aircraft. Read More
If you're in the business of making drones for photography, it takes a bit to stand out from the crowd these days. Drone-mounted cameras are only getting better, and the vehicles themselves are only becoming more capable of accommodating higher quality lenses and equipment. Freefly Systems is looking to add another element to the airborne filmmaking mix with a professional-grade UAV that can fly with a camera above its body. Read More
Many people have likely watched aerial video shot by drones, and dreamed of getting such footage with a drone of their own. What they might not realize, however, is that controlling the little UAVs can be difficult, particularly if the user is trying to both fly the drone and keep a subject centered in the frame. That's why a group of entrepreneurs are creating the pre-programmable Ares quadcopter. Read More
3D Robotics, the company that grew out of the popular DIY drones website and the imagination of Wired Magazine Editor Chris Anderson, has announced a new consumer level quadcopter drone called the Solo. Touting its latest creation as "a breakthrough in intelligent flight," 3DR's new drone leans away from 3DR’s roots in hobbyist, DIY UAV flying in favor of a a slick, packaged, all-in-one consumer-oriented system that works right out of the box with a minimum of fuss. Read More
We recently had a chance to spend some time with the most advanced all-in-one video drone on the market, DJI's Inspire 1. It's a clear step forward from the Phantom 2 Vision+ we've been playing with lately, but what's it like to fly, and where does it sit against DJI's new Phantom 3? Read More
Last month it emerged that the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) had granted Amazon permission to begin testing a delivery drone prototype for its Prime Air service, a venture that aims to transport packages to Amazon customers in under 30 minutes. But there was a hitch, with the company since revealing the vehicle cleared for use had already become obsolete. Things are now back on track with the FAA giving Amazon the green light to put its current models to the test. Read More