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Aircraft


— Aircraft Review

Review: Parrot Bebop drone and Skycontroller

By - July 17, 2015 20 Pictures

As the latest in Parrot's line of smartphone-operated drones, the Bebop boasts a number of improvements over the AR.Drone 2.0 including a better camera, longer range, and an optional joystick-based controller. We put the Bebop in the hands of several quadcopter neophytes, tested it indoors (which is supposedly one of its strengths), and enlisted its 14-megapixel camera to capture some aerial footage. We also powered on Parrot's new Skycontroller, which adds physical controls and a more powerful Wi-Fi antenna for extended big range and potential FPV fun. So how did it perform?

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— Aircraft

Flirtey cleared for take-off in first FAA-approved drone delivery service

By - July 15, 2015 5 Pictures

One weekend each July, 1,500 people from rural area of Wise County, Virginia descend on the local fairgrounds for a once yearly medical clinic. Here they seek attention for unique conditions that go untreated for the rest of the year due to lack of access to proper healthcare. In years gone by, medical supplies would be brought into the town by truck, but this year things will be working a little differently. Startup Flirtey has teamed up with NASA to conduct an FAA approved exercise to deliver some of these items by drone. This is a good news for a startup trying to spread its wings, but even better news for rural folk who instead of waiting days for urgently needed medication will have their prescriptions filled in just half an hour. And as Flirtey CEO Matt Sweeney tells Gizmag, it could be the "Kitty Hawk" moment the drone delivery industry has been longing for.

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— Aircraft

Next leg of Solar Impulse round-the-world flight pushed back to April 2016

By - July 15, 2015 5 Pictures

The Solar Impulse team has announced that the completion of its round-the-world solar flight will now be postponed until next April. The batteries of the Solar Impulse 2 solar-powered aircraft sustained damage as the aircraft ascended to an optimal energy-management altitude of 28,000 ft (8,534 m) on the first day of its ambitious Japan-to-Hawaii flight. It is believed that a high rate of climb coupled with over-insulation of the gondolas resulted in irreversible overheating damage to the aircraft's batteries.

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— Aircraft

Flying replica set to fulfill Bugatti's radical aircraft dream

By - July 14, 2015 7 Pictures
When we think of Bugatti, we generally think of classic sportscars like the T13 and modern day supercars such as the all-conquering Veyron. However, back in the late 1930s, Ettore Bugatti also set out to build racing aircraft. In 1937 he began construction on a radical machine that had a swept-forward wing design, a twin-V tailplane, and twin contra-rotating propellers powered by two Bugatti straight-eight engines. Unfortunately, the Second World War broke out just before the aircraft was completed and Bugatti had to flee Paris, taking his creation with him. Today a group of dedicated enthusiasts are recreating Bugatti's dream and building a replica that, unlike the original, will soon take to the skies. Read More
— Aircraft

Elektra One Solar becomes first solar-electric aircraft to cross the Alps in both directions

By - July 13, 2015 4 Pictures

It's been quite a month for electric aircraft. First, the Solar Impulse 2 broke distance and duration records when it flew from Japan to Hawaii. Then, two competing teams both claimed to have made the world's first electric flight across the English Channel. Now, Germany's PC-Aero says that its Elektra One Solar has become the first solar-electric plane to cross the Alps in both directions.

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— Aircraft

Electric aircraft makes first English Channel crossing

By - July 12, 2015 6 Pictures

An electric aircraft has crossed the English Channel for the first time. The question is, which one is it? On Friday, Airbus Group announced that its E-Fan technology demonstrator claimed the prize by flying from Lydd, Kent to Calais. However, it soon came to light that French Aerobat Hugues Duval had flown from Dover to Calais 12 hours earlier on Thursday in a Cri-Cri electric plane. Exactly which one gets in the record books may hinge on a technicality.

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Solar Impulse 2 stuck in Hawaii after record-breaking flight

By - July 11, 2015 3 Pictures
Flying around the world on only the power of the sun turns out to be more of a stop-and-go affair than even the team behind Solar Impulse 2 may have guessed. The solar-powered, single-pilot aircraft began circling the globe from Abu Dhabi back in March, but must now remain in Hawaii until early August. While Swiss pilot and Solar Impulse co-founder André Borschberg survived a record-breaking five-day flight from Nagoya, Japan to Oahu with just minimal sleep, SI2's batteries didn't all fare so well without rest. Read More
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