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Aircraft

Franky Zapata's awesome Flyboard Air redefines the concept of a hoverboard

Franky Zapata's water-jet Flyboards have very quickly become a popular vacation experience, but the French jet ski champion has bigger goals in mind. Over the weekend, he released the first video that claims to show his new Flyboard Air in action. The Air ditches the water jet for what appears to be a jet turbine engine, and allows him to fly untethered through the sky to a maximum height of 10,000 feet and a maximum endurance of 10 minutes. It's early days yet, but we humbly propose a jet race against David Mayman and his JB-9 Jetpack.Read More

Super-thin wing design cuts fuel costs in half

NASA is developing a stiletto-like plane wing that's so long and thin that it needs a truss to hold it up. The longer, thinner, and lighter truss-braced wing, as it is called, is aimed at making future commercial transport aircraft more efficient and less polluting.Read More

Electric 18-rotor Volocopter makes first manned flight

The pursuit of personal flight took a promising, and kind of wacky, step forward today with the electric 18-rotor Volocopter lifting somebody into the air for the very first time. The maiden manned flight went off without a hitch, with the makers intent on using the emission-free aircraft as flying taxis a little further down the road.Read More

Spike Aerospace aims to quiet sonic booms

Supersonic air travel is experiencing a rebirth of sorts lately, at least in terms of new concept designs for passenger planes from the likes of Airbus, Denver-based Boom and Boston's Spike Aerospace. Spike, in particular, aims to make it possible to travel faster than sound over new parts of the world by greatly reducing the disturbing sonic booms that result from breaking that threshold.Read More

Wraparound jet engine design could put window seats at a premium

If you like the window seat while you fly, then maybe enjoy it while it lasts. Airbus has filed a US patent application for a new multi-fan jet engine design, which has the engine nacelles wrapping around the airplane's fuselage instead of suspended from the wing. Still very much a concept, the design is aimed at improving engine efficiency while keeping overall size down.Read More

First US-produced Airbus makes maiden flight

Last September, Airbus officially launched its new North American aircraft assembly plant in Mobile, Alabama, joining final assembly lines located in France, Germany, Spain and China. The first aircraft produced at the facility, an A321 that will join JetBlue's fleet, has now flown for the first time in the skies over Mobile.Read More

Can Boom bring back supersonic flight without the astronomical price tag?

A Denver-based startup company is entering the race to reintroduce supersonic commercial travel with the promise of a 40-passenger airliner that can not only fly faster than Concorde, but at business class prices. Boom Technology says it is using modern engines and materials to develop a supersonic passenger jet that can cruise at Mach 2.2 (1,675 mph, 2,700 km/h), with prices starting at US$5,000 for a return ticket between London and New York.Read More

United Airlines commences regular bio-fueled flights

Without much in the way of fanfare, United Airlines began flying regularly scheduled flights using biofuels earlier this month. Following years of demonstration and test flights to prove the fuel's viability, it's the first instance of a US airline putting commercial-scale volumes of biofuel into passenger-carrying planes on an ongoing basis.Read More

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