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Aircraft


— Aircraft

Retrofittable electric engine adds power and safety to light aircraft

By - June 10, 2015 5 Pictures

Small, single-engine aircraft are the mainstay of recreational flying, and provide many hours of generally safe enjoyment for hundreds of thousands of enthusiasts worldwide. However, with only one engine on-board, they are also often only a small malfunction away from becoming a heavy, unpowered glider in dire need of somewhere to land. To help improve this situation, researchers at Universidad Carlos III de Madrid (UC3M) and AXTER Aerospace have created an auxiliary electric propulsion unit designed to be installed in conventionally-powered light aircraft to both increase available power and provide extra range in the event of an engine failure.

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— Aircraft Feature

Video: The fast and furious world of underground drone racing

Chad Nowak describes himself as an aviation nutter. For 25 years he's been flying remote controlled aircraft and full-sized sail planes, fuelled by a fascination for anything that glides through the air. But this interest went up a notch when he came across a Youtube video of an emerging sport known as FPV (first person view) drone racing. Fast forward 12 months and his home in Queensland, Australia, is covered in half-built quadcopters and loose parts. Last weekend, Nowak flew to Melbourne to take on like-minded racers in an abandoned warehouse on the outskirts of the city.

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— Aircraft

DJI's new Matrice 100 drone avoids obstacles and flies for 40 minutes at a time

By - June 8, 2015 10 Pictures

Getting to grips with piloting a drone can involve a steep and expensive learning curve. How these vehicles can be made to avoid crashing into stuff is a question that has plagued the technology from the outset. But the world's largest drone maker DJI says it has now developed a solution. Simply called Guidance, its obstacle avoidance system integrates with its new developer-focused Matrice 100 quadcopter and promises to make busted rotor-blades a thing of the past.

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— Aircraft

Lotus leaf-inspired aircraft wing coating may repel bugs to ease fuel consumption

By - June 2, 2015 1 Picture

Splattered insects may seem like the least of your worries when you're tearing through the air at more than 500 mph (800 km/h), but for those working with Boeing's ecoDemonstrator 757 they present a pretty unique opportunity. NASA has carried out testing of a series of non-stick coatings on the aircraft's wings, finding that one inspired by lotus leaves showed good potential to shrug off blasts of bug guts to lessen drag and, by extension, ease the consumption of fuel.

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Bad weather forces Solar Impulse 2 to land in Japan

The Solar Impulse team reports that the aircraft is making an unscheduled stopover in Nagoya, Japan. The plan was to cross a weather front just before Hawaii on solar day 5, but the latest forecasts looked grim so the decision was made to land and wait for better weather conditions.

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— Aircraft

Solar Impulse takes off on longest leg of round-the-world flight

By - May 30, 2015 6 Pictures

With Swiss pilot André Borschberg at the controls, the solar-powered, single-pilot Solar Impulse 2 airplane took off from Nanjing Lukou Airport in China today bound for Hawaii on the longest leg of its round-the-world flight. But this isn't just a major leg of the Solar Impulse 2 solar-powered circumnavigation, it is also an attempt at the longest duration flight ever by a solo pilot in any type of aircraft.

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— Aircraft

First manned flight for Flike personal tricopter

By - May 28, 2015 5 Pictures

Despite always generating plenty of interest, getting a personal flight vehicle off the ground can be a huge undertaking – just ask Malloy Aeronautics, which has been forced to scale its Hoverbike down, selling a one-third-scale drone to raise funds to continue development of the larger, manned Hoverbike. But a Hungarian team is looking onwards and upwards after having achieved the first manned flight of its Flike tricopter concept demonstrator.

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