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Aircraft

If you want to operate your drone for commercial reasons in the US at the moment, there are considerable hoops you'll need to fly through first. But an announcement today from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is set to make this process more efficient, throwing a blanket approval over operators that meet a certain criteria. Read More
A state-run Russian news site is reporting that the country has ambitions to build a huge, supersonic cargo plane capable of transporting tanks to the field in a matter of hours. While there's plenty of reason to be skeptical that transporting such heavy loads at high speeds is even feasible, let alone realistic, Russia's military is reportedly giving itself roughly the next decade to figure it out. Read More
Boeing is at it again, continuing its on-going ecoDemonstrator test program by ramping up a series of flight tests with a modified 757 airliner. The lengthy tests will assess new methods to advance efficiency, cut noise and lower carbon emissions. Read More
It's been more than a year in the making but it seems that the regulatory wheels are beginning to turn on Amazon's bold plan for drone delivery. The FAA has today granted the online retailer permission to start testing its unmanned aircraft as part of its Prime Air initiative. It does come with its share of caveats, however, so don't expect a box set to be plonked down on your doorstep anytime soon. Read More
It might look like it was designed by a six-year-old, with 18 motors crammed onto a too-thin wing, but the Hybrid-Electric Integrated Systems Testbed (HEIST) experimental wing demonstrator could be the future of electric aircraft. A key component of NASA'S Leading Edge Asynchronous Propeller Technology (LEAPTech) project, it is designed to test whether electric propulsion can allow for a tighter wing design leading to greater efficiency and safety. Read More
Though drones are capable of some pretty incredible things, different models tends to specialize at one incredible thing in particular, be it shooting 4K video or avoiding crashing into obstacles. An Israeli company called Percepto hopes to allow drone owners to bring new functionality to their existing vehicles by way of an open-source attachable camera, controlled by an ever-growing suite of drone apps. Read More
UK-based ProAirsport has developed a hybrid microlight/glider with electrically powered wheels used for taxiing and takeoff, and a jet turbine for climbing and cruising. During flight, the engine can be turned on and off with the flip of a switch, allowing the aircraft to be flown as either a microlight or glider. Unlike typical microlights and self-launching gliders, ProAirsport's GloW is propeller-free. Read More
It may not be as glamorous as building vehicles that go faster, fly higher or shoot more beautiful images, but making drones less likely to crash into walls and people's faces is pretty critical to advancing the technology all the same. One company working on this problem is the team at Panoptes, which has just launched a Kickstarter campaign for eBumper4, an obstacle avoidance system that can be slapped on two of the more popular consumer drones to stop them running into things. Read More
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