Highlights from the 2014 LA Auto Show

Aircraft

A view of Earth captured from the paper airplane at 96,563 feet (Photo: 1st Lt Gary Brown)

For most people, paper airplanes are something you launched across school classrooms as a kid. A team of US Air Force auxiliary volunteers, however, has been taking it far more seriously. The team launched a paper airplane from a high-altitude balloon at 96,563 ft (29,432 m), taking the world record in the process.  Read More

Illuminated lampshades take to the air (with a little help from a drone inside each one), ...

Fans of the Disney classic Fantasia will no doubt remember the Sorcerer's Apprentice segment of that film, in which a hapless Mickey Mouse accidentally brings an army of mops to life. Well, Cirque du Soleil has teamed up with ETH Zurich and spinoff group Verity Studios to create a somewhat similar video entitled Sparked – instead of mops, however, it features a fleet of lampshade-clad quadcopters.  Read More

Quarkson wants to provide internet access to every person in the world using its SkyOrbite...

The internet has become a critical means of communication during humanitarian crises and a crucial everyday tool for people around the world. Now, a Portuguese company wants to make sure everyone has access to it. Quarkson plans to use unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) to transmit internet access "to every corner of the world."  Read More

The Iris+ quadcopter can follow a paired GPS-equipped Android device

Last year, 3D Robotics announced its Iris quadcopter drone. Like other similar products, it can either be flown manually using radio remote control, or it can use its onboard GPS to autonomously fly between a series of preprogrammed waypoints. Today, however, the company announced its successor, the Iris +. Its big feature is the Follow Me function, which allows it to automatically fly along above a moving ground-based GPS-enabled Android device. This means that when equipped with a GoPro actioncam, it can get tracking footage of you as you cycle, ski or surf.  Read More

Rendering of the GE9X fan using a new fourth-generation composite

GE is looking to a new generation of carbon-fiber composites to make the fan blades for its GE9X jet engine. That engine is being developed for the Boeing 777X passenger airplanes that are set to enter service in 2020 and the new blades promise to provide larger, lighter engines with greater fuel efficiency.  Read More

Airbus is helping fund a project examining the potential for hydrogen fuel cells to replac...

With the airline industry's commitment to halve 2005 CO2 emission levels by 2050 prompting Airbus and others to accelerate the development of alternative jet fuels, Airbus is now getting behind a project to examine the potential for using hydrogen fuel cells on commercial airliners – not to power the jet engines, but to replace the Auxiliary Power Units (APUs).  Read More

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