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Aircraft


— Aircraft

Could this 18-motor wing be the future of electric aircraft?

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
— Aircraft

GloW glider/microlight hybrid combines the best of both aircraft

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
— Aircraft

Carbon nanotube-based anti-icing coating proves itself in wind tunnel testing

There are numerous types of systems designed to prevent ice forming on aircraft surfaces during flight. Some reroute hot air produced by jet engines, others generate their own heat, others knock ice off through mechanical force, while others still release antifreeze chemicals onto the wing. Battelle has recently tested its carbon nanotube-base HeatCoat technology that it claims is lighter and less power hungry than such systems. It also has no moving parts and could easily be retrofitted to existing aircraft. Read More
— Aircraft

GE mixes lasers and water to keep turbine blades cool during drilling

Turbine blades for use in jet engines need to be made of a hard, unyielding exotic material made to exact specifications, which means the drilling of tiny cooling holes in the blades runs the risk of ruining them. To prevent this from happening, GE is combining the heat of the laser beam with the cooling of the water jet to drill holes without weakening the blades. Read More
— Aircraft

Skyshot Helikite provides a simpler alternative to aerial drone photography

It's certainly no secret that consumer drones are proving to be extremely popular for shooting aerial videos. That said, the things still aren't perfect – you can't fly them for more than about 25 minutes per battery charge, pre-flight procedures such as calibrating their compass can be tricky, they're noisy, and they can fall out of the sky and hurt people. Allsopp's Action Cam Skyshot Helikite, however, is claimed to have none of these problems. It's basically just a GoPro-carrying kytoon – a kite/balloon hybrid. Read More
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