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Aircraft

— Aircraft

Bird-inspired self-folding wings could help drones recover from collisions

By - March 30, 2015 3 Pictures
If you've ever watched a flying bird weaving its way through a forest, you may have wondered how it could do so without hitting its wings on the trees. Well, birds actually do hit trees with their wings. Unlike the rigid wings of an aircraft, however, birds' wings simply fold back under impact, then immediately fold open again to maintain flight. Now, scientists from Stanford University have developed wings for flapping-wing drones that do the same thing. Read More
— Aircraft

Is Russia working on a crazy supersonic cargo plane?

By - March 24, 2015 8 Pictures
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
— Aircraft

Amazon cleared to put its delivery drones to the test

By - March 19, 2015 1 Picture
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
— Aircraft

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

By - March 18, 2015 3 Pictures
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

Percepto adds an open-source app-controlled camera to existing drones

By - March 17, 2015 12 Pictures
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
— Aircraft

GloW glider/microlight hybrid combines the best of both aircraft

By - March 16, 2015 6 Pictures
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
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