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Aircraft


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

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

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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First manned flight for Flike personal tricopter

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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Sikorsky S-97 Raider spins up coaxial rotors on maiden flight

Sikorsky's S-97 Raider prototype helicopter, which was revealed to the world last year, has taken to the air for the first time. Based on the design of the X2 Technology Demonstrator, the S-97 Raider features coaxial counter-rotating main rotors and a pusher propeller and is intended as a multi-mission aircraft to replace the US Army’s OH-58D Kiowa Warrior helicopter and the Special Forces’ MH-6 Little Bird.

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Real-time sonic boom display moves closer to cockpit integration

The Concorde may be just a memory, but some aircraft manufacturers still see supersonic aircraft as the future of civilian aviation. To allow for widespread supersonic flight over populated areas without shattering windows and frightening chickens, electronics firm Rockwell Collins has been awarded a two-year NASA contract to develop a 3D cockpit display to help pilots of future supersonic aircraft to mitigate or eliminate sonic booms.

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