Most piston-driven helicopters use aviation-grade gasoline or avgas, but as part of the European Clean Sky initiative, Airbus Helicopters has begun flight testing of a new high-compression engine that burns widely-available kerosene aviation fuel. Installed in an H120 demonstrator aircraft, the advanced lightweight V8 piston engine promises to be a more efficient, cleaner alternative to turbine powerplants in high-performance rotorcraft.Read More
Stealth aircraft like the F35 fighter generally rely on high-tech absorption materials and unusual geometries to scatter, deflect, and sponge up incoming radar signals. These techniques are exceptionally good at masking a vehicle's shape and size, particularly when swept with side-scanning radar. However, with lower-frequency, directed anti-stealth radar-targeting systems being developed, these surfaces prove much less able to hide an object. To help address this, a team of Chinese scientists has developed a thin electronic material that sheaths an object and effectively absorbs radar signals over a wide range of frequencies.Read More
Fires in high-rise buildings can be very problematic. It can be difficult to move around the building, to quickly get equipment to where it needs to be and even to communicate with people inside. Dubai, a place with lots of towering constructions, plans to tackle this by giving Jetpacks to its firefighters.
Japan's hopes of becoming a global player in commercial aviation were given a boost this week with the first flight of the Mitsubishi Regional Jet. The MRJ90 test aircraft took off from Nagoya, Japan, on Wednesday and spent an hour and a half in the skies off the Pacific coast running through basic flight functionality.
The latest and most powerful variant of the Rolls-Royce Trent engine has taken to the air for the first time. Billed as the "world’s most efficient civil aircraft engine," the Rolls-Royce Trent XWB-97 replaced one of the four Trent 900 engines on an Airbus A380 flying testbed aircraft during the flight over Toulouse, France.Read More
The dream of personal flight took a great leap forward last week as Jetpack Aviation unveiled its JB-9 jetpack in spectacular fashion. Lifting off from a boat, inventor and aviator David Mayman flew the powerful, agile JB-9 around the Statue of Liberty, pausing to salute and pirouette before touching back down. Running on kerosene and using two vectored jet engines, the JB-9 can reach high speeds and altitudes and offers a flight time over 10 minutes, depending on pilot weight. We spoke at length with Mayman to discover how the JB-9 works and how long it'll be before we can buy one.Read More
Daredevil Yves Rossy has never been afraid to think big when it comes to high-altitude stuntwork, but when it comes to wingmen, it doesn't come any bigger than this. "Jetman" has strapped on his set of kevlar wings and taken to the skies of Dubai to fly alongside the largest commercial aircraft there is, an Airbus A380 passenger jet.Read More
The next generation of US Marine Corp helicopters took to the air recently with the successful maiden flight of Sikorsky's CH-53K King Stallion heavy lift helicopter at the company's Development Flight Center in Florida. Known formally as Engineering Development Model-1 (EDM-1), its 30-minute flight at an altitude of 30 ft (9.1 m) included hovering as well as sideward, rearward, and forward maneuvers, and kicks off a three-year, 2,000-hour test program involving four prototypes.Read More
Takeoffs and landings account for 66 percent of fatal air accidents, but current air traffic control systems are designed mainly to monitor aircraft that are in mid-flight. To help fill this gap, ALTACAS Technology has developed its Aerial, Landing, & Takeoff Aircraft Crash Avoidance System (ALTACAS). Designed to be retrofitted to current aircraft and as a supplement to existing next-generation air traffic control and crash avoidance systems, it uses lasers and microprocessors to monitor runways and flight paths during takeoffs and landings.Read More
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