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Francis X Govers III

Francis X Govers III
Francis Govers is the designer of over 20 land, sea, air and space vehicles and teaches robotics and the design of self-driving cars. He spent 10 years at NASA, helped design the International Space Station, participated in the DARPA Grand Challenge, and managed the only Zeppelin operating in the US. As a commercial pilot, writer, artist, musician, engineer, race car nut and designer, Francis has a serious addiction to building things that frequently gets him into trouble.
The Subaru WRX has always been a touchstone for rally car performance in a street legal car with its fast handling, turbocharged acceleration and hefty hood scoops. Subaru's long-awaited refresh adds a six speed manual or automatic gearbox, new styling, and bids farewell to the five door hatchback version. Read More
Engineers at the US Department of Energy’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) have created a continuous process that produces useful crude oil minutes after harvested algae is introduced. This new process does not require drying out the algae, which grows in water, saving time and energy that would be otherwise wasted. The final product can be refined into aviation fuel, diesel, or gasoline. Read More
Palmdale, CA. General Atomics Aeronautical System, Inc. (GA-ASI), the maker of the Predator and Reaper Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) successfully completed the first of several flight tests of a prototype Sense and Avoid (SAA) system, that allows a UAV to see and avoid other aircraft in flight. Read More

The team of NASA, L’Guarde, and Space Services Inc. are preparing for the Sunjammer space mission that in 2015 will see the first deep space deployment of a solar sail. On September 30, the Sunjammer team completed a milestone when they successfully deployed a quarter panel of the spacecraft’s solar sail. Read More

Zee.Aero, a small company located near the GooglePlex, home to Google, is working on a flying car concept that can take off and land vertically using a plethora of small electric motors turning four-bladed propellers. According to illustrations included with the patent filings, one version of the vehicle is narrow enough to fit into a standard shopping center parking space. Read More
There was an unusual shape in the skies over Italy last week as the Piaggio Aero Company and Selex ES successfully completed the first flight of the aptly-named Hammerhead UAV on Thursday, November 14, near the Trapini Air Force Base. The aircraft was remotely controlled from the ground, with no crew on board, while two chase planes kept the UAV in sight during the flight. Read More
How many mobile electronic devices to you have now? A smartphone, a laptop, a tablet, digital camera, maybe even a smart watch? And how often is it necessary to transfer pictures, documents or videos, between your devices? The inTouch technology developed by researchers from the VTT Research Center of Finland lets a ring, bracelet, or even a smart fingernail act as a conduit to transfer information between devices simply and securely – even when the devices are owned by different people. Read More
There is a saying in flying: “If it looks good, it will fly well.” Stefan Klein, a designer from the Slovak Republic, has announced the first flight of his Aeromobil Version 2.5, a flying car prototype he has been developing over the last 20 years. This vehicle is a strikingly beautiful design with folding wings and a propeller in the tail. But will its flight capabilities match its looks? Read More
Standing 20 feet from a race track while dozens of the most expensive cars in the world scream past at almost 200 mph – some might call it the best seat in the house. Except you can’t sit down. The corner marshals are the people stationed out on the track tasked with waving flags, removing debris and helping drivers whose cars have crashed. Last year I was able to volunteer to be among the large track crew for the inaugural US Formula 1 Grand Prix at the Course of the Americas in Austin, Texas, which marked the return of Formula 1 racing to the United States after several years of absence. So what's life like for a corner marshal when race weekend rolls around? Read More
For the last week, I've been living with a 3D printer – one of the cheapest on the market: the Flashforge Creator Dual. After 30 or so prints, I've discovered some of the foibles of home 3D printing, and some of the work-arounds. Is this a glimpse into the future of home fabrication, or a niche hobby piece? Grab some hairspray (seriously) and dive in as Gizmag reviews the FlashForge Creator 3D and, more importantly, takes a detailed look at the practicalities of 3D printing at home. Read More
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