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Loz Blain

Drones

Drone School 1: Choosing a beginner quadcopter

Multicopters are one of the hottest consumer gadgets on the market, and for good reason. They're cheap, easy to fly, a ton of fun, and by far the easiest way to get into radio controlled flying. This Drone School series is our way to help new flyers get off the ground, and over the next few weeks we'll get into some exercises to build your skills and capabilities for maximum fun with minimal crashes. For starters, let's look at how to pick a good first quadcopter.Read More

Automotive

Revolutionary steel treatment paves the way for radically lighter, stronger, cheaper cars

Back in 2011, we wrote about a fascinating new way to heat-treat regular, cheap steel to endow it with an almost miraculous blend of characteristics. Radically cheaper, quicker and less energy-intensive to produce, Flash Bainite is stronger than titanium by weight, and ductile enough to be pressed into shape while cold without thinning or cracking. It's now being tested by three of the world's five largest car manufacturers, who are finding they can produce thinner structural car components that are between 30-50 percent lighter and cheaper than the steel they've been using, while maintaining the same performance is crash tests. Those are revolutionary numbers in the auto space.
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Aircraft

Joby's wild 16-rotor convertible aircraft for long-range, high-speed, electric VTOL commuting

Personal electric VTOL (vertical take off and landing) commuting may not be far off, thanks to accelerating improvements in battery technology. Joby Aviation has put forward an incredible two-seater plane concept that uses 12 tilting electric propellers to provide multirotor-style balanced VTOL capabilities. Once it reaches cruising speeds, these rotors fold away into aerodynamic bullet shapes, and the aircraft can reach speeds of up to 200 mph (322 km/h) and ranges of up to 200 miles using four additional cruise-optimized props on the backs of the wings and tail fins.Read More

Motorcycles

Wunderlich adds electric 2WD system and reverse gear to a standard BMW R1200GS

Two-wheel-drive motorcycles have some real advantages, but in the past they've tended to be highly complex systems that require significant re-plumbing of your motorcycle. That's what makes this concept from German Beemer tuners Wunderlich so appealing –using an electric hub motor in the front wheel, it looks like a relatively simple way to add electric 2WD, as well as a handy reverse gear, to a standard BMW R1200GS.Read More

Motorcycles

Benelli Tornado Naked T: Italy gets its own monkeybike

Italian brand Benelli had a wee surprise up its sleeve at EICMA 2015: a European-designed, Chinese built monkeybike with its sights set squarely on Honda's giggle-machine Grom. With a choice of 125 or 135cc single cylinder air cooled engines, the Tornado Naked T looks every bit as silly, and every bit as much fun.Read More

Motorcycles

Forkless cafe racers, supercharged streetfighters and kit superbikes: Bimota's bizarre EICMA selection

Ultra-exotic Italian brand Bimota laid on a superb selection of eye-popping new goodies at EICMA 2015 in Milan. For starters, this bizarre hub-steered cafe racer, a retro take on the ultra-futuristic Tesi range. Then there's the Diavel-powered Impeto streetfighter with its optional supercharger, and finally the kit bike to end all kit bikes, a build-your-own Bimota BB3 superbike kit.Read More

Motorcycles

Suzuki announces all-new GSX-R1000 superbike at EICMA 2015

Devastated by the financial crisis of 2008, Suzuki has been forced to sit by and watch as its rivals dominate the superbike class. But now the plucky Japanese company is ready to step back on the dance floor and boogie with a brand new GSX-R1000, built from the ground up to put the Big Gixxer back in contention at the pointy end of the sportsbike market. Featuring a mechanical variable valve timing system, Suzuki is aiming to engineer the L7 GSX-R so well it doesn't need top-shelf electronics like an Inertial Measurement Unit to compete.Read More

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