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Noel McKeegan

Environment

Nuon Solar Team hopes to reclaim World Solar Challenge title with streamlined Nuna6

The Nuon Solar Team has revealed its lightest solar powered vehicle yet. Not only is the 145 kg Nuna6 around 10 percent lighter than its predecessor Nuna5 and half the weight of the original Nuna which competed in 2001, it is also 15 inches shorter and has 10 percent less air resistance. This month's unveiling comes as the team of students from the Delft University of Technology prepares for a tilt at victory in the 2011 World Solar Challenge - a biennial 1800 mile race through the heart of Australia that has become one of the world's premiere showcases for these incredibly efficient vehicles and the technologies that underpin them.Read More

Automotive

Antonov's 3-speed transmission for electric vehicles boosts efficiency by 15 percent

Electric vehicles have been a reality for more than 100 years, but it's only in the last decade or so that the world has truly woken up to their potential as a viable, cleaner urban transport alternative to their combustion engined cousins. During this EV renaissance much of the focus has been on developing improved power sources like batteries and fuel cells in order to deliver the range and performance consumers have become accustomed to during the age of oil. Transmissions on the other hand, despite being so important in the ICE space, hardly rate a mention because the wide torque curve of electric motors makes them largely irrelevant. It could be time to rethink that approach according to U.K. based engineering firm Antonov. The company has produced a 3-speed transmission designed specifically for electric vehicles that promises to bring significant efficiency gains and a better driver experience. The company's Business Development Manager Dave Paul outlined these benefits in a presentation at the IDTechEX Electric vehicles conference this week in Stuttgart.Read More
Aircraft

The 2011 Paris Airshow in pictures

Over two thousand international exhibitors, 142 aircraft and tens of thousands of visitors gathered at the Le Bourget exhibition center this week for the 49th International Paris Airshow. Despite some grey skies and unwelcome rain, crowds were treated to spectacular daily flying displays and insights into bleeding-edge aerospace technologies that will shape the way we travel around the planet - and beyond - in the 21st Century. Gizmag joined the throng of media organizations soaking up all that the show has to offer - here's our summary of the week in pictures.Read More

Aircraft

EADS ZEHST concept plane: How does Tokyo to London in just over two hours sound?

EADS has used the opening day of the 2011 Paris Airshow to showcase an aircraft of the future concept which contemplates speeds beyond Mach 4, meaning it could make the run from Tokyo to London in under 2.5 hours. The ZEHST (Zero Emission Hypersonic Transport) study incorporates three different propulsion systems and could carry passengers to heights of 100,000 feet (32 km) while still meeting the projected European Commission targets for reduced noise, CO2 and NOX emissions by 2050. Blue sky indeed!Read More

Aircraft

Variable-wing prototype points to the future of UAVs

The role of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) has expanded rapidly in both military and civilian circles over the past decade and although most designs to date are miniature versions of conventional aircraft, we can expect to see much more radical examples emerge in the near future. In developing this next-generation of UAVs engineers are looking to go beyond the limitations of fixed wing and rotary wing aircraft and to do it, they are turning to nature's ultimate flying machines - birds. We've already seen seen flapping-wing micro-aircraft, robotic seagulls and even a design based on a pterodactyl. Engineers at UC San Diego are furthering this approach with research into variable-wing techniques that could result in a bird-like UAV capable of spot landing.Read More

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