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Aerodynamics

— Science

Blue Origin conducts wind tunnel tests on its next-gen spacecraft design

By - May 10, 2012 3 Pictures
When it comes to spacecraft that may take the place of the now-defunct space shuttle, it would probably be fair to say that most people probably think of the SpaceX Dragon. It’s sometimes easy to forget, however, that SpaceX is a private company, competing against others for NASA’s business. One of those competitors is Washington state-based Blue Origin, established by Amazon.com founder Jeff Bezos (SpaceX was co-founded by Elon Musk, of PayPal fame). Although the company has been rather secretive about the space vehicle that it’s developing, it recently announced that the design has done well in a series of wind tunnel tests. Read More
— Aircraft

Stunt pilot hopes to build a vertical-winged airplane

By - January 24, 2012 3 Pictures
Matthew Tanner is a Colorado-based air show pilot who also competes in aerobatics competitions and teaches Air Force pilots how to fly. His current stunt aircraft of choice is a Laser Z300. Much as he is able to do with the nimble little airplane, he wants to be able to perform aerial maneuvers that no one has ever seen before. In order to do so, he intends to equip the plane with a pair vertical wings. Read More
— Automotive

Ferrari debuts active aerodynamics system

By - December 8, 2011 1 Picture
For the past couple of years, many of the technologies destined for Ferrari’s road-going supercars were initially developed on the automaker’s track-only 599XX. Based on the 599 GTB Fiorano, the 599XX is made in very limited numbers, and serves as a kind of mobile testbed for new ideas. While it is possible for a few of Ferrari’s favorite people to buy the cars, the company still prepares and drives the vehicles on their behalf, at test tracks and race tracks in Europe and the U.S. Although the car was premiered in 2009 at the Geneva International Motor Show, the latest version is being presented at this month’s Bologna Motor Show. One of the more noteworthy features on the new model is its active aerodynamics system. Read More
— Automotive

Mercedes Benz showcases its Aero Trailer concept in Belgium

By - November 30, 2011 7 Pictures
Being in Belgium in November for a truck show may or may not be your cup of tea/mug of Java, but Mercedes is at least doing its best to make the "Trailer 2011" exhibition interesting. The truck design world moves at a glacial pace compared to the consumer automobile business, and new models have to provide serious and significant commercial improvements if they are to be accepted by the trucking fraternity. Coming off the back of the well-received launch of its new Actros heavyweight tractor unit, Mercedes brought along a trailer concept design that aims to match and extend the significant commercial and environmental advantages of that unit. It looks cool, too. Read More
— Automotive

Honda AC-X plug-in hybrid concept has adaptive aerodynamics and autonomous driving mode

By - November 10, 2011 21 Pictures
Honda's AC-X is a plug-in hybrid concept that at first glance appears to be relatively conservative. It is not conservative in the least, and when the vehicle's full capabilities are unveiled in Tokyo a few weeks from now, we expect it to have front and rear bumpers which raise and lower to offer better aerodynamics depending on the speed, an autonomous or semi-autonomous driving mode which does not require the driver to steer, a radical smart key device and some very interesting 3D GPS displays which stretch right across the dashboard to give the passenger an unprecedented view of the surroundings. Read More
— Aircraft

Solar Ship: The hybrid airship with a low-carbon twist

By - October 24, 2011 7 Pictures
In recent times there's been a resurgence of interest in airships for military and commercial uses as evidenced by Lockheed Martin's High Altitude Long Endurance-Demonstrator (HALE-D) and Hybrid Air Vehicles heavy-lift variant of Northrop Grumman's Long-Endurance Multi-Intelligence Vehicle (LEMV). Like HAV's design, this concept from Canadian company Solar Ship is a hybrid airship that relies on aerodynamics to help provide lift, and like the HALE-D, it would have its top surface area covered in solar cells to provide energy and minimize its carbon footprint. Read More
— Aircraft

'Best of both worlds' MAV combines flapping and gliding flight

By - July 6, 2011 6 Pictures
As I look out of my office window and watch the heart-stopping acrobatics of feeding swifts, it's not difficult to see why so many aircraft designers find inspiration in nature - from birds to bats to insects. Now it's the turn of the swift. Hoping to demonstrate the endurance and performance benefits of a combined flapping and gliding approach to Micro Air Vehicle (MAV) design, researchers have developed an experimental flyer capable of combining both unsteady and steady aerodynamics. Read More
— Automotive

The US$465,000 Lexus LFA Nurburgring – the most expensive Japanese car ever

By - February 21, 2011 49 Pictures
Lexus' LFA supercar is, or was, the most exclusive vehicle ever built by the world’s largest automobile manufacturer – only 500 of the exotic carbon fiber 200 mph V10s will be sold at US$375,000 apiece. Now the racetrack-focused “LFA Nürburgring Package” is set to be revealed. Only 50 such 562 bhp vehicles will be produced with revised aerodynamics and technical refinements designed to fine-tune the exotic two-seat sports coupe to be capable of lapping the fabled Nürburgring Nordschleife circuit under 7:20. Now the average Gomer needs more than just a wad of cash, industrial-sized gonads and a sweet handling, brutally powerful car to get around the “Green Hell” inside eight minutes, let alone seven twenty, so the price includes special instruction sessions on the circuit into the bargain. The car can be had in white, orange or black at US$445,000 or in and matte black for US$465,000, making it the most expensive Japanese road car ever. Read More

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