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Aeroplanes


— Aircraft

Odysseus: Aurora's radical, unlimited endurance, solar powered aircraft

By - May 1, 2008 3 Pictures
May 2, 2008 Aurora Flight Sciences has revealed the design of the aircraft it hopes will achieve the ambitious goals set out in DARPA's ambitious Vulture program: sustained uninterrupted flight for over five years at altitudes of 60,000-90,000 feet. Known as Odysseus, the solar-powered concept aircraft is as radical as the mission it is designed to accomplish, combining three self-sufficient “constituent aircraft” in a unique Z wing configuration that spans almost 500 feet (150 meters). The modular design provides several advantages - the shape of the aircraft can be adjusted to maximize the solar collection properties during the day and spread flat for aerodynamic efficiency at night-time, and because each of the constituent vehicles is capable of autonomously docking at altitude, the design also facilitates the replacement of one section of the plane whilst it is still aloft. Read More
— Aircraft

Falx to debut hybrid-electric tilt-rotor aircraft with inbuilt solar charging

By - April 28, 2008 7 Pictures
Tilt-rotor aircraft have been around since the 1950s, offering the vertical take-off, hovering and landing abilities of a helicopter with the range, high flight ceiling, speed and fuel economy of a turboprop aeroplane. Now a new venture from Falx Air Vehicles is planning to push the fuel economy angle even further by using a hybrid-electric motor and inbuilt solar arrays. The company expects its upcoming compact single and double-seater tiltrotor aircraft to use as little as 10 litres of fuel per hour airborne, and the quiet electric operation should see these small, light and manoeuvrable aircraft make solid stealth vehicles for military uses. Though not yet confirmed, we may see a full-size prototype as early as the Farnsworth air show this year, and Falx is aiming to have the craft fully certified by the end of 2009. Read More
— Aircraft

Next-generation Sky Warrior unmanned aircraft takes flight

By - April 17, 2008 2 Pictures
April 18, 2008 General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc. (GAASI) has announced the successful flight of the first Sky Warrior® Block 1 aircraft for the U.S. Army’s Extended Range/Multi-Purpose (ER/MP) unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) program. Derived from the Predator UAV which has been deployed in Iraq, but with double the weapons capacity, the Sky Warrior is a multi-mission aircraft designed to perform long-endurance, surveillance, communications relay and tactical strike missions. It offers increased range, greater payload flexibility (including the ability to carry four Hellfire missiles) and can remain airborne for 30 hours at a time at altitudes above 25,000 feet. Read More
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