Advertisement

Aircraft

Space

DARPA's ALASA space launch system would turn airports into spaceports

If you've ever dreamed of turning your municipal airport into a satellite launching facility, then DARPA has your number. At this week's 18th Annual Commercial Space Transportation Conference in Washington, DC, Bradford Tousley, director of DARPA’s Tactical Technology Office reported on the progress of the agency's Airborne Launch Assist Space Access (ALASA) program, which is designed to launch 100-lb (45-kg) satellites into low-Earth orbit using an expendable rocket dropped from a conventional aircraft. Read More

Drones

DJI firmware update makes the White House a drone no-fly zone

Following the crash-landing of a drone on the grounds of the White House last week, the Chinese manufacturer of said drone, DJI, has released new firmware to prevent overzealous pilots flying UAVs anywhere near 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. Available to download now for owners of the company's popular Phantom 2 drones, the update signals a willingness from the company to work with regulators to clear the air for safer drone flight.Read More

Good Thinking

New maritime monitoring system would draw on existing satellites

According to a scientist from the University of Leicester in the UK, the search for missing ships and sea-crossing aircraft – such as Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 – would be much easier if existing satellites were simply used differently. Dr. Nigel Bannister is developing a system in which spacecraft that already keep an eye on the land could also turn their attention to the sea. Read More

Drones

UAE dangles US$1 million in prize money to encourage Drones For Good

The word "drone" is synonymous with autonomous military aircraft that hail down death and destruction from on high. But the United Arab Emirates (UAE) is looking to highlight the humanitarian potential of the technology with its Drones For Good competition. Entrants include vehicles that detect landmines, plant trees and service slums all in the hunt for the industry's most prestigious (and probably only) prize, with the inaugural first place winner set to be announced next week to take home US$1 million.Read More

Military

The B-52 gets upgraded weapons bay

For a plane that's now being flown by the original crews' grandchildren, the B-52 is still going strong. For its latest upgrade, Boeing has installed a new weapons bay launcher that will allow the venerable bomber to carry smart weapons inside and reduce fuel consumption. Read More

Military

KC-46A tanker program makes first test flight

Boeing and the US Air force have announced the successful first test flight of the KC-46A tanker program. Set to replace the Air Force's aging fleet of KC-135 Stratotankers, the KC-46A is designed to act primarily as an airborne refueling tanker, but can also carry passengers and cargo, or act as a medivac airplane. Read More

Aircraft

Hybrid-electric aircraft takes to the skies

We're all familiar with hybrid cars, but hybrid planes are virtually unheard of. Now though, researchers from the University of Cambridge, UK, have partnered with Boeing to test what they say is the first hybrid-electric aircraft. It is said to use 30 percent less fuel than a gas-only equivalent.Read More

Aircraft

Micronautix Triton concept aircraft: Passengers get a front seat too

Perhaps one of the reasons most people are so blasé about the miracle of human flight these days is that for the most part, we're totally cut off from it. Peering through the milky, scratched glass of a passenger plane window offers just a tiny, claustrophobic glimpse of the world falling away beneath you - what the pilot sees would make the layman's heart sing with joy. And that's the simple thought behind the Triton concept design – to give passengers the most involving and magnificent experience possible, and maybe even inspire them to become pilots themselves.Read More

    Advertisement
    Advertisement
    Advertisement

    See the stories that matter in your inbox every morning