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Aviation

On October, 24 2003, the last Concorde jet went out of service. What began as a promise of supersonic travel for all, ended as a museum exhibit of a false dawn. However, that may be changing with companies such as Aerion and Spike Aerospace looking to take business jets supersonic. At Aviation 2014, an annual event of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, NASA presented examples of the space agency’s work on new technologies that could lead to a revival of civilian supersonic travel within the next 15 years. Read More

The Hondajet has passed another milestone on its way to entering commercial service. After completing FAA certification testing last year, the executive jet's first pair of production HF120 jet engines have been shipped. Read More

Aerion Corporation has upped the cabin size and added an extra engine to the first in its planned range of supersonic business jets currently on the drawing board. Designed with Supersonic Natural Laminar Flow (SNLF) wing technology that was tested in transonic wind tunnel tests and in NASA flight trials, the Aerion AS2 will now use a set of three smaller jet engines in place of its previous large two-jet design to provide quieter running, improved take-off performance, and longer range. Read More
ln a further enhancement to its largest and fastest business jet, the G650, Gulfstream Aerospace has just announced the new G650ER. An ultra-long-range aircraft, the G650ER can travel up to 7,500 nautical miles (13,890 km) at a speed of Mach 0.85, or up to 6,400 nm (11,853 km) at the higher operating speed of Mach 0.90. This is an increase in range of up to 500 nm (926 km) over the original G650. Read More
Flying by the seat of your pants through a dense fog while trying to land on a runway that’s (hopefully) where you think it is may sound like the stuff of nightmares, but modern technology can help reduce the risks. Elbit Systems' new Skylens is a wearable head-up display for commercial pilots that is designed to give a better view of proceedings. According to the company, it’s an easy-to-install system capable of giving pilots augmented vision that can help them navigate through fog and darkness. Read More
In a move that could help address our insatiable thirst for fuel while at the same time help cut CO2 emissions, scientists with the SOLAR-JET (Solar chemical reactor demonstration and Optimization for Long-term Availability of Renewable Jet fuel) project have recently shown that through a multi-step process, concentrated sunlight can be used to convert carbon dioxide into kerosene, which can then be used as jet fuel. Read More
What has a wider wingspan than a 747, weighs the same as a car, and can fly almost forever without a drop of fuel? If you were in Payerne, Switzerland on Wednesday, you would have seen the answer as psychiatrist and explorer Bertrand Piccard and engineer and entrepreneur André Borschberg unveiled the Solar Impulse 2. The result of 12 years work, the ultra-light, solar-powered airplane will attempt to fly around the world next year relying exclusively on solar power to keep it aloft for days at a time. Read More
Helicopters are an invaluable military resource for transporting supplies, carrying out surveillance and reconnaissance, and evacuating casualties from rugged terrain. Unfortunately, they are also a finite resource. That's why DARPA is looking to share the load with the Aerial Reconfigurable Embedded System (ARES) concept, a compact, high-speed and highly-automated delivery system with vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) capabilities. Read More
Whenever the topic of plant-derived biofuels is raised, the issue of turning valuable arable land over to the task of growing feedstock is generally not far behind. A discovery by the Sustainable Bioenergy Research Consortium (SRBC) that desert plants fed by seawater can produce biofuel more efficiently than other well-known feedstocks could help alleviate such concerns. Read More

Over the past few years, we've heard about "green" airliners running on a mixture of jet fuel and biofuels made from things like plants and recycled cooking oil. Now, Boeing is looking at blending jet fuel with green diesel, which is already used to fuel trucks. Read More

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