The newest entry in the fledgling space (or near-space) tourism sector will see passengers take a balloon ride to an altitude of 30 km (18.6 mi) from where they will be treated to a spectacular view of the Earth. World View Enterprises has now obtained US Federal Aviation Administration approval for its proposed balloon experiences, which will cost US$75k, and are projected to begin in 2016.
Even before it received type certificate
from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) in September 2012, the Gulfstream G650 was racking up the records, thanks in large part to its Mach 0.925 top speed
. The latest record it has claimed is for the fastest westbound, around-the-world flight for a non-supersonic aircraft, which the G650 completed in 41 hours and seven minutes.
There is a saying in flying: “If it looks good, it will fly well.” Stefan Klein, a designer from the Slovak Republic, has announced the first flight of his Aeromobil Version 2.5, a flying car prototype he has been developing over the last 20 years. This vehicle is a strikingly beautiful design with folding wings and a propeller in the tail. But will its flight capabilities match its looks?
There was a ray of hope recently for those who are looking forward to a car that’s a bit more Blade Runnery as Terrafugia's Transition flying car
made its first public flights at EAA AirVenture in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. There, the Terrafugia team conducted two 20-minute flight demonstrations and also showed off the capability for the Transition's wings to be folded up so it can be driven about like a car.
In April of this year, a BAE Systems Jetstream research aircraft flew from Preston in Lancashire, England, to Inverness, Scotland and back. This 500-mile (805 km) journey wouldn't be worth noting if it weren't for the small detail that its pilot was not on board, but sitting on the ground in Warton, Lancashire and that the plane did most of the flying itself. Even this alteration of a standard commercial prop plane into an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) seems a back page item until you realize that this may herald the biggest revolution in civil aviation since Wilbur Wright won the coin toss at Kitty Hawk in 1903.
There was a surprise appearance at the Paris Air Show
on Friday as the first prototype Airbus A350 XWB airliner did a flypast of the crowds at Le Bourget Airport. The flypast was part of what was the aircraft’s third time in the air and was a last minute bonus appearance due to it performing much better than expected on its previous two test flights
EADS has once again taken to the Paris Air Show to present a vision of commercial aviation in 2050. Developed in partnership with Rolls-Royce to increase the efficiency of future airliners, its E-Thrust concept is a hybrid electric propulsion system that EADS says could cut fuel consumption, emissions and noise. EADS and Airbus have baked the E-Thrust into an aircraft design, which EADS calls the eConcept.
Finding hangars to house an aircraft with a wingspan greater than a Boeing 787 Dreamliner
is no easy task when planning a round-the-world journey. That’s why the Solar Impulse team designed an inflatable mobile hangar to be used on the Solar Impulse’s planned 2015 circumnavigation of the globe. After a storm damaged the hangar that was to host the solar-powered aircraft at Lambert-St. Louis International Airport, the team was forced to deploy the structure for the first time to keep the 2013 Across America mission
In the business world, time is money (and bragging rights). In April, the Citation X
took said rights from the Gulfstream G650
with its maximum speed of Mach 0.935. Another contender could soon be on the tarmac in the form of the Saker S-1. With a design inspired by military fighter jets, US-based Saker Aircraft says its S-1 will cruise at Mach 0.95 and reach a top speed of Mach 0.99.
The Solar Impulse has broken its own record for the longest distance flight of a solar-powered aircraft following the second leg of its journey across the USA
. Solar Impulse touched down in Texas at 1:08 a.m. local time after a flight of 18 hours 21 minutes having covered at least 868 miles.