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Aviation

— Aircraft

X-48C Blended Wing Body aircraft flight testing campaign comes to a close

By - April 15, 2013 10 Pictures
The flight testing campaign of the X-48C Blended Wing Body (BWB, aka Hybrid Wing Body) research aircraft kicked off on August 7, 2012, at NASA’s Dryden Flight Research Center. Eight months later the campaign has come to a close with the 30th and final flight carried out on April 12. NASA plans to use the data gathered over the campaign to aid in the design of future “green” airliners that are quieter and more fuel-efficient than conventional aircraft, while Boeing is touting the design's potential military applications. Read More
— Aircraft

MIT researchers study electro-hydrodynamic thrust

By - April 8, 2013 2 Pictures
Imagine an aircraft that is silent, invisible to infrared detectors, has zero emissions and can hover in an eerie manner that helicopters can’t. Now imagine it coming from technology currently used to suck dust out of living room air. That’s what a team of researchers at MIT is doing. They've conducted a study that indicates that ionic thrusters, currently a science fair curiosity, might one day take to the skies. Read More
— Aircraft

Boeing completes final certification test of new 787 battery system

By - April 5, 2013 9 Pictures
On Friday, Boeing completed the final certification test required by the United States Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) for approval of the company’s lithium-ion battery modifications for the 787 Dreamliner aircraft. The test flight was made using a Boeing-owned production airplane built for LOT Polish Airlines with the company reporting that the test was “straightforward and the flight was uneventful.” Read More
— Aircraft

FAA grants Arlington Police Department permission to fly UAVs

Starting in April, 2013, the Arlington Texas police department will have permission from the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration to fly two small helicopter UAVs over the city in certain situations, including taking crime scene photos or looking for missing persons. While these UAVs have been operating for some time, until now flights have been restricted to remote testing area. Read More
— Aircraft

The hottest jet engine ever guzzles less gas

By - February 27, 2013 11 Pictures
Engineers at GE think they could have a revolution on their hands, thanks to the new jet engine they've been working with that runs hotter than any of its predecessors. When combined with some other design changes, they figure their so-called ADVENT (short for ADaptive Versatile ENgine Technology) design could improve fuel efficiency by as much as 25 percent, extend flying ranges by 30 percent, and boost thrust up to 10 percent over contemporary engines. Read More
— Aircraft

Wireless, handheld device for ground control of X-47B unmanned aircraft tested

By - November 15, 2012 2 Pictures
While impressive, unmanned flight is just one of the capabilities required of the Northrop Grumman-built X-47B Unmanned Combat Air System (UCAS) if it is to enter service with the U.S. Navy. Prior to and after any flights, the aircraft also needs to be safely maneuvered around the crowded deck of an aircraft carrier. Northrop Grumman and the U.S. Navy have taken the first step towards this with the demonstration of a wireless, handheld device that will allow deck operators to remotely control the aircraft on a carrier deck. Read More
— Aircraft

X-51a test results released

By - October 24, 2012 5 Pictures
The United States Air Force (USAF) has released the results of last August’s third test of the X-51a Waverider, which resulted in the crash of the unmanned scramjet demonstrator. At a press teleconference featuring the Program Manager for Air Force Research Laboratory, Charles Brink, it was confirmed that a malfunctioning fin was the cause of the crash. However, engineers are confident of correcting the fault in time for the fourth test flight scheduled for (Northern Hemisphere) late spring or early summer of next year. Read More
— Military

Ministry of Defence developing new anti-laser eyewear

By - October 14, 2012 5 Pictures
Laser pointers may be great fun to tease the cat with, but for pilots they are a major hazard. The United States FAA reports over 2,000 incidents every year of planes having lasers pointed at them - some of them powerful enough to pop a balloon. To combat the danger that lasers pose to aviation, the U.K. Ministry of Defence (MoD) is developing new eye wear that can filter out a wide range of laser wavelengths. Read More
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