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Aviation

Boeing 787 Dreamliner on display in Paris (Photo: Gizmag)

One of the most anticipated commercial airplanes in recent years made an appearance at the 49th Paris Airshow this week. The first flight-test 787 Dreamliner (ZA001) spent two days on static display on the tarmac at Le Bourget and will take a short tour through Europe before returning to the U.S.  Read More

D-Dalus - an entirely new genre of aircraft arrives

Austrian research company IAT21 has presented a new type of aircraft at the Paris Air Show which has the potential to become aviation's first disruptive technology since the jet engine. Neither fixed wing nor rotor craft, the D-Dalus uses four, mechanically-linked, contra-rotating, cylindrical turbines for its propulsion, and by altering the angle of the blades, it can launch vertically, hover perfectly still, move in any direction, and thrust upwards and hence "glue down" upon landing, which it can easily do on the deck of a ship, or even a moving vehicle. It's also almost silent, has the dynamic stability to enter buildings, handles rough weather with ease, flies very long distances very quickly and can lift very heavy loads. It's also so simple that it requires little maintenance and requires no more maintenance expertise than an auto mechanic. It accordingly holds immense promise as a platform for personal flight, for military usage, search and rescue, and much more.  Read More

When the new Boeing 747-8 Freighter flies from Seattle to the Paris Air Show, it will mark...

One of the aircraft on display at next week's Paris Air Show will be Boeing's new 747-8 Freighter. While the 76-meter (250-foot) jumbo jet will no doubt be pretty impressive to see on the ground, what many gawkers may not realize is that its flight from Seattle to Paris will have marked an aviation milestone - it will be the first time a commercial aircraft has crossed the Atlantic Ocean using biofuel.  Read More

Eurocopter's EC145 Mercedes-Benz Style luxury helicopter

A year on from the first unveiling of the EC145 Mercedes-Benz Style multi-purpose helicopter concept at last year's European Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition (EBACE) in Geneva, Eurocopter has shown the first finished aircraft at EBACE 2011. Inspired by Mercedes' high-end vehicles, the twin-engine Mercedes-Benz Style helicopter features a versatile interior enabled by a modular approach that allows the aircraft to be tailored to suit a range of travel needs.  Read More

Daredevil Yves Rossy, aka Jetman, has successfully flown across part of the Grand Canyon (...

Yves Rossy, the former Swiss jet fighter pilot better known as Jetman, flew over the Grand Canyon last Saturday (May 7th) using his wearable jet-propelled wing. It was the first time he has flown with the device in North America, having previously used it to cross the English Channel, perform an aerial loop, fly in formation with stunt planes, and to unsuccessfully attempt traversing a stretch of the Atlantic Ocean between Morocco and Spain.  Read More

Apache Attack helicopters reduce vulnerability with new Ground Fire Acquisition System

Firing a rifle at a Longbow Apache Attack helicopter in the hope of claiming a US$8 million scalp with a 50 cent bullet might not be a very good idea for too much longer - unless you like keeping company with a Hellfire missile. The U.S. Army’s Longbow Apache Attack helicopters are about to gain a networked Ground Fire Acquisition System (GFAS) which uses infrared cameras to detect muzzle flashes from ground fire, and displays the location and distance of the shooters as an icon on the pilot’s display screen. Not only does this enable the immediate acquisition and prosecution of targets, it also offers the same information to ground forces via the net-centric battlefield information system, giving everyone in the fight vastly improved situational awareness.  Read More

Auto-gyro's Cavalon at Aero Friedrichshafen this week

The newest addition to the gyrocopter genre arrived at Aero Friedrichshafen this week, in the form of a side-by-side, fully-enclosed, composite construction Cavalon gyrocopter for just EUR65,000. The gyrocopter is to the helicopter what the microlight is to traditional small aircraft. Invented in 1923 by Spaniard Juan de la Cierva, the gyrocopter uses quite a different layout to the helicopter to give it stability at low speed. It is cheap to run, takes off and lands on a ridiculously small footprint, and has a powered pusher propeller in addition to an unpowered main rotor.  Read More

An artist's impression of the FlyNano at play

Finnish aeronautical engineer Aki Suokas launched a remarkable new single-seat aircraft this week at Aero Friedrichshafen. The FlyNano is made entirely of carbon fiber composite, lands and takes off on water, and weighs just 70 kilograms ready to fly. Three variants are available: a 20 kW electric-only version, and petrol-engined 24 bhp and 35 bhp models, the latter proposed as a racing version. The Flynano tops out at over 140 km/h, with a service ceiling of 3 km. If you think that's remarkable, the most expensive of the three variants ex-factory and ex-VAT is just EUR 27,000 (US$39,000) and deliveries begin three months from now.  Read More

The HondaJet completed its maiden flight on Dec. 20

The first FAA-conforming HA-420 HondaJet has successfully completed its maiden flight, signaling the start of flight-testing to support certification of the aircraft. The milestone took place on December 20 with the aircraft taking off from the Honda Aircraft Company’s world headquarters at the Piedmont Triad International Airport in Greensboro, North Carolina, for a flight that lasted 51 minutes.  Read More

The Horological Machine No. 4 Thunderbolt is a titanium and sapphire watch inspired by air...

If you enjoy building model airplanes as a boy, and become a designer of high-end watches as an adult, what do you end up doing? If you're Maximilian Büsser, you create a watch that resembles an airplane – and that costs as much as one, too. That’s the story behind the new watch from Switzerland’s MB&F (Maximilian Büsser & Friends), the Horological Machine No. 4 Thunderbolt. The 50-jewel titanium and sapphire timepiece looks like it might wrench itself free of your wrist and start performing inside loops in the sky ... given that it sells for a mind-blowing 150,000 euro (US$196,812), however, you’d probably want to keep it close at hand.  Read More

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