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Aviation

Aircraft

MIT researchers study electro-hydrodynamic thrust

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

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

Drones

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

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

Environment

Recycled plastic waste to fuel Sydney to London Cessna flight

British pilot Jeremy Rowsell is set to fly solo from Sydney to London in a Cessna 182 aircraft powered solely by diesel derived from "end-of-life" plastic (ELP) waste. If all goes to plan, the endeavor will set a new record time for the journey in a single-engine piston plane, and represent a compelling argument for the viability of ELP as a fuel source. Read More

Aircraft

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

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

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

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

Aircraft

Morphing leading edge reduces drag and noise in takeoff and landing

Passengers looking out the window of a passenger plane will likely have noticed slats on the leading edge of the wing, along with the flaps on the trailing edge of the wing, being extended during takeoff and landing. These leading edge slats provide the lift necessary at low speeds, with the gap between the wing and the slats directing air from the underside of the wing to the top. Unfortunately, this gap also generates a lot of noise. A team of researchers has now developed a morphing leading edge that eliminates the gap and reduces noise and drag during landing.Read More

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