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Aviation

Volta Volaré has begun taking orders for its four-seater GT4 hybrid private aircraft it calls "the most technologically advanced private aircraft available anywhere on Earth." Though the GT4 is perfectly capable of taking off and flying powered only electrically, a gas engine starts when the airplane's battery drops to 25 percent capacity in order to recharge it mid-flight. Surprisingly, perhaps, Volta Volaré makes a strong economic case for the GT4. Because the powertrain has only one moving part - the motor or "EViation Drive" - the company claims the need for maintenance is reduced significantly, offering increases in TBO (time between overhaul) by up to a factor of ten when compared to a combustion engine. Read More

On September 16, 2011, the pilot of a highly modified WW2 P-51D airplane crashed at the National Championship Air Races in Reno, Nevada. The tragic accident saw the plane known as the "Galloping Ghost" crash into the box seat spectator area, killing the pilot and 10 spectators, with 60 others injured. Now the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has provided an update on its investigation into the much publicized incident. Read More

Cessna seized upon the frankly unmissable opportunity to make a major announcement at this year's Sun 'n Fun International Fly-In at Lakeland, Florida, by announcing that its luxury single-pilot aircraft, the Cessna Corvalis TTX, has entered production. The new aircraft, proclaimed by Cessna to be the "world's fastest fixed-gear aircraft," will replace the old Corvalis TT. Read More

Three of the world’s biggest aircraft manufacturers have set aside their differences in an effort to accelerate the development of biofuel for commercial aviation. In a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed this week, Boeing, Airbus and Embraer say they have agreed to work together on the development of drop-in, affordable aviation biofuels that will help the aviation industry reduce its carbon footprint. Read More

A throwback to early 20th Century aviation may hold the key to eliminating the sonic boom - at least according to researchers at MIT and Stanford University. Strongly reminiscent of biplanes still in use today, the researcher's concept supersonic aircraft introduces a second wing which it is claimed cancels the shockwaves generated by objects near or beyond the sound barrier. Read More
NASA has developed a pair of augmented reality glasses designed especially for commercial airline pilots to see during the worst visual conditions. The glasses include a heads-up display showing a virtual overlay of the runway and airport, head tracking technology, and voice controls - features that may help pilots keep their eyes where they're most needed. Read More

Eurocopter is set to build on the success of its X3 demonstrator with plans to introduce an advanced X4 helicopter into service in 2017. Designed to replace the AS365 and EC155 Dauphin medium twin helicopters, Eurocopter is keeping its cards close to its chest in regards to the X4 concept, but has said it will feature a radically different cockpit. Read More

What is set to be the latest addition to Cessna’s Citation line of business jets made its first flight this week. The Cessna Citation Ten prototype flew for more than two hours in the skies over Cessna’s main manufacturing facility at Wichita, Kansas, with the aircraft's stability and control, handling, autopilot and autothrottle systems, engine operability and avionics all put to the test. Cessna says all systems functioned as expected on the maiden flight, keeping the Citation Ten on track for FAA certification in mid-2013, with first deliveries planned for the second half of 2013. Read More
Twenty-eight years ago, the United States Navy decided that it wanted a field replacement for its A-6 Intruder ground-attack aircraft. A team from McDonnell Douglas and General Dynamics won the contract to design the plane, which would be an all-weather, aircraft carrier-based stealth bomber, known as the A-12 Avenger II. Its first flight was planned for December 1990, but technical difficulties and cost overruns kept the team from meeting that deadline. By January 1991, in fact, the Secretary of Defense cancelled the program due to breach of contract. A legal battle between the Navy and McDonnell Douglas ensued, and continues to this day. Now, however, it’s possible to own a literal “piece” of the story – a cockpit canopy reportedly made for the A-12 is for sale on eBay. Read More
Honda's first ever commercial aircraft, appropriately named the HondaJet, follows in the footsteps of the company's ground-breaking CB750 motorcycle and S600 sports car by aiming to provide superior performance and value - this time in the light business jet market. Continuing an intensive flight test regime to meet U.S. Federal Aviation Authority approval that began one year ago, the latest FAA-conforming test aircraft known as F2 has now begun flight testing out of the company's headquarters at Greensboro's Piedmont Triad International Airport. Read More
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