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Aviation

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

The CAFE Foundation proposes the development of small, neighborhood airports, at which aut...

A little over a year ago, we told you about NASA’s Green Flight Challenge. The Space Agency is seeking designs for low-cost, quiet, short take-off personal aircraft, that require little if any fossil fuel. The winning design, to be decided next July, will win US$1.6 million in production funds. The competition is being run by NASA’s light-aircraft partner CAFE (Comparative Aircraft Flight Efficiency), which envisions the resulting Suburban Air Vehicles (SAVs) taking off and landing at small neighborhood “pocket airports.” At last week’s Future of Electric Vehicles conference, CAFE president Dr. Brien Seeley outlined just how those airports would work.  Read More

Electravia's ElectroLight and ElectroClub

While it may be some time before we see electric propulsion used in commercial airliners, at the other end of the scale, business is booming. The biggest problem facing designers is the weight-to-energy ratio of fuel cells, meaning that they are a heavy way of carrying around energy. Luckily in the light aviation world, designers don't have to worry so much about having long flight durations or carrying heavy payloads. This has made achieving electric and hybrid flight not only possible but also accessible to the average aviator.  Read More

The Snowbird on its record-breaking flight

Ornithopters, aircraft that fly by flapping their wings, are a staple at birdman rallies the world over, inevitably resulting in the pilots of such craft plunging headlong into the drink. Now, more than 500 years after Leonardo da Vinci sketched the first human-powered ornithopter in 1485, a team from the University of Toronto have succeeded where so many before them have failed and made aviation history by achieving a world record for sustained flight in a human-powered aircraft with flapping wings.  Read More

The Boeing SolarEagle will make its first demonstration flight in 2014 as part of DARPA's ...

The U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency’s (DARPA) Vulture program, which aims to develop and demonstrate technology to enable a single high-altitude unmanned airplane (UAV) to operate continuously for a period of five years, has entered phase II. Under the terms of an US$89 million contract, Boeing will develop a full-scale demonstrator called the SolarEagle that will make its first demonstration flight in 2014. The aircraft will have highly efficient electric motors and propellers and a high-aspect-ratio, 400-foot wing for increased solar power and aerodynamic performance.  Read More

Privateer model on display at AirVenture 2010

Billed as the "first new Amphibian design in 60 years," the Privateer incorporates lightweight carbon fiber composite construction, a shrouded rear-mounted propeller, unique float layout and a lower center of gravity with the aim of optimizing safety for both water and land operations. Created by aviation enthusiast and entrepreneur John A. Meekins along with partner and aircraft engineer Bill Husa, we spied the design on show at AirVenture 2010. A prototype is currently under construction and it's expected to be in the air next year.  Read More

Boeing SUGAR Volt concept design (Image: NASA/The Boeing Company)

Although the theme of AirVenture 2010 was "Salute to Veterans," the future of air travel was also brought to the fore – and that means electric airplanes. The focus on e-aviation culminated in the World Symposium of Electric Aircraft last Friday and among the many interesting designs discussed was Boeing's Subsonic Ultra Green Aircraft Research (SUGAR) Volt concept. Borne out of the same NASA research program that gave birth to MIT's D “double bubble” concept, the SUGAR Volt is a twin-engine aircraft design notable for its trussed, elongated wings and electric battery gas turbine hybrid propulsion system – a system designed to reduce fuel burn by more than 70 percent and total energy use by 55 percent. Could this be the future shape of commercial air transportation?  Read More

EAA AirVenture 2010

What began in Milwaukee in 1953 as a get-together for aircraft enthusiasts has grown into the most well known event on the aviation calendar. EAA AirVenture – also known as Oshkosh after the town where it now takes place – rightly deserves the title of the world's greatest aviation celebration. Everyone around the globe with an interest in flying wants to be here and each year around 10,000 aircraft and half a million visitors make the pilgrimage. The 2010 event wrapped up today, so after a week of enjoying all the neck-straining action and cutting edge aviation technology on show, it's time to take a look back at EAA AirVenture 2010 in pictures.  Read More

4 Paws Aviation's oxygen hood for dogs means you can take to the skies with your canine co...

We know our canine companions like to walk and run and go for a ride in the car but how many of us would consider taking to the skies with our dog? If you’re a dog owner who likes to get airborne with your furry friend you might find that the Supplemental Oxygen Supply Hood is a handy piece of equipment to have on board. It’s an air system for dogs traveling at altitudes of 8,000 feet and above, and it’s currently on display at Oshkosh 2010.  Read More

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