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Concept Aircraft

Artists drawing of the Zee.Aero concept for a vertical take-off-and-landing (VTOL) flying ...

Zee.Aero, a small company located near the GooglePlex, home to Google, is working on a flying car concept that can take off and land vertically using a plethora of small electric motors turning four-bladed propellers. According to illustrations included with the patent filings, one version of the vehicle is narrow enough to fit into a standard shopping center parking space.  Read More

The remotely operated X-48C Blended Wing Body aircraft lifts off Rogers Dry Lake at Edward...

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

The supersonic bi-directional flying wing (SBiDir-FW) aircraft in high-speed configuration...

A team that has created a supersonic jet design resembling a flying shuriken has been awarded a US$100, 000 grant from NASA’s Innovative Advanced Concepts (NIAC) program to continue development of the aircraft. Aside from looking suitably futuristic, the concept plane’s four-pointed star design serves a practical purpose. By rotating in mid air, the plane can transition between broad-wing subsonic and shorter wingspan supersonic configurations.  Read More

The U.S. Army has completed a successful first flight test of its Advanced Hypersonic Weap...

Following the two test flights of the unmanned Falcon Hypersonic Technology Vehicle (HTV-2) earlier this year, both of which ended prematurely with the vehicle making a “controlled descent” into the Pacific Ocean, the U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command/Army Forces Strategic Command last week conducted the first test flight of the Advanced Hypersonic Weapon (AHW) concept.  Read More

The Solar Ship could be used for a variety of applications - including tourism (Rendered i...

In recent times there's been a resurgence of interest in airships for military and commercial uses as evidenced by Lockheed Martin's High Altitude Long Endurance-Demonstrator (HALE-D) and Hybrid Air Vehicles heavy-lift variant of Northrop Grumman's Long-Endurance Multi-Intelligence Vehicle (LEMV). Like HAV's design, this concept from Canadian company Solar Ship is a hybrid airship that relies on aerodynamics to help provide lift, and like the HALE-D, it would have its top surface area covered in solar cells to provide energy and minimize its carbon footprint.  Read More

Photo highlights from the 49th Paris International Airshow

Over two thousand international exhibitors, 142 aircraft and tens of thousands of visitors gathered at the Le Bourget exhibition center this week for the 49th International Paris Airshow. Despite some grey skies and unwelcome rain, crowds were treated to spectacular daily flying displays and insights into bleeding-edge aerospace technologies that will shape the way we travel around the planet - and beyond - in the 21st Century. Gizmag joined the throng of media organizations soaking up all that the show has to offer - here's our summary of the week in pictures.  Read More

Scale model of the HyperMach SonicStar SSBJ concept

Anyone who has endured a long-haul flight will know that they’re not the most pleasant way to spend a day – and night. Like EADS with its ZEHST concept plane, UK-based aerospace company HyperMach is looking to ease the pain of long-distance air travel – at least for those that can afford it – with its SonicStar supersonic business jet concept that it unveiled at the Paris Air Show today. With its ability to cruise at Mach 3.5 at an altitude of 60,000 ft. (18.9 km), the SonicStar will be able to fly from New York to Paris in under two hours or from New York to Sydney in just five hours – a journey that currently takes over 20 hours on a commercial airliner.  Read More

The ZEHST concept (Photo: Noel McKeegan/Gizmag)

EADS has used the opening day of the 2011 Paris Airshow to showcase an aircraft of the future concept which contemplates speeds beyond Mach 4, meaning it could make the run from Tokyo to London in under 2.5 hours. The ZEHST (Zero Emission Hypersonic Transport) study incorporates three different propulsion systems and could carry passengers to heights of 100,000 feet (32 km) while still meeting the projected European Commission targets for reduced noise, CO2 and NOX emissions by 2050. Blue sky indeed!  Read More

The Airbus Concept Cabin points to the future of air travel

Airbus engineers have outlined their vision of what passengers could expect from air travel circa 2050 - and it sounds like a lot more fun than today's cattle class experience. The Airbus Concept Cabin focuses on high levels of customization tailored to suit individual needs including auto-morphing seats and personalized entertainment. Passengers' body heat would also be harvested via the use of smart materials that integrate the electrical system and do away with the need for conventional wires.  Read More

Odysseus' radical Z-wing configuration

May 2, 2008 Aurora Flight Sciences has revealed the design of the aircraft it hopes will achieve the ambitious goals set out in DARPA's ambitious Vulture program: sustained uninterrupted flight for over five years at altitudes of 60,000-90,000 feet. Known as Odysseus, the solar-powered concept aircraft is as radical as the mission it is designed to accomplish, combining three self-sufficient “constituent aircraft” in a unique Z wing configuration that spans almost 500 feet (150 meters). The modular design provides several advantages - the shape of the aircraft can be adjusted to maximize the solar collection properties during the day and spread flat for aerodynamic efficiency at night-time, and because each of the constituent vehicles is capable of autonomously docking at altitude, the design also facilitates the replacement of one section of the plane whilst it is still aloft.  Read More

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