Highlights from the 2014 LA Auto Show

Electric Aircraft

Sikorsky Project Firefly technology demonstrator

Officially announced at AirVenture 2010, Sikorsky's Project Firefly sets out to demonstrate the feasibility and showcase the benefits of electrically powered helicopters. The technology demonstrator is based on an S-300C light helicopter, with a 190-horsepower electric motor replacing the standard piston-engine and lithium ion battery packs added to either side of the cabin. The result is a significantly more efficient system that – although it's expected to fall short of typical helicopter performance when the first flight takes place later this year – is just the tip of the iceberg for the new era of manned electric rotorcraft.  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

Solar Impulse completes all night flight milestone Solar Impulse HB-SIA (Image: Solar Impu...

A plane powered entirely by the sun that flies at night. It sounds improbable, but Solar Impulse has just proven that it can be done. Following on from its maiden flight in April, the solar plane flew through the night in the skies above Switzerland this week, passing another important milestone on a journey that has already lasted seven years and is set to culminate in an attempt to fly around the world non-stop in 2012.  Read More

The Green Cri was created as a scientific research aircraft

If stardom is measured by camera time and the number of drooling onlookers, then the Green Cri was undoubtedly the star of the recent Paris Green Air Show. The experimental aerobatic electric aircraft hasn't yet spent any time in the air, but that didn't seem to matter. Its four engines, gorgeous smooth lines and intriguing bubble pilot enclosure ensured that it remained constantly within the camera frames of visitors and journalists alike.  Read More

The Magnificent APEV electric Demoichelle

Despite the 10-15 knot winds cutting across the airfield at Le Bourget in Paris for the Green Air Show, visitors were treated to the wonderful sight of the electric Demoichelle in the air. The treasured creation of the Association for Promotion of Flying Ladders (APEV) the electric monoplane looks as though it was designed by the ghost of Alberto Santos-Dumont himself.  Read More

The Puffin in full flight ... electric motors deliver a top speed of around 150mph and a r...

Be honest. Who hasn’t dreamed about flying in their own personal aircraft? NASA aerospace engineer Mark Moore moved his dreams one step closer to reality by devising this concept – the Puffin personal air vehicle. It’s a vertical take-off and landing tail-sitter that has generated quite a lot of interest from those inside and outside of NASA. It’s definitely a weird-looking craft, with a tail that splits into four "legs" that serve as landing gear. It lifts off like a helicopter, hovers, and then leans forward to fly horizontally with the pilot lying down like in a hang-glider.  Read More

The Solar Impulse HB-SIA has completed a successful maiden flight in the skies over Payern...

Following a series of runway tests late last year the Solar Impulse HB-SIA has taken to the air for the first time in the skies over Payerne, Switzerland. Piloted by Markus Scherdel, the completely solar powered craft reached an altitude of 1,200 meters and executed various maneuvers designed to test control systems and verify behavior against flight simulator calculations. The aircraft was in the air for 87-minutes before landing safely to the cheers of the Solar Impulse team.  Read More

Solar Impulse takes to the runway for a low-speed series of tests

Gizmag has followed closely the progress of Solar Impulse from back when it was just a dream through to it latest developments, which now include it’s recent runway test. For the first time, the Solar Impulse HB-SIA has ventured out under its own steam (solar power) and taxied down the runway. Entirely powered by the sun, the aircraft has a giant wingspan of 61m and is covered in almost 12,000 solar cells.  Read More

The first test flight of the Mantis next generation UAS

The largest fully-autonomous Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) ever to be built in the UK has completed initial flight trials in Woomera, South Australia. Built by BAE Systems for the UK Ministry of Defence (MOD) the Mantis is the company’s first genuine fly-by-wire, all-electric aircraft and is designed to execute its mission with a much-reduced need for human intervention by understanding and reacting to its environment. BAE said Mantis successfully completed a series of trials demonstrating its capabilities and the potential for large unmanned systems to carry out intelligence-gathering at long distances.  Read More

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