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One hour of flight time, a top speed of 100 km/h (62 mph), a payload of 5 kg (11 lb) – these are big figures for a drone, and figures that are basically out of reach using today's LiPo battery technology. But German startup Yeair! believes it's possible using a hybrid system in which each rotor is driven by two motors – an electric, and a two-stroke 10cc gasoline engine. And the Yeair! team has its sights set on something even more impressive down the track – personal flight in a two-seater hybrid octocopter. The quadcopter of the future, according to German startup Yeair!, will eclipse the performance of current quads by using the fuel of the future… Gasoline. Wait, what?

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The original Honda NSX won the hearts of the world's motoring press by wrapping a sweet chassis and Ferrari-aping performance up in a reliable package. So when, after a long gestation period, the new NSX was unveiled at the Detroit Motor Show, it's fair to say we were a little bit excited. Honda has now given a more detailed look under the skin of its high-tech flagship. Read More
Though there have been tremendous advances in space technology in recent years, when it comes to getting into space, we're still like cavemen trying to get beyond the breakers on a floating log – at least, that's the view of New Zealand-based company Rocket Lab. In the hopes of increasing the number of satellite launches to over 100 a year and placing constellations of small satellites into orbit numbering in the thousands, the company has developed a "battery-powered" rocket engine to lift its Electron launch vehicle at almost a tenth of the cost of conventional boosters. Read More
Researchers at Siemens have created a new prototype electric motor specifically designed for aircraft that weighs in at just 50 kg (110 lb) and is claimed to produce about 260 kW (348 hp) at just 2,500 RPM. With a quoted power five times greater than any comparable powerplant, the new motor promises enough grunt to get aircraft with take-off weights of up to 1,800 kg (2 ton) off the ground. Read More
The California utility, San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E), has begun bidding energy resources from fleets of electric vehicles and storage systems into the state’s wholesale power market. The pilot program, one of the first of its kind, is meant to provide insights into how electric vehicles and other kinds of distributed energy resources can make the grid more reliable and efficient. Read More
It might look like it was designed by a six-year-old, with 18 motors crammed onto a too-thin wing, but the Hybrid-Electric Integrated Systems Testbed (HEIST) experimental wing demonstrator could be the future of electric aircraft. A key component of NASA'S Leading Edge Asynchronous Propeller Technology (LEAPTech) project, it is designed to test whether electric propulsion can allow for a tighter wing design leading to greater efficiency and safety. Read More
The launch of two new communications satellites may not seem like news these days, but it is when they're the first satellites with all-electric propulsion. Boeing announced that the two 702SP small platform satellites, called ABS-3A and EUTELSAT 115 West B, that launched on Sunday evening are sending back signals to mission control as they power towards geosynchronous orbit under ion drive. Read More
Luggage that folds out to become a scooter, like the Olaf 4-in-1 backpack, is already a good idea. The Briefcase Electric Scooter from Coolpeds improves on the idea by adding an electric motor to the mix, which should make it less likely you'll miss your flight or be late for work. Read More
If F1 racers can be hybrids, then why not superyachts? That seems to be the thinking of Feadship De Voogt Naval Architects as it launched "the world’s first hybrid superyacht," Savannah, last Saturday. The centerpiece of a James Bond-themed launch ceremony for the new owner and the people involved in the yacht's construction over the last three years, the Savannah not only boasts a novel power plant, but is also the first superyacht to be entirely metallic painted save for the mast domes. Read More
Rickshaws are a part of life across much of Asia for tourists and locals alike. However, the gasoline-powered versions of these three-wheeled vehicles are rarely environmentally friendly, creating smog and noise-pollution. Japanese company Terra Motors has developed a new, electric rickshaw it hopes will improve environmental degradation and also save on fuel costs for drivers. Read More
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