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Experimental

When we laid eyes on the Elytron 2S tiltrotor plane prototype last year at the Experimental Aircraft Association's fly-in airshow in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, it was a half-built concept with only part of its Prandtl wing box installed. The company has now completed the airframe ahead of planned flight tests later this year. Read More
A pair of Swiss explorers have begun a mission to circumnavigate the globe via air and sun. A take-off twelve years in the making, the experimental Solar Impulse 2 plane left Abu Dhabi at 7:12 a.m. local time, bound for Muscat, Oman, on the first leg in a journey that will require 25 days in the air spread over a period of roughly 5 months. Read More
A fascinating and utterly unique piece of motorcycle history is about to go under the hammer on eBay, with less than two days remaining on its auction. Australian inventor Ian Drysdale, best known for his radical V8 sportsbikes, built the bizarre Dryvtech 2x2x2 motorcycle back in his post-university days in 1990. Not only does it feature hydraulic two wheel drive, it also uses hydraulic two wheel steering. With the auction set to start at AU$10,000, the 2x2x2 would be a bizarre and irreplaceable addition to any collection – or a really interesting ride for those brave enough to take it for a spin. Read More
Danish developers Realdania BYG and Arkitema Architects, working with the Danish Technological Institute, have designed and constructed an experimental prefabricated home that's made primarily from plywood. Despite this, the Maintenance-Free House shouldn't need any significant maintenance for at least 50 years, thanks to a glass "shield" that keeps it safe from the elements. The overall lifetime of the home is also expected to be at least 150 years. Read More
International architecture firm Snøhetta has partnered with Norway's Research Center on Zero Emission Buildings (ZEB), to design and build a remarkable experimental house that helps move the development of very efficient buildings forward. The ZEB Pilot House is claimed to generate almost three times the amount of electricity it requires, with the significant surplus available to help run an electric car, for example. Read More
The maiden flight of Solar Impulse 2 took place on Monday morning at Payerne aerodrome in Switzerland. The solar-powered aircraft took off at 5:36 AM CET, when the weather around the aerodrome was at its calmest, with pilot Markus Scherdel at the controls. The aircraft flew for two hours and 17 minutes, reaching an altitude of 1,670 m (5,500 ft) and a ground speed of 55.6 km/h (30 kt). According to Solar Impulse, the in-flight data indicates that the aircraft slated to make the first all-solar global circumnavigation flight performed to expectations. Read More
Manned electric-powered aircraft have made record-breaking flights and turned more than a few heads in the past few years, and it's not a trend that's likely to slow down. Last week, the E-Fan electric trainer airplane developed by the Airbus Group made its first public flight before a collection of French dignitaries. Currently a demonstrator for electric aircraft technology, Airbus says that is will be used as the basis for building a new pair of electric training aircraft models. Read More
Exciting times are ahead in the high-tech industries with the discovery by three independent groups that a new class of materials mimic the special electronic properties of graphene in 3D. Research into these superfast massless charge carriers opens up a wide range of potential applications in electronics, including smaller hard drives with more storage capacity, faster transistors and more efficient optical sensors. Read More
The US Army Rapid Equipping Force (REF) is experimenting with internet-based collaboration. With the help of the crowdsourcing gurus at Local Motors, it has launched ArmyCoCreate.com, a website designed to let soldiers, designers and engineers collaborate on identifying soldier requirements and designing prototypes to address them. Read More
After a 70-year absence, it appears that a new rigid frame airship will soon be taking to the skies over California. Aeros Corporation, a company based near San Diego, has received experimental airworthiness certification from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to begin flight testing the Aeroscraft airship and, as these new photographs of the airship undergoing tethered testing show, the company has wasted no time in getting started. Read More
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