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Drones

How big-eared bats could help drone design

When it comes to inventions inspired by animals, it seems like geckos get all the attention from scientists and engineers these days. But researchers at Sweden's Lund University have turned their observations to the long-eared brown bat and what they've discovered just might help improve drone design.Read More

First US-produced Airbus makes maiden flight

Last September, Airbus officially launched its new North American aircraft assembly plant in Mobile, Alabama, joining final assembly lines located in France, Germany, Spain and China. The first aircraft produced at the facility, an A321 that will join JetBlue's fleet, has now flown for the first time in the skies over Mobile.Read More

Drones

Hovering kestrel inspires drone that gains altitude without using power

A near-future where the skies are filled with drones carrying out deliveries and surveillance might be hard to imagine, but it is something aerospace experts are already giving careful consideration to. Improving the efficiency of these vehicles, even at the margins, could mean huge energy savings and more reliable services across the board. To this end, Australian researchers have developed a fixed-wing aircraft that uses natural updrafts to climb higher, inspired by the ability of the kestrel falcon to hover while searching for prey on the ground. Read More

Aircraft

Airbus A350-900ULR to fly world’s longest commercial passenger route

Any masochists who think spending just under 17 hours on a flight from Dallas/Fort Worth to Sydney just isn’t long enough are set to get a chance to test their endurance further. Airbus is to supply Singapore Airlines with seven Ultra-Long Range versions of its A350-900 that can fly for up to 19 hours non-stop, allowing the airline to relaunch direct flights between Singapore and the US, including New York.Read More

Aircraft

NASA develops app to cut airline flight times and fuel use

Shaving a few minutes off flight times mightn't seem like that big a deal, but with tens of thousands of aircraft jetting across the skies each day, the fuel and carbon emission savings would quickly add up if more direct routes were taken more often. NASA is looking to encourage exactly that with software for air carriers that monitors conditions like weather and flight paths to suggest faster routes. Virgin America and Alaska Airlines have answered the boarding call and will put the system through its paces over the next three years.Read More

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