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Flight

The wings at rest in Smeets' workshop not long before the first test flight

A Dutch mechanical engineer is working on realizing da Vinci's dream of human-powered flight, with some help from modern technology. Jarnos Smeets is the driving force between the Human Birdwings Project, which utilizes a combination of gadgets including an HTC Wildfire S and a Wii remote. He claims to have conducted his first successful test flight this week, even though he didn't appear to get too far off the ground.  Read More

The Cessna Citation Ten prototype takes off for its first flight

What is set to be the latest addition to Cessna’s Citation line of business jets made its first flight this week. The Cessna Citation Ten prototype flew for more than two hours in the skies over Cessna’s main manufacturing facility at Wichita, Kansas, with the aircraft's stability and control, handling, autopilot and autothrottle systems, engine operability and avionics all put to the test. Cessna says all systems functioned as expected on the maiden flight, keeping the Citation Ten on track for FAA certification in mid-2013, with first deliveries planned for the second half of 2013.  Read More

Swann Sky Eye RC helicopter with camera

An iPhone app and a camera take flight in the new remote control helicopters from Swann. Three models include i-Fly Micro Lightning, Sky Eye and Black Swan. The i-Fly Micro Lightning lets you control the helicopter via an app for the iPhone, iPod or iPad. The Sky Eye and Black Swann models house a camera capable of taking still and video images.  Read More

The AVOID System designed to allow aircraft to detect volcanic ash plumes and avoid them (...

A new invention out of Norway promises to keep the skies of the world open. When a volcano in Iceland erupted in 2010, it spewed out invisible clouds of ash that spread across Europe–effectively shutting down all civilian and military air traffic, stranding millions of people and costing the world economy billions of dollars. Now, a new camera has been developed that will allow pilots to see and avoid volcanic dust clouds, making similar eruptions in the future much less disruptive.  Read More

France's FRAC Center will be hosting an exhibition to be built entirely by flying robots (...

The FRAC Centre in Orléans, France will for the first time host an exhibition to be built entirely by flying robots. Titled "Flight Assembled Architecture," the six meter-high tower will be made up of 1,500 prefabricated polystyrene foam modules. The exhibition has been developed by Swiss architect Gramazio & Kohler and Italian robot designer Raffaello D'Andrea, to inspire new methods of thinking about architecture as a "physical process of dynamic formation."  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

A view from JP Aerospace's Tandem airship, at its record-breaking altitude of 95,085 feet ...

On October 22nd, just a day after the first manned flight of an electric multicopter took place in Germany, California’s JP Aerospace achieved an aeronautical feat of its own – it broke the record for the world’s highest airship flight. Remotely controlled from the ground, the all-volunteer group’s Tandem twin-balloon airship reportedly ascended to an altitude of 95,085 feet (28,982 meters). That’s almost four miles (6.4 km) higher than any airship has gone before.  Read More

German aircraft company e-volo has accomplished what it claims is the world's first manned...

By now, most readers are probably pretty familiar with quadracopters - small hovering unmanned electric aircraft, which get their lift from a set of four propellers. Well, make the whole thing larger, boost the number of propellers (and accompanying motors) to 16, and you get what German aircraft developer e-volo calls a multicopter. While the company has previously demonstrated unmanned drones, on October 21st it accomplished what it claims is a world first - a manned flight.  Read More

The X-47B Unmanned Combat Air System flying with its landing gear up during a test flight ...

Having completed its first flight earlier this year, the Northrop Grumman-built U.S. Navy X-47B Unmanned Combat Air System Demonstration (UCAS-D) aircraft achieved another milestone on September 30 with its first flight in cruise mode. Part of the on-going “envelope expansion” program to demonstrate the aircraft’s performance under a variety of altitude, speed and fuel load conditions, the flight took place at Edwards Air Force Base and saw the aircraft retracting its landing gear and flying in cruise configuration for the first time.  Read More

Derek Deville's Qu8k rocket climbed at altitude of 121,000 feet (36.8 km) after 92 seconds...

Launched from Black Rock Desert in Nevada on September 30 in an attempt to win John Carmack's 100kft Micro Prize, Derek Deville's home-built Qu8k rocket reached an altitude of 121,000 feet (36.8 km) after 92 seconds flight ... and captured some excellent video footage along the way.  Read More

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