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— Aircraft

X-56A to aid NASA in development of new kinds of lightweight, flexible aircraft

By - March 20, 2012 3 Pictures
NASA has announced it will use a modular, unmanned flight research vehicle being built by Lockheed Martin for the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) to test enabling technologies for new kinds of lightweight, energy-efficient, flexible aircraft. The small aircraft, dubbed the X-56A, will be used to explore ways to suppress vibrations and alleviate the load on flexible aircraft from wind gusts and atmospheric turbulence. Read More
— Space

NASA aircraft inspires what could be the world's first zero-gravity roller coaster

By - February 7, 2012 3 Pictures
It appears that BRC Imagination Arts, a Southern California design firm, have a zero gravity roller coaster proposal that’s waiting for a US$50 million investment. BRC’s proposed theme-park ride is inspired by NASA’s astronaut training aircraft the KC-135 (aka “Vomit Comet”) and would give riders the sensation of floating within a stable chamber. Read More
— Aircraft

F-35A makes first night flight

By - February 2, 2012 5 Pictures
Despite criticism in the U.S. regarding escalating costs, which has seen the Pentagon’s bill for a planned 2,443 F-35s going from US$233 billion to $385 billion, Lockheed Martin is pressing ahead with tests of the world’s only fifth generation jet fighter. It’s been over six years since the first F-35 took to the air for the first time and one and a half years since the F-35B short takeoff/vertical landing (STOVL) variant broke the sound barrier for the first time. Now the F-35A conventional takeoff and landing (CTOL) variant has completed the first night flight in the history of the F-35 program. Read More
— Aircraft

Stunt pilot hopes to build a vertical-winged airplane

By - January 24, 2012 3 Pictures
Matthew Tanner is a Colorado-based air show pilot who also competes in aerobatics competitions and teaches Air Force pilots how to fly. His current stunt aircraft of choice is a Laser Z300. Much as he is able to do with the nimble little airplane, he wants to be able to perform aerial maneuvers that no one has ever seen before. In order to do so, he intends to equip the plane with a pair vertical wings. Read More
— Science

Goshawk flight could inspire next-gen agile UAVs

By - January 23, 2012 1 Picture
Research into goshawk flight could inform the design of next generation UAVS. Where prior research into bird flight has focused on steady flight, new research from MIT examines the patterns of birds adept at flying in "cluttered environments" to find principles applicable to robot motion planning. It's research that might one day find practical applications in engineering, including fast, agile UAVs. Read More
— Aircraft

Semi-human-powered flight project gets off the ground ... just

By - January 22, 2012 5 Pictures
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
— Aircraft

First flight of Cessna Citation Ten prototype a success

By - January 19, 2012 3 Pictures
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
— Aircraft

Plane-mounted camera detects hazardous volcanic ash in the air

By - December 13, 2011 6 Pictures
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
— Architecture

Flying robots to build a 6-meter tower

By - November 28, 2011 7 Pictures
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

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