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Flying

Space

World View Enterprises near-space balloon flights to begin in 2016

The newest entry in the fledgling space (or near-space) tourism sector will see passengers take a balloon ride to an altitude of 30 km (18.6 mi) from where they will be treated to a spectacular view of the Earth. World View Enterprises has now obtained US Federal Aviation Administration approval for its proposed balloon experiences, which will cost US$75k, and are projected to begin in 2016.Read More

Aircraft

Aeromobil flying car prototype gets off the ground for the first time

There is a saying in flying: “If it looks good, it will fly well.” Stefan Klein, a designer from the Slovak Republic, has announced the first flight of his Aeromobil Version 2.5, a flying car prototype he has been developing over the last 20 years. This vehicle is a strikingly beautiful design with folding wings and a propeller in the tail. But will its flight capabilities match its looks?Read More

Aircraft

Terrafugia Transition flying car makes first public flights

There was a ray of hope recently for those who are looking forward to a car that’s a bit more Blade Runnery as Terrafugia's Transition flying car made its first public flights at EAA AirVenture in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. There, the Terrafugia team conducted two 20-minute flight demonstrations and also showed off the capability for the Transition's wings to be folded up so it can be driven about like a car.Read More

Aircraft

NASA shows that icing inside turbofan engines kills power

About once a month on average, an incident is reported in which turbofan jet engines flying at high-altitude lose power. The pilots report that there is little if any bad weather that might explain the power loss and although uncommon, this fault is potentially disastrous. The culprit is called ice crystal icing, and NASA scientists are making progress in understanding the problem using a world first test facility that creates an artificial ice cloud similar to that encountered by planes at high altitudes.Read More

Aircraft

Hexacopter and hexapod: together at last

What do you get when you cross a hexacopter with a hexapod? A hexacopterpod? Hexapodcopter? Hexahexapopter? Whatever it’s called, it’s pretty cool and it comes courtesy of a couple of some industrious lads at Mad Lab Industries. After first attempting to get a quadrocopter and hexapod to mate by throwing them in a closet and cranking the Barry White, the team finally found success with a more engineering-based approach.Read More

Robotics

Rolling HyTAQ robot avoids obstacles by taking to the air

A team at the Robotics Lab at the Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT) has come up with another take on the caged flying robots like the spherical air vehicle developed by Japan’s Ministry of Defense (JMD) and the more recent Kyosho Space Ball. However, instead of a spherical shape, the the outer protective cage of the HyTAQ (Hybrid Terrestrial and Aerial Quadrotor) is cylindrical and is attached to the quadrotor via a shaft connected by two rotating joints, thereby providing the HyTAQ with the ability to fly or roll over the ground. Read More

Children

iOS-controlled iStrike Shuttle drops balls on your enemies

The options open to iOS users wanting a miniature aerial vehicle have increased in recent years, with the market leading Parrot AR.Drone receiving competition in the form of the Swann RC Helicopter and Griffin Helo TC. The iStrike Shuttle by purveyor of office weaponry Dream Cheeky is the latest airborne gizmo to join the fray, hoping to stand out from the rest with an integrated weapon delivery system capable of dropping a ping-pong ball on hapless office co-workers. Read More

Children

Flying Kyosho Space Ball: The R/C Death Star and air freshener in one

Almost a year ago, the Japanese Ministry of Defense made quite a splash when it revealed a spherical, remote-controlled aircraft that could zip around a room, roll along the ground, and even bounce off obstacles without losing control. But while it was mainly designed for search and rescue operations, many R/C enthusiasts took one look at that hovering Death Star and said, "I have got to get me one of those." Luckily, toy company Kyosho must have been listening, since it recently released a similar flying machine of its own for consumers. Kyosho's "Space Ball" can remain airborne while taking just as much punishment and even emits a fragrance to freshen up a room in the process. Read More

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