Highlights from the 2014 LA Auto Show

Helicopters

The K-MAX drops a payload of water, which it autonomously lifted from a pond

You've gotta hand it to Kaman's K-MAX UAS unmanned helicopter ... it's been used to deliver cargo in a combat zone, it's set altitude and payload weight records for airdrops, and it's been part of an autonomous air/ground mission. Now it's teamed up with a quadcopter in an exercise which suggests that the two could be used to fight forest fires, without endangering human pilots.  Read More

A look across the Hangar-7 museum (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)

Gizmag recently took the opportunity to tour the Hangar-7 Museum in Red Bull's hometown of Salzburg, Austria. With an underlying theme of speed and adrenaline, the stylish, hangar-inspired gallery serves up an ever-changing collection of air and land race hardware. Step inside for a virtual tour of intriguing architecture and high-performance machinery.  Read More

The Sikorsky S-97 Raider that is intended to replace the US Army's OH-58D Kiowa Warrior he...

Sikorsky's record-breaking X2 Demonstrator helicopter may be a museum piece these days, but the technology that went into it is still alive and kicking as the United Technologies subsidiary takes the wraps off the first of its two S-97 Raider helicopter prototypes. According to Sikorsky, this event marks the beginning of the armed reconnaissance ‘copter’s flight tests aimed at providing the US Army with its next generation of combat rotorcraft.  Read More

The Project ResQu mini helicopters offer a more effective way to hunt down invasive weeds ...

The sheer density of the rainforests in Australia's far-north creates a slight problem for local conservationists. With incursions by invasive plants posing a threat to the native flora, inaccessibility for people makes it a difficult and time-consuming task to monitor the region. Now researchers from the CSIRO have developed two mini helicopters capable of hunting down the dangerous weeds from the air, significantly reducing the resources needed to preserve local plant life.  Read More

Chinese Nanchang trainers flying formation (Photo: Angus MacKenzie/Gizmag.com)

The Experimental Aircraft Association's fly-in airshow held annually at the Wittman Regional Airport in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, is one of the largest and most anticipated events of its kind in the world. With a history that stretches back more than 60 years, this aviation spectacular now attracts over half a million aircraft enthusiasts, along with some 10,000 planes, helicopters and experimental aircraft of all eras. Gizmag joined the multitudes on the shores of Lake Winnebago for EAA AirVenture 2014 – here's our look at the highlights.  Read More

A Elytron 2S (shown here in a proposed seven-seater version) is a tiltrotor aircraft that ...

Some people are never satisfied. You give them a plane, and they say it can’t hover. You give them a helicopter, and they say it can’t fly very high or fast. Looking to combine the advantages of both fixed-wing aircraft and helicopters, Elytron Aircraft LLC of Mountain View, California is developing the Elytron 2S, a small tiltrotor aircraft that uses a box wing configuration and is aimed at the civilian market.  Read More

The Helicopter Skylens is aimed at pilots of medium-size rotorcraft

Helicopters are so commonplace, it's easy to forget that an aircraft that can take off and land vertically as well as hover is a tricky thing to fly – especially in close quarters and low visibility. One solution is augmented reality systems, such as the Helicopter Skylens wearable head-up display for Enhanced Flight Vision System (EFVS) applications.  Read More

The AVX Aircraft concept has coaxial rotors, ducted fans and a top speed of over 270 mph (...

As one of the contenders in the race to win a $US100 billion contract from the US government for the Army’s next generation of attack helicopter, AVX Aircraft Company has conceived a futuristic machine kitted out with coaxial rotors, ducted fans and a retractable undercarriage that could hit speeds of over 270 mph (435 km/h).  Read More

Artist's concept of Duke Airborne Systems’ Robotic Weapon System (RWS) in action

When we hear about military robots, it usually evokes images of Terminator-like killing machines, but it can also mean robotic systems designed to help soldiers concentrate on the job at hand. Case in point is Israel-based Duke Airborne Systems’ Robotic Weapon System (RWS). Unveiled at the Eurosatory defense industry show in Paris, the system billed as a “first-of-its-kind” is a concealable robotic gunnery module that allows utility helicopters to fly into hostile territory without an armed escort.  Read More

The autonomous Land Tamer vehicle, which will be dropped off to explore a rugged area by a...

This April, Sikorsky Aircraft Corp and the US Army used a one-of-a-kind autonomous Black Hawk helicopter to perform an unmanned cargo flight demonstration. Known as the Optionally Piloted Black Hawk (OPBH) Demonstrator, that same chopper has now been enlisted to take the autonomy concept even further. In the new Extended Operational Reach with Autonomous Air and Ground Vehicles project, it will deliver an all-terrain vehicle to a remote site, and that vehicle will then autonomously explore the site from ground level.  Read More

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