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Helicopters

Military

Northrop Grumman MQ-8C Fire Scout makes first destroyer flight

A helicopter landing on the flightdeck of a destroyer is hardly news – unless it's the US Navy's latest Unmanned Aerial Vehicle. Northrop Grumman's MQ-8C Fire Scout became the first unmanned helicopter to operate from a US destroyer on December 16. Under guidance of the ship's ground control station, the MQ-8C made 22 takeoffs and 22 precision landings on the guided missile destroyer USS Jason Dunham (DDG 109) off the coast of Virginia. Read More

Aircraft

New aerial firefighting system gulps water faster

When you're using helicopters to dump water on forest fires, it goes without saying that the faster you can obtain and deliver water from lakes or other sources, the better. Most currently-used systems are able to gather H2O at rates ranging from 1,700 to 4,000 liters (450 to 1,056 US gal) per minute, which is fairly impressive. A new system developed by Spanish firm Inventec, however, is claimed to be capable of sucking up 1,000 L (264 gal) in just five seconds – that scales up to a rate of 12,000 L (3,170 gal) per minute. What's more, it's also said to be safer. Read More

Aircraft

Quadcopter and unmanned helicopter could work together to fight forest fires

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

Military

Sikorsky reveals first S-97 Raider helicopter prototype

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

Environment

Autonomous mini helicopters hunt down invasive weeds from the air

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

Aircraft

Big air: Highlights from EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2014

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

Aircraft

Elytron 2S: The out-of-the-box tiltrotor concept

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

Aircraft

Elbit extends Skylens HUD system to helicopter pilots

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

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