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Inflatable

The AirRider hovercraft in snow conditions with weather canopy

Even though hovercraft have been around for over half a century, they still have an air of the future about them. They’re used in everything from sports to oil exploration, yet they still leave a lot to be desired in terms of ride and stability. Hoverworks of Parry Sound, Ontario hopes to improve matters with its AirRider hovercraft, which uses a hybrid hull and skirt design that combines the best of conventional hovercraft technologies.  Read More

(Image: Viteos)

Swiss energy company Viteos has announced that it is to build three floating solar arrays on Lake Neuchâtel. Viteos will work with tech company and "energy enabler" Nolaris to build the 25-m (82-ft) diameter islands, each with 100 photovoltaic panels.  Read More

The Wedge is a two-person tent

Heimplanet received much buzz for its funky, geodesic inflatable tent, the Cave. Realizing that not everyone wants to lug a big, round, air-filled cave around into the woods, the company has designed a lighter, more streamlined tent-for-two. The Wedge maintains Heimplanet's striking styling but packs it in a smaller, sleeker package.  Read More

The Luci has two brightness levels and an emergency flash mode

New York City-based Mpowerd introduced the Luci solar-powered inflatable lantern earlier this month. The lantern folds like an accordion and shines with the force of 10 LED bulbs. Its integrated solar panels also means you should never have the hassle of switching out batteries.  Read More

Cutaway view of the Bigelow BA 2100 Expandable Space Module (Image: Bigelow Aerospace)

NASA has announced that it has awarded a US$17.8 million contract to Bigelow Aerospace to provide the International Space Station with an inflatable module. Details of the award will be discussed by NASA Deputy Administrator Lori Garver and Bigelow Aerospace President Robert Bigelow at a press conference on January 16 at the Bigelow Aerospace facilities in North Las Vegas. However, based on previous talks, it’s likely that the module in question could be the Bigelow Expandable Activity Module (BEAM).  Read More

AirTracks is a light, inflatable camera slider

An important part of any serious videographer's gear is a quality slider. It allows them to get smooth tracking shots, without having to set up railway-like tracks on the ground. Most sliders – such as the mobislyder, GlideTrack, Rhino Slider and RigWheels system – are made from rigid components that can be awkward to carry. AirTracks is designed to combat this issue by offering the same features as other sliders, but in a lightweight, inflatable package.  Read More

The trampoline bridge would cross the River Seine near to the existing Bir-Hakeim bridge

There are currently 37 bridges spanning the River Seine in Paris, but there must surely be room for one more; one that's rather different than the rest, that is perhaps inflatable and comprising three huge trampolines. Such a bridge may not be practical, but it would be fun, and no doubt become something of a tourist attraction in a city already blessed with an abundance of tourist attractions. Such a bridge exists, at least in the form of a concept design by Paris-based architectural studio Atelier Zündel Cristea.  Read More

The Freestyle Cruiser is a giant, inflatable water slide aimed at the superyacht market

How many times have you been aboard some billionaire’s superyacht only to be disappointed because there wasn’t a giant, inflatable slide hanging off the stern? Yes, we’ve all been there. Now, Freestyle Slides comes to the aid of the embarrassed super rich with its line of bespoke Freestyle Cruiser PVC slides that give a hundred million dollar yacht that little something extra – in this case, it’s an inflatable, 45-degree water slide with a one-story drop.  Read More

The Kelty Mach 6 includes two sleeping modules connected by a central gear vestibule

Most tents still use solid metal, fiberglass and composite poles, but a few manufacturers, including Nemo, have experimented with inflatable poles to limit packed size and make set-up easier. Now Colorado-based Kelty can be added to their number with its AirPitch tents that leave the irritation of bendy, shock-corded poles in the past. The tents use inflatable poles, which Kelty claims guarantee quick, easy set-up and tear-down. Less time hacking together your shelter means more time spent with your family ... or knocking back a cold one while enjoying the views.  Read More

The Inflatable Re-entry Vehicle Experiment (IRVE-3) is an inflatable heat shield effective...

Legendary science fiction author Sir Arthur C. Clarke (1917-2008) scored another hit in the prediction department on Monday, July 23, 2012 when NASA tested an inflatable heat shield that he foresaw back in the 1980s. The test of the Inflatable Re-entry Vehicle Experiment (IRVE-3) was launched by rocket into a suborbital trajectory from NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility on Wallops Island, VA. The unmanned vehicle reached velocities of up to 7,600 mph (12,231 kph), yet was protected from atmospheric heating by the mushroom-shaped shield.  Read More

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