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Northrop Grumman

The D double bubble aircraft design promises a 70 percent improvement in fuel economy (Ima...

The contribution of aircraft to greenhouse gas emissions has been well documented and while biofuels are being trialled in an effort to combat the issue, an expected doubling in air traffic by 2035 suggests that a fundamental shift in technology is needed to make real progress. That's the starting point for the D “double bubble” – a design concept presented to NASA by an MIT led research team which promises a 70 percent improvement in fuel economy, reduced noise, lower nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions and the ability to use shorter runways.  Read More

New Fire-X UAS boasts greater hauling, payload and endurance capabilities

Northrop Grumman Corporation and Bell Helicopter have teamed up to develop Fire-X, a medium-range vertical unmanned aerial system (VUAS) that is designed to stay airborne for longer periods of time, communicate more easily with their commanders, and deliver more cargo to more remote locations. The new rugged, high-capacity UAS is based on the four-blade, single-engine Bell 407 helicopter that’s been in commercial use since 1996 and takes advantage of Northrop Grumman’s experience in developing the smaller Fire Scout UAV.  Read More

The Panoptes platform will support tiny cave cameras and iris recognition technology suita...

Researchers at the Southern Methodist University (SMU) in Dallas are developing new miniature camera technology and an iris recognition application built on a high-resolution, light and compact platform known as Panoptes. The technology is designed to help the military and border patrol to track combatants in dark caves or alleys and airport security personnel to quickly and unobtrusively identify a subject from an iris scan.  Read More

The Lockheed Martin F-35B begins descending to its first vertical landing March 18, 2010. ...

The F-35B Lightning II stealth fighter has completed its first vertical landing. The Short Take-Off Vertical Landing (STOVL) demonstration saw Lead Pilot Graham Tomlinson perform an 80-knot (93 miles per hour) short takeoff, a one minute hover and a vertical descent onto a 95-foot square pad riding more than 41,000 pounds of thrust provided by the Rolls-Royce LiftFan system.  Read More

The Airborne laser has succeeded in its first lethal intercept experiment

Laser guns have been a staple of science fiction for decades, but in reality their use is generally restricted to sighting, ranging and targeting applications. But that is all set to change. For the first time an airborne laser (ABL) weapon mounted aboard a modified Boeing 747 has shot down a ballistic missile launched from an at-sea mobile launch platform off the central California coast.  Read More

The first flight of the Block 40 Global Hawk unmanned aircraft, which will help warfighter...

The first of the next generation of Northrop Grumman’s Block 40 configuration RQ-4 Global Hawk has successfully completed its first flight. The two hour flight took the aircraft from Northrop Grumman’s manufacturing facility in Palmdale, California to Edwards Air Force Base, California. Designated AF-18, the Block 40 configuration of the high-altitude, long-endurance (HALE) unmanned aircraft system (UAS) will carry the Multi-Platform Radar Technology Insertion Program (MP-RTIP) active electronically scanned array radar that will help warfighters detect, track and identify stationary and moving targets.  Read More

The humble lotus leaf continues to inspire the scientific world 
 [Images: Flickr Creative...

Finding inspiration from nature in order to refine and advance modern technologies is nothing new; Mercedes’ bionic car was an interesting example and we’ve also seen a new ‘smart fabric’ based on the design of pine cones. Perhaps one of the most inspiring species, certainly in the plant world, is the lotus, which has already contributed to the development of fog-free windscreens and other surfaces along with improving the efficiency of solar cells. Now NASA is looking to the Lotus Leaf to develop a non-stick surface for use on spaceflight equipment.  Read More

Armadillo Aerospace will be competing at level 2 following success with its PIXEL lander

The X-Prize foundation, who teamed up with Google in 2007 to create the USD$30 million Google Lunar X Prize competition, has recorded plenty of interest. Since Odyssey Moon’s registration, a further ten parties moved swiftly to take up the gauntlet last year.  Read More

P-8A Poseidon formally unveiled (Boeing photo by Jim Anderson)

The U.S. Navy's new long-range maritime surveillance and reconnaissance aircraft has been officially unveiled at the Boeing facility in Renton, Washington. The P-8A Poseidon will provide anti-submarine and anti-surface warfare capabilities and offers greater payload capacity and advanced software and communications over the P-3C Orion which it is scheduled to replace from 2013.  Read More

Top Navy personnel were on hand at the unveiling of the F-35 fighter plane at Lockheed Mar...

The US Navy is a step closer to taking possession of its first-ever stealth fighter, the F-35C Lightning II. The 5th generation supersonic fighter plane was displayed at the company’s Fort Worth plant in front of top navy personnel this week and will undergo a wide-ranging series of ground tests before its first flight, scheduled for late 2009.  Read More

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