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Aircraft

Wraparound jet engine design could put window seats at a premium

If you like the window seat while you fly, then maybe enjoy it while it lasts. Airbus has filed a US patent application for a new multi-fan jet engine design, which has the engine nacelles wrapping around the airplane's fuselage instead of suspended from the wing. Still very much a concept, the design is aimed at improving engine efficiency while keeping overall size down.Read More

Aircraft

Airbus patent shows modular, removable aircraft cabins

According to a recently-granted patent, Airbus is exploring the potential of creating a new breed of versatile, modular aircraft that would see detachable passenger cabins slot into a hole in an aeroplane's fuselage. The concept has the potential to revolutionize air travel, while providing significant savings for airlines by reducing the time that planes spend idle on the ground.Read More

Drones

Boeing patents a drone that turns into a submarine

Boeing has been given a patent for a new kind of amphibious drone that's like something straight out of a classic spy movie. The aeronautics giant has a novel design for an unmanned aerial drone that can spontaneously convert into an unmanned submarine and go for a dive.Read More

Aircraft

Airbus patents design for Mach 4-plus supersonic jet

If there's one area where the 21st century has gone backwards technologically, it's in supersonic passenger flight. With the grounding of the Concorde fleets in 2003, flying faster than the speed of sound reverted to a military monopoly, but that hasn't kept engineers from trying for a revival. Now Airbus' Marco Prampolini and Yohann Coraboeuf have been granted a US patent for an "ultra-rapid air vehicle" designed to fly at 20 km (12.4 mi) higher than conventional aircraft and over four times the speed of sound – twice the speed of Concorde.Read More

Automotive

Porsche’s electric plans decoded

While this month's news of plans for an electric-powered Porsche sent the traditional car press into a frenzy of speculation there’s been little substance behind the talk of which direction an all-electric model might take, with many suggesting the company will opt for a Panamera-like Tesla rival. But a spate of patent applications from the firm reveal that in fact it may be working on something far more like a battery-powered 911 – right down to the trademark rear-mounted powerplant.Read More

Drones

Disney may use the magic of drones in future theme park shows

The weird and wonderful world of Disney may be about to get a little more weird and wonderful, depending on how you feel about drones. The Walt Disney Company has filed three patents suggesting it may intend to deploy unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) to control giant marionettes, replace fireworks and suspend floating displays in its future theme park shows. Read More

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