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Plane

— Aircraft

Shape-changing wings inspire more efficient aircraft designs

By - May 24, 2014 1 Picture
We tend to think of aeronautical engineering as having left the birds standing still sometime around the First World War, but since jet fighters can’t perch and quadcopters can’t snag salmon out of a stream, we still have a few things to learn. Taking a couple of pages from the avian playbook, Fraunhofer Institute for Electronic Nano Systems (ENAS) and its partners are developing wing flaps for airplanes that change shape like a bird’s wing for greater efficiency. Read More
— Aircraft

easyJet using drones to inspect planes

By - May 11, 2014 1 Picture
Airliners aren't the cheapest form of transportation to run – not the least because of the costs run up by the detailed inspections required by safety regulations on a regular basis. easyJet and Bristol Robotics Laboratory have announced that they've entered into a partnership to adapt drones for inspecting easyJet’s fleet of 220 Airbus aircraft as part of a larger package of technological innovations designed to make inspections between flights faster and more efficient. Read More
— Aircraft

Makerplane aims to create the first open source aircraft

By - August 29, 2012 12 Pictures
The idea of owning your own plane is the stuff of daydreams. It’s incredibly appealing, but despite some (relative) drops in pricing in recent years, it remains incredibly expensive. If you build your own plane from a kit, it’s a bit cheaper than buying one, but the odds are that you’ll never complete the job because kitplanes are notoriously difficult to build. However, that may be changing. MakerPlane is a project that aims to create an open source aircraft designed by contributors and built with digital manufacturing processes. You can’t download the plans into your 3D printer and fly away that afternoon, but it does hold the promise of making amateur aviation a lot more accessible. Read More
— Aircraft

The Privateer looks to redefine amphibious plane design

By - August 6, 2010 10 Pictures
Billed as the "first new Amphibian design in 60 years," the Privateer incorporates lightweight carbon fiber composite construction, a shrouded rear-mounted propeller, unique float layout and a lower center of gravity with the aim of optimizing safety for both water and land operations. Created by aviation enthusiast and entrepreneur John A. Meekins along with partner and aircraft engineer Bill Husa, we spied the design on show at AirVenture 2010. A prototype is currently under construction and it's expected to be in the air next year. Read More
— Aircraft

Flying Boat up for auction: Curtiss MF Seagull

By - March 25, 2010 6 Pictures
Putting aside ugly flying cars, no one should fail to be moved by the gorgeous warm-colored wood, hammered copper trims and time-worn patina of this gorgeous piece of antiquity. One of the last known Curtiss MF Seagull Flying Boats is to be sold at auction on Tuesday April 13 at Bonhams in New York. Rich in history, this beautiful vintage sea plane was designed and created by engineer and aviator Glenn H. Curtiss, otherwise known as "the Father of Naval Aviation." Read More
— Aircraft

Gulfstream's new flagship G650 completes maiden flight

By - November 26, 2009 3 Pictures
Gulfstream Aerospace’s new flagship (flagplane?) business jet, the ultra-large-cabin, ultra-long-range Gulfstream G650, has successfully completed its maiden flight. With its Rolls-Royce BR725 engines, the G650 is capable of traveling 7,000 nautical miles at 0.85 Mach with a maximum operating speed of 0.925 Mach. Gulfstream says no other traditional business jet will take you closer to the speed of sound. Read More
— Aircraft

Solar Impulse takes to the runway

By - November 22, 2009 8 Pictures
Gizmag has followed closely the progress of Solar Impulse from back when it was just a dream through to it latest developments, which now include it’s recent runway test. For the first time, the Solar Impulse HB-SIA has ventured out under its own steam (solar power) and taxied down the runway. Entirely powered by the sun, the aircraft has a giant wingspan of 61m and is covered in almost 12,000 solar cells. Read More
— Aircraft

First glimpse of solar-powered plane draws big crowd

By - July 3, 2009 3 Pictures
After six long years of planning, talking and hard work, the world has finally had its first look at the 100% solar-powered Solar Impulse HB-SIA. This remarkable feat of engineering, with the wingspan of a Boeing 747 but only the weight of an average family car, has over 12,000 solar cells powering four electric motors with a maximum power of 10HP. The aircraft prototype is expected to take its first flights before the end of the year. Read More
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