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Plane

Lockheed Model 10 Electras at EAA AirVenture (Photo: Angus MacKenzie/Gizmag.com)

The hangar doors have closed on Oshkosh EAA AirVenture for another year with over 500,000 visitors having passed through the gates. Gizmag's airshow highlights coverage earlier this week hardly scratched the surface of the 1000's of gorgeous flying machines on site, so here's a closer look at the sights on offer at one of the world's biggest aviation gatherings.  Read More

Computer simulation of a wing flex module

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

The drones will be used to speed inspection of the easyJet fleet (Photo: easyJet)

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

Artists concept of MakerPlane 1.0 (Image: MakerPlane)

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

Privateer model on display at AirVenture 2010

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

The Curtiss MF Seagull represents the era of flight, sailing, and engineering in one stunn...

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

The Gulfstream G650 takes off for the first time

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

Solar Impulse takes to the runway for a low-speed series of tests

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

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

The Solar Impulse 100% solar-powered aircraft was unveiled near Zurich on June 26th.
 (Pho...

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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