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Reconnaissance

The Firebird was designed to be flown either manned or unmanned

Although the use of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) such as Global Hawk and Raven for military information gathering has increased sharply in the last decade due to the maturation and miniaturization of enabling technologies, conventional piloted aircraft can still be a better option depending on the mission at hand. Northrop Grumman has unveiled a new intelligence gathering aircraft called the Firebird that falls into the category of an Optionally Piloted Vehicle (OPV) with its ability to be flown robotically or with a human pilot on board.  Read More

A U-2 high-altitude, all-weather surveillance and reconnaissance aircraft departs from Osa...

As Japan, and indeed the world, struggles to comprehend the devastation resulting from the 8.9 magnitude earthquake and tsunami that struck on March 11, countries around the world have rushed to offer support in a number of ways. Amongst the aid flowing from the U.S. is a U-2 high-altitude, all-weather surveillance and reconnaissance aircraft that will be used to capture high-resolution, broad area synoptic imagery to help the Japanese identify the location and extent of damage caused by the earthquake and tsunami.  Read More

Scientists are using a Scan Eagle UAV and image recognition software to track seals on the...

The Arctic region is currently experiencing a warming trend which is seeing the ice cap break apart, and may even ultimately result in the total absence of ice in the summer months. Many scientists attribute this trend to man made global warming, but whatever the cause, it’s not good news for the seals that breed, rest, and escape marine predators on the ice. In an effort to understand the full scope of the situation, scientists have turned to the Boeing-designed Scan Eagle – an unmanned aerial vehicle more often used for military reconnaissance.  Read More

The P-8A program's fourth flight-test aircraft, T4, is the first to enter the new producti...

Boeing has opened a new aircraft production facility near Boeing Field in Seattle where mission systems will be installed and tests will be carried out on Boeing’s new P-8. The aircraft, which is based on Boeing’s Next-Generation 737 commercial airplane, is intended for anti-submarine warfare, anti-surface warfare, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance roles. The P-8 aircraft will be assembled in Renton, Washington and, following final assembly, will make a short flight to the new facility to be given their finishing touches.  Read More

The tilt-rotor Panther UAV

Tilt-rotor aircraft such as the Bell-Boeing built V-22 Osprey that use powered rotors mounted on rotating shafts or nacelles at the end of a fixed wing for lift and propulsion combine the vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) capabilities of a helicopter with the speed and range of a conventional fixed-wing aircraft. Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) is bringing these benefits to unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) with its new Panther and Mini Panther UAVs that were unveiled last week at the Latrun Conference in Israel.  Read More

Global Observer takes to the air for the first time

After AeroVironment’s recent announcement that its Global Observer unmanned aircraft system (UAS) had successfully completed a series of Wing Load tests the team apparently wasted no time getting the craft in the air for its maiden flight. On August 5 Global Observer 1001 took off from Edwards Air Force Base (EAFB) in California and climbed to an altitude of 4,000 feet where it performed a series of maneuvers before landing successfully one hour later.  Read More

AeroVironment's Raven UAS

U.S. forces deployed just 13 unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) at the beginning of the Iraq war in March 2003, but although the potential of surveillance and combat aircraft that don't put pilots in the line of fire has always been clear, few would have predicted just how quickly this technology would transform modern warfare. The proof? The U.S. Army has recently surpassed one million unmanned flight hours and is now using 333 different types of unmanned aerial systems in Iraq and Afghanistan... and the growth curve isn't about to level out.  Read More

Liam Ferguson of Monash University has been shortlisted for an Australian Design Award for...

Wildfire is one of the few natural disasters that we are at all equipped to combat, but when it takes a ferocious hold we are often able to do little more than limit the spread. Responding to a need for better equipment at the front line, AMATOYA is a concept fire reconnaissance buggy designed to improve vehicle and crew safety while maintaining off road capabilities and delivering better fire suppression technology in the critical initial response phase  Read More

Berlin in the present day

When reconnaissance pilots brought back precious surveillance photos during World War II (WWII) they could not have imagined that they would one day be comparable with the cityscape seen from satellite 50 years into the future, and available around the world at the touch of a button. Google has made this possible with new functionality for Google Earth - historical WWII imagery - giving people a unique opportunity to see the effect of past events using today's mapping technology.  Read More

The Russian T-50 PAK-FA fighter jet prototype taking its maiden flight

Russia has reportedly successfully test-flown its first fifth generation fighter jet prototype. Formally known as the Prospective Aircraft Complex of Frontline Aviation (PAK-FA), the craft made its 47 minute maiden voyage on 29th January. Manufactured by the Russian state owned Sukhoi Aircraft Corporation, the development of this tactical frontline stealth fighter jet is being seen as a significant milestone in the efforts of the country to modernize its post Soviet–era military technology.  Read More

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