Highlights from the 2014 LA Auto Show

Record-breaking

The record-breaking bike of the Delft University of Technology and VU University Amsterdam...

It's with considerable interest that Gizmag has followed cyclist Graeme Obree's latest quest to break the human-powered speed record on his self-designed and self-built bicycle, Beastie. On Friday at the World Human Speed Championships at Battle Mountain, Nevada, Obree finally made the attempt. Though he fell short of that ultimate record, he did break the world prone record (for cycling head first, face down) with an impressive speed of 56.62 mph (91 km/h). Yet the overall speed record was broken during the event, by a team from the Delft University of Technology and VU University Amsterdam.  Read More

SpaceShipTwo broke the altitude and speed record that it set in April

Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo (SS2) broke its own speed and altitude records on Thursday as it successfully completed its second rocket-powered, supersonic flight. At 8:00 AM PDT, SS2 took off slung beneath the WhiteKnightTwo (WK2) carrier aircraft from Virgin Galactic’s Mojave Air and Space Port in Mojave, California. According to the company, the tourism spacecraft went through its full technical mission profile in a single flight for the first time, including the deployment of its “feathering” re-entry mechanism at high altitude.  Read More

A sample of Upsalite

In an effort to create a more viable material for drug delivery, a team of researchers has accidentally created an entirely new material thought for more than 100 years to be impossible to make. Upsalite is a new form of non-toxic magnesium carbonate with an extremely porous surface area which allows it to absorb more moisture at low humidities than any other known material. "The total area of the pore walls of one gram of material would cover 800 square meters (8611 sq ft) if you would 'roll them out'", Maria Strømme, Professor of Nanotechnology at the Uppsala University, Sweden tells Gizmag. That's roughly equal to the sail area of a megayacht. Aside from using substantially less energy to create drier environments for producing electronics, batteries and pharmaceuticals, Upsalite could also be used to clean up oil spills, toxic waste and residues.  Read More

Graeme Obree's redesigned Beastie (Photo: Rick Robson)

Graeme Obree has redesigned his Beastie prone bicycle ahead of an attempt to break the human-powered land speed record and, potentially, the 100 mph (161 km/h) barrier at the same time. The radical changes made to the now complete bicycle have improved both visibility and aerodynamics. It was tested at Prestwick airport at the end of June.  Read More

André Borschberg and Bertrand Piccard celebrate the completion of the Solar Impulse's Miss...

Solar Impulse – the solar-powered airplane of Swiss pioneers Bertrand Piccard and André Borschberg – has successfully landed at New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport. In so doing, it begins a new era in the history of aviation: for the first time, a plane capable of flying day and night powered exclusively by solar energy has crossed the USA from the west to the east coasts, without using a single drop of fuel.  Read More

The B12 69/EV shattered the world electric land speed record set almost 40 years ago

The old world electric land speed record was shattered on Tuesday when the Drayson B12 69/EV electric Le-Mans Prototype hit 204.185 mph (328.603 km/h) on a racetrack at RAF Elvington in Yorkshire, UK. Driven by former science minister and Drayson Racing chief executive Lord Drayson, the converted Lola LMP1 Le Mans racer easily ticked past the previous record of 175 mph (281.6 km/h) set in 1974 by Battery Box Electric in the US.  Read More

Eurocopter's X3 reached a level flight speed of 255 knots over the south of France on June...

Eurocopter has announced a new pair of speed records set by its hybrid helicopter demonstrator, the X3. Piloted by Hervé Jammayrac, the X3 reached a level flight speed of 255 knots over the south of France on June 7, eclipsing the 250 knots (463 km/h) set by Sikorsky's X2 demonstrator back in 2010. The X3 reached 263 knots several days beforehand, achieved during a dive rather than level flight, also besting the X2's record in descent – by a single knot.  Read More

The Ion Tiger UAV completes its record-breaking flight

Back in 2009, the US Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) set an endurance record for electric unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) when its fuel cell-powered Ion Tiger aircraft managed to stay aloft for 26 hours and 1 minute. Now, NRL has announced that the same aircraft has trounced that record, by remaining in flight for 48 hours and 1 minute.  Read More

The HB-SIA solar-powered aircraft's fuselage being loaded aboard a Boeing 747 in Payerne, ...

Last December, the team at Switzerland’s Solar Impulse announced that they were planning on flying their record-breaking HB-SIA solar-powered aircraft across the United States this spring. Today, the details of that project were revealed to the public.  Read More

Cycling legend Graeme Obree hopes his latest innovation will not only break the human-powe...

Scottish cyclist Graeme Obree is building a special sort of bicycle. He's building it in his own kitchen without a lick of research assistance to inform the design. Why might research assistance be useful? Because with this bicycle, dubbed Beastie, Obree intends not only to break the human-powered vehicle land speed record, but also hopes to be the first person to break 100 mph (161 km/h). But then, Obree's never been one to do things the easy way.  Read More

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