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Record-breaking

— Bicycles

Human-powered speed record falls at Battle Mountain

By - September 18, 2013 4 Pictures
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
— Space

SpaceShipTwo sets new altitude, speed record

By - September 6, 2013 17 Pictures
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
— Science

Scientists make "Impossible Material" ... by accident

By - July 30, 2013 7 Pictures
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
— Aircraft

Solar-powered airplane completes trans-America flight

By - July 7, 2013 5 Pictures
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
— Automotive

Drayson Racing sets world electric land speed record

By - June 28, 2013 8 Pictures
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
— Aircraft

Speed record: Eurocopter X3 hits 255 knots

By - June 17, 2013 10 Pictures
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

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