According to NASA, the way to make a helicopter safer is to crash it – under strict guidance, of course. In order to test the effectiveness of a new "airbag" system - which is actually an expandable honeycomb cushion called a deployable energy absorber - NASA aeronautics researchers at Langley loaded four crash test dummies into a small chopper and, well, dropped it.
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.
Loading pages from the Internet into browsers or accessing your favorite applications may seem pretty fast now, but the folks at Google think it could be a lot faster. Designed specifically for minimizing latency, the new SPDY protocol currently undergoing testing is proving to be an awful lot faster than more familiar HTTP and will shortly break out of the lab and head for the real-world.
Later this month, Helix Wind Corporation will deliver its first test wind turbines to Eltek Network Solutions Group for installation at two test sites in Nigeria. Sites in the US are also set to take delivery of test modules. The turbines will provide a clean energy solution for mobile phone towers and if tests prove successful, could see wind power being rolled out to hundreds of sites over the next few years.
On August 10, Boeing and the U.S. Missile Defense Agency were finally able to demonstrate that the US$1.1 billion Airborne Laser
(ABL) program actually works. The ABL aircraft, a modified Boeing 747-400, took off from Edwards Air Force Base and located, tracked and fired on a target missile. Although a surrogate high-energy laser was used – rather than the megawatt-class laser that will ultimately arm it – instrumentation on the target verified the hit.