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The Buoyant Air Turbine, from Altaeros Energies

Winds are stronger and steadier at higher altitudes, that’s why the Buoyant Air Turbine (BAT) from Altaeros is pushing to be the highest wind turbine in history. Already tested to 500 feet off the ground in 45 mph winds, this helium-filled shell with a wind turbine in the middle is soon shooting for a world record 1,000 ft float. Packing down into a shipping container for transport, the BAT is being proposed as a quickly deployable tethered power source for remote areas and emergency zones.  Read More

Fellows hopes to break the existing record of 115.8 mph (186.4 km/h) set by Jason Bradbury...

Australian Daz Fellows wants to ensure proper nomenclature is used when describing his modified street luge. Sporting twin-turbines with a combined output of 537 lb of thrust, and a custom formed board composed of carbon fiber, Daz has made clear that the conveyance he'll be climbing aboard when he shoots for a world record attempt of 300 mph (482 km/h) next year is a "jet luge."  Read More

A twenty four-stage roughing pump developed at the University of Michigan (Photo: Universi...

Three DARPA-funded research teams have completed a foundational study of chip-scale vacuum pumps by inventing three very different approaches to removing air from a sample chamber with a volume of one cubic millimeter, which is about one-tenth the volume of a grain of rice. These new technologies will enable many micro-scale devices which require a vacuum or a controlled flow of gas, such as Lab-on-a-Chip sensors, radio frequency MEMS switches and microscopic vacuum tubes.  Read More

Are 'innovative' wind technologies ever a match for three-blade turbines?

Virtually every week there are articles about new and innovative methods for harvesting wind energy. And every week more megawatts of capacity from three-blade horizontal-axis wind turbines (HAWT) becomes operational, despite all of the contenders. Why aren't these innovative new products knocking the iconic HAWT off its perch? Is it possible to tell which are likely to be viable? These eight points are a useful way to assess which technology has potential, and which are likely just hot air.  Read More

NASA's high altitude ice cloud test rig being readied for action (Photo: NASA)

About once a month on average, an incident is reported in which turbofan jet engines flying at high-altitude lose power. The pilots report that there is little if any bad weather that might explain the power loss and although uncommon, this fault is potentially disastrous. The culprit is called ice crystal icing, and NASA scientists are making progress in understanding the problem using a world first test facility that creates an artificial ice cloud similar to that encountered by planes at high altitudes.  Read More

Cross-section of the GE ADVENT engine design

GE Aviation is developing a revolutionary new jet engine that aims to combine the best traits of turbojet and turbofan engines, delivering supersonic speed capability and fuel efficiency in one package.  Read More

Mock-up of the Jet Vest, currently under development by Jet Machines Extreme (Photo: JME)

The Bell rocket belt captured the world's imagination when it was featured in the 1965 James Bond movie Thunderball. Now, the folks at Jet Machines Extreme (JME) are designing a modern version not powered by rockets, but by a set of four miniature turbojets. The new Jet Vest is expected to offer free flying times nearly four minutes in duration. Having run short of development money, JME is exploring another modern innovation by reaching out to crowd-funding site Kickstarter for a boost.  Read More

Titanium aluminide, created using hypergravity, would reduce the weight of jet trbine blad...

In the quest for more efficient commercial aircraft to help reduce fuel consumption, weight reduction without compromising safety is one of the most obvious areas of focus. Researchers at the European Space Agency (ESA) working in the Intermetallic Materials Processing in Relation to Earth and Space Solidification (IMPRESS) Project have used hypergravity to help develop an aircraft-grade alloy they claim is twice as light as the nickel superalloys currently used in conventional jet engines, but boasts equally good properties.  Read More

Seth Kettleman's custom-built jet-powered go-kart

Seth Kettleman is no stranger to high-powered vehicles. The surplus aircraft parts dealer provided the Boeing engine and technical support for the building of a jet-powered Batmobile replica, and more recently attempted to sell his own similarly-outfitted Datsun 280ZX on eBay. Now, you have the chance to buy another one of his monstrosities – a custom-built jet-powered go-kart.  Read More

Auto restorer and designer Casey Putsch has built a replica Batmobile, that is powered by ...

Last October, we told you about the full-scale working Batmobile replica built by movie prop-maker Bob Dullam. The version of the iconic superhero vehicle that Dullam chose to recreate was the rugged, Hummer-esque beauty from Batman Begins and The Dark Knight, known as the Tumbler. Well, that car now has some company on the road, in the form of a street-legal copy of the smoother, slinkier Batmobile that first appeared in 1989’s Batman. Built by Ohio auto restorer and designer Casey Putsch in just five months out of race car and military surplus parts, the vehicle is incredibly faithful to the original ... to the point that it’s powered by an actual jet engine.  Read More

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