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— Aircraft

Falx to debut hybrid-electric tilt-rotor aircraft with inbuilt solar charging

By - April 28, 2008 7 Pictures
Tilt-rotor aircraft have been around since the 1950s, offering the vertical take-off, hovering and landing abilities of a helicopter with the range, high flight ceiling, speed and fuel economy of a turboprop aeroplane. Now a new venture from Falx Air Vehicles is planning to push the fuel economy angle even further by using a hybrid-electric motor and inbuilt solar arrays. The company expects its upcoming compact single and double-seater tiltrotor aircraft to use as little as 10 litres of fuel per hour airborne, and the quiet electric operation should see these small, light and manoeuvrable aircraft make solid stealth vehicles for military uses. Though not yet confirmed, we may see a full-size prototype as early as the Farnsworth air show this year, and Falx is aiming to have the craft fully certified by the end of 2009. Read More
— Aircraft

Aeroscraft ML866: superyacht for the sky officially launched

By - October 8, 2007 16 Pictures
It’s as big as a superyacht and not quite as fast as a supercar, but it does have a range of over 3000 miles and can do it over land, sea or snow, lingering anywhere you like the view. A new category of aircraft that fits somewhere in between a blimp, airship or dirigible, the Aeroscraft ML866 project was recently presented at the National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) show in Atlanta, Georgia. The key factor of the ML866 design is that it offers superyacht size and comfort in a platform that can operate independently from airports, meaning that a new class of luxury conveyance is about to become available which appears to trump them all. Read More
— Aircraft

Aeroscraft ML866: the ultimate corporate aircraft

By - August 7, 2007 3 Pictures
The trend towards radical new aircraft designs aimed at achieving new levels of efficiency and operational capability beyond anything currently gracing our skies is on the rise. Recently Gizmag examined Boeing’s Blended-Wing Body (BWB) and now Aeros have announced the new Aeroscraft ML866 aircraft which utilizes a combination of buoyant and dynamic lift to create usage possibilities that far outstrip currently available aircraft platforms. The ML866 can be utilized as a private air yacht, corporate air vehicle, business office in the sky, or commercial commuter, providing its passengers with far more space than any existing business jet. Read More
— Aircraft

The ion-propelled, remotely-powered jetpack

By - June 7, 2007 10 Pictures
This has to be one of the most 'futuristic' developments we've seen in some time; a new U.S. patent has been awarded to a company that has plans for a safe, silent personal flight device using electromagnetic ion propulsion as its primary thrust generator and drawing its power wirelessly from earthbound inductive green power broadcast stations. California's Personal Flight Systems are taking a serious look at the future of personal flight, and the technology involved will leave you shaking your head. Read More
— Aircraft

New CH-47F Chinook helicopter begins Operational Testing with U.S. Army

By - February 19, 2007 5 Pictures
February 20, 2007 The first production CH-47F Chinook helicopter is heading for the battlefield in the near future with the news that Operational Testing (OT) for the U.S. Army has begun at Fort Campbell in Kentucky. The aircraft successfully completed acceptance and developmental flight testing last December. The aircraft is the first of 452 CH-47F helicopters included in the U.S. Army Cargo Helicopter modernization program. It features a newly designed, modernized airframe and a Rockwell Collins Common Avionics Architecture System cockpit and BAE Digital Advanced Flight Control System. The advanced avionics provide improved situational awareness for flight crews with an advanced digital map display and a data transfer system that allows storing of preflight and mission data. Improved survivability features include Common Missile Warning and Improved Countermeasure Dispenser Systems. Read More
— Aircraft

Unmanned helicopter rescue service for Mount Everest

By - February 6, 2007 1 Picture
February 7, 2007 One of the many problems of climbing a mountain as tall as Mount Everest, is that once you’re up there, there’s not much help available if things go wrong. Most helicopters are not designed to operate above a ceiling of about 14,000ft (4,300m), yet Base Camp on Everest is at nearly 18,000ft (5364m) and the summit is another 11,500ft (3,486m) above that. Now UAV specialist TGR Helicorp, creators of the Snark, has developed an unpiloted full-size alpine rescue helicopter; the Alpine Wasp, which will be able to operate safely and autonomously at altitudes up to and beyond 30,000ft (over 9000m). The company will be donating the Alpine Wasp to the Everest Rescue Trust after it has undergone testing and systems evaluation in the harsh mountain environment of the Mt Cook region of New Zealand during 2007. It will be capable of airlifting up to two sick or injured climbers at a time from extreme altitude, using ultra-modern composite technologies, a revolutionary diesel helicopter engine and rotor blades designed especially for maximum performance in thin air. The Everest Trust is to use the Alpine Wasp as its key technology in building and operating a self-funding unmanned rescue helicopter service for the extreme altitude regions of Nepal. This humanitarian project aims to save lives on Everest and improve the safety and emergency services in Nepal, while directly benefiting the Nepalese people. Read More
— Aircraft

The sub US$200,000 family aircraft – the Sky Yacht

By - December 11, 2006 6 Pictures
December 12, 2006 Skyacht Aircraft has created a whisper quiet, steerable, Personal Blimp capable of sustained and affordable flight. Under development for four years, the first Personal Blimp, named Airship Alberto, made its first flight on October 27, 2006, becoming the first and only aircraft to meet this seemingly straightforward goal. The Personal Blimp uses hot air (rather than Helium) for lift and silent electric motors for propulsion and is hence a hot air balloon that can be flown, steered and landed in perfect quiet offering passengers a serene flight experience. It can hover and steer around objects making it ideal for, amongst other things, eco-tourism, aerial photography and film-making. It’s due at market in about two years for a price under US$200,000 compared to the smallest helium airship which costs US$2,000,000+ while a top-notch helium ship costs more than US$12 million. When not in use, the Personal Blimp can be deflated and folded for storage (much like a hot air balloon.) The combination of ready buoyancy control and rapid deflation eliminates not only costly hangars but also the large ground crews typically required for helium airships. Read More
— Robotics

GoldenEye 80 ducted fan UAV makes successful first flight

By - December 6, 2006 6 Pictures
December 7, 2006 Flying saucer sightings are certain to be on the increase from this point forth as a new type of aerial vehicle comes into existence. The Aurora Flight Sciences GoldenEye 80 unmanned air vehicle made a successful first flight last month, becoming the first ducted fan UAV to fly under the power of a heavy fuel engine. The fully autonomous GoldenEye 80 UAV is being developed under contract to the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) through its Organic Air Vehicle (OAV-II) program. The GoldenEye 80 is designed to give company commanders the ability to spot, identify, designate, and destroy targets. With its powerful sensors and quiet operation, the aircraft can dash to a target area, hover motionless in the sky, and observe and designate a target – all without being heard by people on the ground. The unique design and embedded capabilities of the GoldenEye 80 enable the UAV to be used for a variety of military missions, from conducting surveillance beyond hills in rural areas to gathering intelligence while flying between buildings in urban warfare operations. Read More
— Aircraft

Special Forces get the first CV-22 Ospreys

By - November 17, 2006 17 Pictures
November 18, 2006 The United States Special Forces have been the best equipped in the world for a long time, though the gap widened considerably on Thursday with the first delivery of the CV-22 Osprey to the U.S. Air Force Special Operations Command at Hurlburt Field, Florida. The CV-22 is the Air Force version of the V-22 Osprey, a tiltrotor aircraft that combines the speed and range of fixed wing aircraft with the vertical flight performance of a helicopter. With its engine nacelles and rotors in vertical position, it can take off, land and hover like a helicopter, but once airborne its engine nacelles can be rotated to convert the aircraft to a turboprop airplane capable of high-speed, high-altitude flight. The CV-22 offers unprecedented speed in the ingress and extraction of special forces into any terrain. Just in case the advantages of the CV-22 and its almost identical brethren the V-22 aren’t entirely obvious, the following recently published briefing by Loren Thompson of the Lexington Institute highlights why the Osprey is one system the military needs more of right now. Read More

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