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Wings

WingBoarding would see adrenalin junkies towed behind a plane atop a winged board

Technological advances haven't just led to more comfortable homes and more productive workplaces, they've also provided thrillseekers with new and inventive ways to get the adrenalin pumping, with Wakeboarding (now possible without a boat), skydiving and wingsuit flying just some examples of extreme sports enabled by modern technology. Now Aaron Wypyszynski, founder of Alabama-based Wyp Aviation, is looking to combine elements of these three sports in WingBoarding, which would see a rider towed behind a plane atop a winged board – yes, seriously.  Read More

Robot raptors that fly like the real thing are designed to act as a deterrent to flocks of...

Birds that stray into the paths of aircraft, eat crops, or spread disease from foraging in large numbers at landfills are, at best, a nuisance and, at worst, downright dangerous. Over the years people have tried everything from scaring them away with loud noises to trapping them – all with varying results. Now a designer from the Netherlands has come up with robotic birds of prey that look and fly exactly like the real thing.  Read More

FlexSys' variable geometry airfoil, the FlexFoil

If there's one thing that needs to be aerodynamic, it's an airplane wing. Conventional wing designs however, suffer from a glaring weakness in this respect: the joint where the main wing meets the trailing flaps. Michigan-based FlexSys has developed a way to optimize wing aerodynamics with FlexFoil, a seamless variable geometry airfoil system that could deliver fuel savings of up to 12 percent.  Read More

Boeing has launched its new 777X, 777-8X and 777-9X aircraft

Boeing has launched its newest airliner, the 777X, at the 2013 Dubai Airshow. The aircraft is designed with folding wing-tips that will increase wingspan and, as a result, fuel efficiency without limiting access at airports.  Read More

The current wing is an inflateable wing specially built by a kitesurfing manufacturer for ...

The University of Delft has a program devoted to kite-based generation systems, with 20 years of research and development under their belt since Wubbo Ockels, the first Dutch astronaut established it. Now, members of the team are exploring practical niches where the compromises of kite-based power might pay off. One has just completed a trip through Kenya, Tanzania and Senegal discussing opportunities for rural African kite generation with governmental agencies, universities and companies in the renewables space.  Read More

The morphing leading edge concept would replace traditional leading edge slats on fixed wi...

Passengers looking out the window of a passenger plane will likely have noticed slats on the leading edge of the wing, along with the flaps on the trailing edge of the wing, being extended during takeoff and landing. These leading edge slats provide the lift necessary at low speeds, with the gap between the wing and the slats directing air from the underside of the wing to the top. Unfortunately, this gap also generates a lot of noise. A team of researchers has now developed a morphing leading edge that eliminates the gap and reduces noise and drag during landing.  Read More

The pint-sized, lightweight Nano Hummingbird

AeroVironment, the California-based company behind the largest, highest and longest flying unmanned aircraft system (UAS), the Global Observer, has now achieved a remarkable technical milestone with a much smaller aircraft. With its "Nano Hummingbird" the company has for the first time achieved controlled precision hovering and fast-forward flight of a two-wing, flapping wing aircraft that carries its own energy source and relies only on its flapping wings for propulsion and control.  Read More

The DEMON UAV, that achieved flapless flight in Cumbria

An unmanned aerial vehicle named DEMON made history last month when it demonstrated “flapless flight” at an airfield in Cumbria, England. The demonstrator aircraft’s ailerons/elevators were locked off, allowing it to maneuver using nothing but a series of forced-air jets along the trailing edges of its wings. In the future, such technology could benefit military or commercial aircraft because of fewer moving parts, less maintenance and a stealthier profile.  Read More

Yves 'Jetman' Rossy flies in formation with the Breitling Wingwalkers

We last checked in with Jetman Yves Rossy late last year when his attempt to complete the first intercontinental jetpack flight from Morocco to Spain unfortunately fell short. However, that setback hasn’t deterred Rossy, who has spent the time since developing and testing a fast extracting pyrotechnic parachute and a lighter and more powerful jet-propelled wing. The new “delta wing” is designed to allow take-off from the ground and provide more freedom to realize aerobatic maneuvers, which no doubt came in handy on his latest airborne undertaking – performing some precision formation flying alongside the Breitling Wingwalkers.  Read More

A still from the just-released video of the ornithopter in action

Last year, we brought you the story of tech company AeroVironment’s life-size artificial hummingbird, that flies solely by flapping its wings. Now, a group of Japanese researchers has successfully built and flown a flapping-wing-powered swallowtail butterfly. Besides looking incredibly cool, the life-size “ornithopter” has also proven a principle that could have big implications in the field of aerodynamics.  Read More

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