aircraft

NASA reveals 14-motor electric X-plane prototype

NASA reveals 14-motor electric X-plane prototype

Last year NASA announced a plan to design commercial passenger airplanes that use electricity in an attempt to improve the loud, fuel-reliant planes the industry uses today. This week, the agency revealed a research prototype called X-57. Dubbed "Maxwell," after 19th century scientists James Clerk Maxwell, it's NASA's first X-plane in 10 years, and it features 14 all-electric motors.

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Solar Impulse plane lands in New York, completing US leg of global flight

Solar Impulse plane lands in New York, completing US leg of global flight

Solar Impulse 2, which we've written about several times before, is a small, single pilot, solar-powered aircraft making a slow-but-steady flight around the world in order to prove the potential of renewable energy. The plane arrived in New York City in the early hours of Saturday morning, seeing the project complete the US leg of its journey, and celebrating with an iconic flyby of the Statue of Liberty.

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EHang 184 manned drone to flight test in Nevada

EHang 184 manned drone to flight test in Nevada

The last time we talked about EHang the company was showing off its EHang 198 automated flying machine. The drone aircraft looks like a quadrotor you might use to fly your GoPro into the sky for aerial shots, but is sized to allow human passengers to climb aboard and take flight. The idea is that the EHang automated drones could pick people up, the person could enter a destination with a smartphone app, and takeoff.

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Superjet desert tests pave way for ultra-fast commercial flights

Superjet desert tests pave way for ultra-fast commercial flights

The future of long-distance travel is looking more exciting than ever -- forget Amtrak, we'll have a Hyperloop. And what about flights? Work has been underway to create a so-called 'superjet' able to travel at ridiculously fast speeds, and that technology was recently successfully tested in the Australian desert. The effort, a collaboration between U.S. and Australian military research teams, involves hypersonic technology able to take planes from Sydney to London in a mere two hours.

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Ecigs now banned from checked airline luggage

Ecigs now banned from checked airline luggage

The U.S. Department of Transportation has banned e-cigarettes from checked airline luggage, announcing the change today. According to DOT, putting e-cigarettes or ‘vapes’ in checked baggage poses a fire risk, with there having been several incidents in the recent past related to the matter. The ban doesn’t mean you can’t take your ecig with you, though -- you'll just have to make sure it's in your carry-on.

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Solar Impulse plane lands in California after successfully crossing Pacific

Solar Impulse plane lands in California after successfully crossing Pacific

Following a long 9-month delay in Hawaii, the Solar Impulse 2, a small solar-powered aircraft, finally departed on Thursday to continue its trip across the Pacific Ocean, just a single leg in its flight around the world. The project's team has revealed that the plane successfully completed its flight to California, landing south of San Francisco in Mountain View at around 11:45 PM on April 23rd.

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Google’s latest plans to take flight

Google’s latest plans to take flight

Ever wonder when you'd get to fly on a Google plane? We've been sent a number of documents which show Google's continued work on air projects - especially on batteries that'd allow aircraft to remain in flight for long periods of time. Not necessarily for human beings - in fact more than likely not. Instead, what we're looking at here is a containment pod for electronics. If you find yourself onboard one of these planes, something's gone wrong. But no worries!

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Solar Impulse finally leaves Hawaii to complete Pacific crossing

Solar Impulse finally leaves Hawaii to complete Pacific crossing

Earlier this week we talked a bit about the Solar Impulse solar-powered aircraft that had been grounded in Hawaii for an extended period of time. A severe overheating in the battery packs that store the solar energy led to damage requiring those batteries to be replaced. Earlier this week we had learned that test flights had been conducted and the aircraft was waiting for the ideal window to take off. That launch happened yesterday when the Solar Impulse left Kalaeloa, Hawaii.

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Solar Impulse plane ready to continue solar-powered flight around the world

Solar Impulse plane ready to continue solar-powered flight around the world

The last news you may remember hearing about the Solar Impulse 2 project, which aims to fly a small solar-powered aircraft around the world, was last summer when the plane arrived in Hawaii with "irreversible damage" to the batteries. The aircraft and its pilot had just spent over 4 days and 21 hours flying across the Pacific from Japan to Hawaii, setting a world record for the longest solo flight in the process, only to be grounded due to severe overheating damage.

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e-volo Volocopter VC200 done its first manned flight

e-volo Volocopter VC200 done its first manned flight

Small and very lightweight helicopters have been around for decades for enthusiasts to enjoy just for fun. A company called e-volo has been working on something it calls a multicopter that looks more like a giant multirotor drone aircraft than a machine designed to carry human occupants. The flying machine is called the Volocopter VC200 and e-volo has announced that it has conducted its first manned flight.

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Imagine flying with 21-inch touchscreen seatback displays

Imagine flying with 21-inch touchscreen seatback displays

The state of in-flight entertainment has been steadily improving over the last few years, with WiFi increasingly being offered by more airlines, and a wide range of movies and TV shows available from the built-in seatback displays. But what if airlines went all out and provided flyers with luxurious-sized touchscreens to help distract them from the miserable amount of legroom? Well, it might look like these 21.3-inch screens in a prototype from Thales, a French aerospace company.

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DARPAs Gremlins are air-recoverable drones

DARPAs Gremlins are air-recoverable drones

Say the word Gremlins to any child of the '80s and we automatically assume you can't feed them after midnight. DARPA is working on a new program that it calls Gremlins, but rather than adorable little animals that turn murderous after late night snacks, the DARPA Gremlins are flying drone aircraft that are capable of being launched and recovered in the air. DARAP has awarded phase 1 contracts to four different companies to begin looking at ways to make the air-recoverable drone aircraft possible.

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