The U.S. government, understandably, doesn't want its drone technology to fall out of the sky and into other peoples' laps. But being able to hijack a drone and control it? That's even worse. And a team of researchers has done it for 1,000 bucks.
The University of Texas at Austin team successfully nabbed the drone on a dare from the Department of Homeland Security. They managed to do it through spoofing, a technique where a signal from hackers pretends to be the same as one sent to the drone's GPS.
The Synergy aircraft, propelled by a fan in back and buoyed by a boxy tail, promises to be cheaper, safer, quieter, and vastly more efficient than a jet airplane. The hitch is that it doesn't quite exist yet, but it's nearly halfway to its goal on Kickstarter, so now is your chance to invest.
A plane engulfed in flame is about the hardest fire to extinguish. How does this truck do it?
By Andrew RosenblumPosted 04.11.2012 at 10:25 am 0 Comments
Aircraft fires pose unusual challenges for first responders. Extinguishing jet fuel requires thousands of gallons of flame-smothering foam, and the fuel burns so hot (up to 2,500°F) that firefighters typically have only three minutes to respond before passengers would be overcome by heat and smoke inhalation. Aircraft Rescue and Fireghting (ARFF) vehicles, then, must balance a heavy payload with quick acceleration. Since its release in 2001, the Oshkosh Striker has become the industry-leading ARFF; today it's used at the White House, nearly every Air Force base, and more than 200 U.S. airports. In 2010, Oshkosh revamped the $600,000-to-$800,000 vehicle for the first time, streamlining the design and refining the controls. See how this fire truck works here.
Arturo Valdenegro, 12-year-old Tucson resident, made paper aviators everywhere look minuscule by comparison last week. In the skies over the Sonora desert in Arizona, the Pima Air & Space Museum launched the biggest paper airplane ever constructed--a paper airplane based on Valdenegro’s design--into the sky, accelerating it to speeds topping 100 miles per hour before it came crashing down (as paper airplanes do).
When supersonic travel inevitably returns to the skies, the airplanes are going to look a lot different. At least one design harks back to the early days of aviation with a biplane design, rather than a sleek delta-winged jet like the Concorde. This shape can apparently produce much less drag and therefore much less noise at supersonic speeds, MIT engineers say.
By Kaitlin MillerPosted 01.27.2012 at 10:30 am 22 Comments
Last year, the Austrian engineering firm IAT21 set out to construct a flying machine that floated like a hummingbird, traveled as fast as a jet, was as quiet as a hot-air balloon, and was simple enough that a car mechanic could repair it. The company's working prototype, called D-Dalus, is roughly five feet by three feet square and can lift about 100 pounds. But the size and lift are not what's most impressive.
Invisible warriors: the engineering breakthroughs that will make everything from planes to subs to soldiers...disappear
By David HamblingPosted 01.04.2012 at 10:03 am 55 Comments
The youngest active stealth bomber in the U.S. turns 15 this year, and the other 19 B-2s in the Air Force fleet are nearly five years older. Meanwhile, the integrated defense systems they face have become much more sophisticated. Multi-static radar, which is now relatively common, is so sensitive that it can detect certain stealth craft. To stay ahead of such defense systems, the Air Force has budgeted $3.7 billion over the next five years to develop a successor to the B-2 that could be active by 2020. Actual designs of the new bomber are classified, but some secrets are already out.
Atom interferometers are neat little devices that exploit the wave characters of atoms to make highly precise measurements of things like distance and or the force of gravity. But because they are fickle by nature--even the smallest vibrations distort their results--atom interferometers have been mostly limited to highly controlled experiments that take place in either underground labs or in free-falling zero-g experiments.