True to its aeronautic roots, NASA is evaluating a new generation of supersonic airplane designs to see whether they can reduce sonic-boom levels.
Boeing and Lockheed Martin have submitted futuristic concepts that look similar to the Concorde, but aim to muffle the annoying and potentially damaging sonic boom problem.
Late next year, you'll be able to buy your own flying car -- er, "roadable aircraft" -- thanks to a thumbs-up from the Federal Aviation Administration. As long as you have $194,000 and a sport pilot license.
The agency approved the Transition plane-car this week, giving it a Light Sport Aircraft rating. The test prototype has been flying for about a year, but plane-maker Terrafugia will unveil its production-class plane next month at the Experimental Aircraft Association's annual convention in Oshkosh, Wisc.
Further validating the increasing role that unmanned aerial systems (UAS) play in 21st-century defense, the United States Air Force announced yesterday that it will institutionalize the remotely piloted aircraft pilot service field, establishing undergraduate RPA training that will make UAV pilot less a specialization and more a full-fledged operational career.
The Federal Aviation Administration wants you to fly the robot-friendly skies, but the regulatory overseer has more than a few challenges to overcome before it can extend that invitation in earnest. The FAA today announced it has added a research project aimed at figuring out exactly how the U.S. can safely fold unmanned aircraft into its national infrastructure and eventually the airspace it governs.
In between sausage balloons, elegant blimps and ill-fated steam planes, yesterday's archive gallery on aviation yielded a fantastic array of old-school flying machines. After hearing of the Wright brothers' success at Kitty Hawk, most people were eager to see airplanes drop bombs or transport passengers across the Atlantic, but one Popular Science writer contemplated a hilariously sinister alternative for aerial technology.
The Israelis are developing a hovering, rapidly deployable eye in the sky that smartly skirts the usual problems associated with hovering aircraft. Israel Aerospace Industries has worked up two functioning prototypes of a hovering platform that launches from a moving vehicle to which it is tethered, leaving the heavy power source that usually drags down hovering platforms on the ground below.
The Obama administration has worked tirelessly towards nuke reductions in recent months, signing an arms control treaty with Russia and ratcheting up the rhetoric -- and the promises of further sanctions -- towards Iran. But at the center of President Obama's arms reduction campaign is an antimissile defense rocket known as the SM-3, and depending on who you ask the interceptor is either "proven and effective," or an absolute failure 80 percent of the time.
Automobile design has changed drastically over the last half century, and computers have gone from filling entire rooms to fitting neatly in our briefcases. The Boeing 737, however, has changed very little. An MIT team aims to bring aviation into the 21st century with two bold new designs for commercial airliners that could trim fuel use by up to 70 percent while increasing passenger capacity.
New York City may be on the cutting edge of cuisine and fashion, but in nerdier pursuits like cartography, NYC has unfortunately fallen behind -- like, 30 years behind. But a twin-engine airplane fitted with LIDAR scanners has lately been gathering data that will close the city's map gap, creating extremely detailed digital maps of the city that will lead to better land management, inform emergency protocols, and help identify the best places to install solar panels across the five boroughs.