A lucky eBay bidder could walk away with a one-of-a-kind Skycar prototype. Starting bid? Just $1 million
By Eric AdamsPosted 10.09.2006 at 2:00 am 0 Comments
Last year, the Skycar was offered for sale on the cover of Neiman Marcus's famed annual holiday catalogue. No buyers. Now it's on eBay. What's next, collect 340 million Pepsi bottle caps, and it's yours?
Sad but true: The lure of being cast into the air by a speeding floatie was so intense that PopSci almost featured the Wego Kite Tube in our magazines Whats New section earlier this spring. We didnt, because it just seemed too dangerous, but heck, we werent the only idiots who thought it looked like a ton of fun. More than 19,000 Kite Tubes were sold this year, and the thing was even named 2006 Sports Product of the Year by the Sporting Goods Manufacturers Association.
But what was everyone thinking? If there were a Darwin Awards for toy manufacturers, these guys would get top honors. The floppy 10-foot diameter discs—brazenly printed with skulls and the slogan Never kite higher than youre willing to fall—were recalled a few weeks ago after causing 39 injuries and two deaths. And were not talking Slip n Slidecaliber injuries. One 29-year-old man broke his neck after falling from a height of 35 feet at 45 miles an hour.
The problem is that the tube provides a means of creating loft (a vertical-pulling mechanism that lifts the front of the disc enough to force air beneath it) but no means of steering once youve gotten off the ground. As aviation writer and resident aerodynamics expert Bill Sweetman puts it, Flight is more than just lift (the bottom of the tube) and thrust (the boat). There is also something essential, which is referred to as control. Without that, you are fish food.
So without further ado, the tasteless feature youve been waiting for: The Wego Kite Tube crash video. —Megan Miller
It floats, it flies, it eliminates enemy targets-meet the water-launched unmanned enforcer
By Bill SweetmanPosted 02.21.2006 at 2:00 am 3 Comments
Lockheed Martin's Skunk Works, famed for the U-2 and Blackbird spy planes that flew higher than anything else in the world in their day, is trying for a different altitude record: an airplane that starts and ends its mission 150 feet underwater. The Cormorant, a stealthy, jet-powered, autonomous aircraft that could be outfitted with either short-range weapons or surveillance equipment, is designed to launch out of the Trident missile tubes in some of the U.S. Navy's gigantic Cold Warâ€era Ohio-class submarines.
The A380 is the most massive jetliner ever built, and getting it done was an equally huge undertaking. Here, an exclusive look at the unveiling of Airbus's giant gamble
By Bill SweetmanPosted 03.31.2005 at 2:00 pm 0 Comments
There were acrobats from the Cirque du Soleil, a mechanical objet d'art that looked like a mad inventor's spaceship, and a voluble computer-generated wizard that bore a disturbing resemblance to a bathrobe-clad George Carlin-the ceremony in Toulouse, France, that marked the completion of Airbus's first A380 was nothing if not pomp-filled. But when four kids finally tugged on a huge tasseled cord and the curtain fell to reveal the largest jetliner ever built, the spectacle was just beginning.
This morning, October 18, 2002, the Air Force and Boeing unveiled to a small group of selected journalists the Bird of Prey, a previously "black" or ultra-secret airplane prototype that was built and tested in the mid-1990s. The unveiling took place at Boeing's Phantom Works facility in St. Louis.