Robot swarms could someday hover, spin, and attack in response to a simple gesture or graceful pirouette from a human operator. And yes, Boeing has filed a patent on that future vision.
"The method may involve defining a plurality of body movements of an operator that correspond to a plurality of operating commands for the unmanned object," Boeing notes in its patent filing. "Body movements of the operator may be sensed to generate the operating commands."
Boeing announced today that they would not hit their latest scheduling target of a first Dreamliner flight before the end of this month, needing to go back to the drawing board for structural reinforcement of a side-of-body panel. This is the latest in a series delays, and it will almost certainly push back the current first-delivery target of Q1 2010.
Boeing is teaming up with a Canadian company to create a new airship that can haul heavy weights in remote regions
By jaya Jiwatram
Posted 07.10.2008 at 5:14 pm 11 Comments
Mammoth-sized blimps may work well as advertising tools, but soon they could be doing a lot more work than that. Aerospace and defense corporation Boeing and Canadian company SkyHook International are working together to create a 302-foot-long airship with rotors that can haul heavy loads—double the capacity of the biggest helicopter—across remote regions at a lower fuel and environmental cost.
Boeing announces that one of its pilots recently cruised in a fuel-cell-powered aircraft
By Gregory Mone
Posted 04.04.2008 at 9:58 am 0 Comments
Yesterday Boeing announced that one of its pilots recently took to the air in an airplane powered by hydrogen fuel cells. This marks the first time a manned aircraft running on fuel cells has ever successfully completed a flight, though robotic drones have done so in the past.
Creating a laser that can melt a soda can in a lab is a finicky enough task. Later this year, scientists will put a 40,000-pound chemical laser in the belly of a gunship flying at 300 mph and take aim at targets as far away as five miles. And we’re not talking aluminum cans. Boeing’s new Advanced Tactical Laser will cook trucks, tanks, radio stations—the kinds of things hit with missiles and rockets today. Whereas conventional projectiles can lose sight of their target and be shot down or deflected, the ATL moves at the speed of light and can strike several targets in rapid succession.
The GEnx engine, the powerplant of Boeing’s 787 Dreamliner, burns 15 percent less fuel than conventional jet engines by using fewer components and lighter composite parts. Flying in 2009, the engine will also be quieter and more durable
By Eric Adams
Posted 03.13.2008 at 4:34 pm 4 Comments
In a “high-bypass” turbofan engine like the GEnx, 90 percent of the thrust comes from spinning fan blades in front that draw in massive quantities of air and force it out in a ring around the engine’s center, or core. The GEnx’s primary innovation is in its fan blades, which have been reshaped to move air more efficiently with fewer blades and are made of carbon fiber to save weight.
DARPA plans to test whether a group of mini-spacecraft can do the work of a larger satellite.
By Dawn Stover
Posted 03.05.2008 at 10:29 pm 3 Comments
It's a name only a government agency could love: the Future, Fast, Flexible, Fractionated, Free-Flying Spacecraft United by Information eXchange. Could DARPA possibly come up with a more tortured title for System F6?
Environmentalists and everyday air travelers alike are growing increasingly aware of the airline industry's greenhouse-gas problem. As demands for greener air travel grow, will technology come to the rescue of the jumbo jet?
By Dennis Gaffney
Posted 02.04.2008 at 6:13 pm 3 Comments
Last summer, more than 1,000 environmentalists in the U.K. staged a weeklong protest in a "Climate Camp" at Heathrow Airport, where about 70 people were arrested. Their immediate purpose was to block a planned expansion of Heathrow, but the protests highlighted a growing complaint in Europe—that the ride to global-warming catastrophe is being fueled not only by coal-fired power plants and SUVs, but also by the ever-rising number of commercial jets. Now governments are starting to listen.
With little fanfare, the race is on to build a Mach 2.0 private jet with a reduced sonic boom.
By Bill Sweetman
Posted 01.16.2002 at 8:00 pm 2 Comments
When a Concorde jet on its way from Paris to New York crashed on July 25, 2000, killing all 109 people aboard and four on the ground, the event was not simply a tragedy -- it seemed a metaphor for the sorry state of supersonic air travel.
Five amazing, clean technologies that will set us free, in this month's energy-focused issue. Also: how to build a better bomb detector, the robotic toys that are raising your children, a human catapult, the world's smallest arcade, and much more.