In 1983, engineers at General Electric experimented with an "unducted fan" engine. Without the external casing, airflow through the blades increased, delivering more power for the same amount of fuel. The thing was loud, but the company pressed on because the trick could reduce fuel consumption by as much as 26 percent. Then fuel prices dropped, gas guzzling became acceptable, and GE mothballed the project. Now that airlines are again conscious of fuel costs and carbon, the idea is back, and new tech is making it feasible.
Earlier today, I came upon the site of a man who is building his own jet-powered motorcycle. That's right. He's converting turbochargers into jet engines and building a motorcycle around them. But that's not all; there are apparently a lot of these crazies out there. Here's a look at some.
NASA's Cassini spacecraft has repeatedly taken the plunge into the icy jets of Saturn's sixth-largest moon, and all in the name of science. Now the U.S. space agency has released the latest stunning image from Cassini's November 21 flyby. Can you count the 30 jets in this image?
After frightening revelations that hackers have already managed to break into the computer systems that control huge swaths of the United States' power grid and other pieces of national infrastructure, the Wall Street Journal reports that cyber-spies have broken into the Pentagon's Joint Strike Fighter program -- its costliest initiative -- and made off with several terabytes of sensitive data.
A Category 4 hurricane approaches New Orleans, yet “When the Saints Go Marching In” continues to spill out of clubs on Bourbon Street. No one’s worried, because two F4 Phantom fighter jets have just taken off from the nearby Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base to kill the storm before it hits land.
To break the world land speed record, you need a marketable driver
By Gregory MonePosted 04.22.2008 at 11:45 am 4 Comments
A racing team led by 66-year-old Ed Shadle is gunning for the world land speed record of 763 miles per hour—their goal is to break the 800 mark. Shadle has spent a decade and $150,000 getting ready, and transforming an old jet into his potentially record-smashing ride, the North American Eagle. The car boasts 42,000 horsepower, and will supposedly do 0 to 800 in just 20 seconds. And it's entirely green, running on solar . . . no, just kidding.
The big news, though, is that Shadle is looking for drivers.
Design trend alert: turning scrapped airplanes into architectural marvels
By Sonia ZjawinskiPosted 08.02.2006 at 2:00 am 0 Comments
What happens to airplanes when they die? Though it's fun to imagine them flying up to some big hangar in the sky, the truth is that of the 200 that are retired worldwide every year, most end up in scrap-metal graveyards. Some are even simply abandoned to rust next to landing strips, becoming the FAA equivalent of junked front-yard jalopies.
Missile-jamming lasers and â€œrefuse to crashâ€ software are ready to fly on civilian aircraft
By Tom LeComptePosted 03.27.2006 at 2:00 am 0 Comments
Nearly five years after September 11, the airline industry is finally adopting new in-flight technologies to keep planes safe from terrorists. With $110 million in grant money from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the Federal Aviation Administration is currently in the process of certifying two antimissile systems designed for commercial airliners. The technology uses infrared sensors to detect and track incoming missiles, then fires a laser beam to jam a heat-seeking missile´s infrared guidance system.