Next time you're in Afghanistan, make sure to keep an eye out for the U.S. Army's Space and Missile Defense Command's giant blimp-like surveillance airship.
The Long Endurance Multi-Intelligence Vehicle (LEMV), as it's called, will be 250 feet long, autonomous, and able to float at up to 20,000 feet for an impressive three weeks at a time. As for its surveillance capabilities, a 40-foot-long stretch behind the cockpit will house a selection of spy gear, including a motion sensor and radar.
After almost 15 years of spying on America's enemies, and occasionally blowing them up, the venerable Predator and Reaper drones currently used by the Air Force will have to be replaced, sooner or later. The Pentagon has put out a contract for the next generation of UAVs, and Stephen Trimble of The DEW Line has the first shots of Lockheed Martin's stealthy entry, the MQ-X.
Fresh off the assembly line, the leapfrogging, stealthy F-35B fighter jet prepares for liftoff
By Eric AdamsPosted 04.16.2008 at 9:16 am 8 Comments
Last April, we dissected the worlds most advanced fighter jet, the F-35B Lightning II, in the pages of our annual How It Works issue. Now military contractor Lockheed Martin is firing up the jets 40,000-pound-thrust engine (the most powerful ever built for a fighter jet) in preparation for flight tests. The jet can soar at supersonic speeds (1,000 mph) and deflect radar signals, but by the end of the month, pilots are expected to show off its most highly anticipated feature: the ability to stop mid-flight and touch down virtually anywhere.
I've noticed that the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter and the F-22 Raptor, both of which are in development by Lockheed Martin, look strikingly similar. What's the difference between the two? Marc Tidalgo
New York, N.Y.
As satellites grow bigger and more powerful, so must the rockets that carry them into orbit. A new generation is emerging-not only are they more muscular, but they're also efficient and environmentally friendly. In the battle for the world's launchpads, here's how the contenders stack up.
Vehicle: Ariane 5Maker: Arianespace (France)First launch: June 1996First payload: Cluster scientific satellites (destroyed)Capacity (in Chevy Suburbans): 3.8More info: www.arianespace.com
With little fanfare, the race is on to build a Mach 2.0 private jet with a reduced sonic boom.
By Bill SweetmanPosted 01.16.2002 at 7:00 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.