The skies are going to look very different pretty soon, and it’s been a long time coming. Congress finally passed a spending bill for the Federal Aviation Administration, allocating $63.4 billion for modernizing the country’s air traffic control systems and expanding airspace for unmanned planes within three and a half years.
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.
The Air Force fast approaches its dream invention:
An airplane wing that radically changes shape midflight
By Jonathon KeatsPosted 07.19.2005 at 6:00 pm 0 Comments
Flying an F-16 fighter jet on a long reconnaissance mission is about as efficient as driving a Formula One racecar to the grocery store. Its swept wings have great maneuverability at high speeds, but to stay aloft for hours at a time, you’d be better off with a slower, straight-wing craft such as the U.S. Air Force’s unmanned reconnaissance vehicle Global Hawk. But what if you need to monitor vast tracts of land and respond at a moment’s notice to enemy activity?