The most exciting aerospace innovations of 2018

They’re the Best of What’s New.
Record-breaking plane Zephyr S HAPS (Solar High Altitude Pseudo-Satellite) by Airbus in flight
A record-breaking solar-powered plane
Airbus's Zephyr S HAPS set an all-time record on August 5, 2018, staying aloft for more than 25 days. The flight, staged in Arizona, went to 70,000 feet, comfortably above other aircraft and most clouds. Despite its 82-foot wingspan, the solar-powered UAV weighs just 165 pounds, which—along with a power-management system that focuses on maintaining battery temperatures to ensure optimal charge and discharge rates—helped it consume less overall energy. It maintained its elevation all through the night, a feat that other sun-powered planes still can't achieve. Zephyr Airbus
Jet pack? Psh. Try jet suit. Gravity Industries

Looking for this year’s list? 2019’s Best of What’s New winners, this way. >>

Let’s not waste any time: There’s a jet suit in this year’s Best of What’s New list, yet somehow that’s not even what we dubbed the Innovation of the Year. That honor goes to a NASA probe that is, put simply, the fastest thing ever made by humans. Its destination? A little place known as the sun. There’s no doubting the sheer epicness of this year’s top Aerospace innovations; even the more-practical offerings—a floating virtual assistant for the ISS or an extra-safe helicopter—are so awesome you’ll find yourself casually bringing them up on your next first date or company holiday party. Everybody understands how cool space is.

Fastest spacecraft ever NASA's Parker Solar Probe in a lab with engineers
Floating AI Astronaut Assistant CIMON by Airbus & IBM in a spacecraft
two scientists with all-sky exoplanet hunter TESS
Engineers working on the InSight in a lab
Safest helicopter on the market H160 by Airbus in flight
V-280 Valor aircraft by Bell Helicopter in flight
Low Power Radar Skyler by Raytheon on a field

See the entire list: The 100 greatest innovations of 2018

Man wearing the Gravity Jet Suit by Gravity Industries with spectators in the background