Aerospace InventionsInnovations in aerospace industry
Robonaut 2—the humanoid robot soon to be tested as an astronaut’s helper on the International Space Station—is being powered up for the first time this morning (screen shot at left). Since arriving on the space shuttle last February, the robot has been sitting on its pedestal, lifeless. It won’t be commanded to move for a [...]
August 22, 2011 | By Tony Reichhardt
In the 1950s, engineers at Cleveland's brand-new supersonic wind tunnel battled shock waves, unstarts, and the local power company.
August 2011 | By Jeremy Davis
Sikorsky’s X2 is more hot rod than helicopter.
July 2011 | By George C. Larson, Member, NAA
From bomb-bearing balloons to the Global Hawk.
May 18, 2011 | By Ed Darack
A community of alternative rocketeers who may one day dominate the space biz.
May 2011 | By Stephen Joiner
You've heard of the UAV (unmanned air vehicle). Now check out the AUV (autonomous underwater vehicle): The REMUS 6000. It looks like a yellow torpedo. It's a lot smarter. And it dives a lot deeper.Yesterday, the tenacious underwater 'bot located at long last the remains of Air France flight 447, w...
April 05, 2011 | By Mike Klesius
Wow. Aviation pioneer Otto Lilienthal would have loved this. German automation company Festo has built a "SmartBird" modeled on the herring gull that, according to the company, can take off, fly, and land autonomously—just by flapping its wings.The design features a number of innovations, including...
March 28, 2011 | By Tony Reichhardt
When radio communication took to the air.
March 2011 | By George C. Larson, Member, NAA
How engineers altered a jumbo jet to carry the world's biggest airborne telescope.
January 2011 | By Trudy E. Bell
When everything else fails, or fails all at once, pull the parachute that saves the whole airplane.
January 2011 | By Michael Klesius
John Cunningham's wartime nickname concealed a vital military secret—the invention of airborne radar.
November 19, 2010 | By Gavin Mortimer
The missile that has rattled enemy pilots since 1958.
November 2010 | By Preston Lerner
November 2010 | By Tom D. Crouch
This MIT researcher's work is cool enough—he's trying to develop a small UAV that can land on a perch like a bird.But this slow-mo video of an owl coming in for a landing is what really wowed me:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LA6XSrM0V_0
September 30, 2010 | By Tony Reichhardt
The bumper stickers available at the door read, "My other vehicle is unmanned."More and more, that's becoming true for a variety of government agencies—and not just the defense department—as was evident at the UAV Technology Fair held yesterday at the Rayburn House office building in Washington, D....
September 23, 2010 | By Mike Klesius
This looks like fun work.And the people on the SMAVNET Project think they set a record for the largest number of flying robots (10) deployed at a single time outdoors.
September 20, 2010 | By Tony Reichhardt
A veteran reporter describes his search for the aircraft of Area 51.
September 2010 | By William B. Scott
With UAVs becoming more capable and taking on more missions each day, military users are clamoring for one feature in particular: longer dwell time in the air.DARPA's Vulture program aims to build an unmanned vehicle that could stay up for five years. That's still quite a stretch, considering that ...
August 10, 2010 | By Tony Reichhardt
July 2010 | By Peter Garrison
Engineers at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology have built a "Distributed Flight Array"—self-assembling, yet—that could someday be used to airlift objects. See it in action:
June 10, 2010 | By Tony Reichhardt