21st Century AviationAviation innovations, milestones and developments from 2001 to the present
Airbus calls its Concept Plane for 2050 an aircraft “inspired by nature.” But it sure includes a lot of technology. “The idea is to move out from the old-fashioned class system—first class, business class, economy class—and think more about the experience,” says Airbus chief engineer Charles Champion in an interview with The (London) Telegraph. “So [...]
June 15, 2011 | By Rebecca Maksel
If you haven’t seen it yet, take a look at this video of the Martin Aircraft Company’s recent mile-high test of its personal jetpack and safety parachute system. The flight topped out at 5,000 feet, but could have gone higher. While a dummy was on board for this test, the New Zealand-based company is marketing [...]
June 13, 2011 | By Tony Reichhardt
From bomb-bearing balloons to the Global Hawk.
May 18, 2011 | By Ed Darack
Who can forget billionaire ex-spaceman Jeff Tracy and his five sons (Scott, Virgil, Alan, Gordon, and John), each named after a Mercury astronaut? Remember how they—through their organization (International Rescue)—um...rescued people...internationally? Ok, so they were puppets. Deal with it, peop...
May 05, 2011 | By Rebecca Maksel
A remote-piloted warrior starts flying for science.
May 2011 | By Kara Platoni
Jeb Corliss says if the birds can do it, so can he.
November 2010 | By Carl Hoffman
The defense research agency DARPA recently selected six companies to participate in a year-long program to transform a Humvee-like vehicle into an aircraft. Lockheed Martin and AAI Corporation are asked to supply something that can “avoid traditional and asymmetrical threats while avoiding road ...
October 25, 2010 | By Rebecca Maksel
August 2010 | By George C. Larson, Member, NAA
Saturn's mysterious moon may have airplanes in its future.
July 2010 | By Tony Reichhardt
How 30 years changed the world's most complex flying machine.
July 2010 | By Michael Klesius
For the Memorial Day weekend, an assortment of news from the world of air and space:► The field of hypersonic flight has a new record: The Air Force's X-51A Waverider reached Mach 5 in a 200-second scramjet engine burn over the Pacific on Wednesday. Video below:► What looked at first like a sma...
May 28, 2010 | By Tony Reichhardt
The Air Force's X-51A Waverider is being readied for its first hypersonic test flight on Tuesday, May 25. If all goes well, the scramjet-powered vehicle will fly for five minutes and hit Mach 6 before coming down into the ocean off the California coast. Project engineers hope to collect lots of dat...
May 21, 2010 | By Tony Reichhardt
A team of photographers captures Discovery's long journey to the launch pad.
May 17, 2010 | By The Editors
The space shuttle's exhaust trail makes for a lovely sight on an April morning.
May 11, 2010 | By Michael Klesius
NASA’s new launch abort system just passed a major test. But what booster and capsule will use it?
May 06, 2010 | By Michael Klesius
What springs to mind when thinking of the Humvee? Its sleek, aerodynamic lines? Well, no. But that didn't stop DARPA from announcing (in a 58-page proposal) its plans for combining an SUV-type ground vehicle with Vertical Take Off and Landing (VTOL) capabilities. In other words, a flying Humvee.DAR...
May 04, 2010 | By Rebecca Maksel
The field of hypersonic flight research is about to get a boost—actually, two boosts. DARPA's Falcon Hypersonic Technology Vehicle, or HTV-2, is due to launch Thursday on a Minotaur rocket from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California (after two days of weather delays).The unpowered glider will be r...
April 20, 2010 | By Tony Reichhardt
Solar Impulse, the prototype of an airplane meant to fly around the world powered only by sunlight in 2012, made its maiden flight from Payerne, Switzerland yesterday. According to flight test leader (and former astronaut) Claude Nicollier, “We reached all objectives, especially the safe landing, w...
April 08, 2010 | By Tony Reichhardt
Avatar’s creator hopes to direct the first movies shot on Mars.
March 23, 2010 | By Tony Reichhardt
For NASA's flying corps, it looks like 1975 all over again.
February 05, 2010 | By Matthew Hersch