Every once in a while, something comes along that makes you wonder why no one thought of it sooner. BAE Systems' "Air Deck" does just that, with a balcony that folds right down off the rear of a private jet. The viewing platform, probably the first in aviation history, takes a mere five minutes to transform the back of the aircraft into either an extended living space or an elevated outdoor viewing deck.
MiniSquadron Special Edition is the free sequel to the hit game Minisquadron, a 2D cartoony airplane dog-fighting game with excellent gameplay and a ton of new content. Just like the original, the control system consists of an onscreen joystick on the left and a fire button on the right. In the game, you'll need to battle through 12 waves of different types of airplanes to complete a round. Completing rounds unlocks new airplanes (there are 50 new planes to unlock), each of which will have unique weapons, varying flying speeds, and other perks that will help you in the … Read more
If you've been following tech news this week, you probably saw the story of how an Apple engineer accidentally left an iPhone 4G behind at a bar. The story has been written about all over the tech sites, so I'll let you read all the details they were able to uncover about the device from the linked story by Erica Ogg. But for a different take on what led up to the iPhone 4G being lost, check out this "shocking" video over at the Buzz Report...It's great having coworkers with a sense of humor.… Read more
A plane designed to fly day and night using solar power has successfully taken its first maiden flight.
The Solar Impulse HB-SIA soared into the air for its first flight early Wednesday from its home in Switzerland. After a smooth takeoff, the plane climbed to an altitude of 1,200 meters (3,937 feet or three-quarters of a mile) and stayed aloft for a total of 87 minutes. Pilot Markus Scherdel used the flight to run the Impulse through different exercises and maneuvers to see how it would handle itself.
As thousands of spectators gazed skyward, Scherdel worked the controls … Read more
A small airplane crashed and killed three Tesla Motors employees in Northern California on Wednesday, the electric car maker's chief executive said.
A Cessna 310 struck an electrical tower after taking off on Wednesday morning, crashed into a residential neighborhood and killed all three people on board, according to local police. Tesla confirmed all had worked at the car company.
Tesla is withholding the employees' names while it works with authorities to notify their families, Chief Executive Elon Musk said.
"Tesla is a small, tightly-knit company, and this is a tragic day for us," Musk said.
Tesla, … Read more
Updated at 4:28 p.m. PST with additional details about the 747-8F.
EVERETT, Wash.--With all the recent hoopla about the first flight of Boeing's 787 Dreamliner, true aviation buffs may be the only ones aware that the most iconic jumbo jet of all time was also preparing for a crucial step forward.
And on Monday, it happened: the 747-8 Freighter, the next generation of Boeing's 40-year-old flagship jet, took off from Paine Field here, the first flight of the cargo version of what will be the longest commercial plane in the company's history, a very important advancement for the venerable 747 program.
The 747-8 is considered an essential airplane for Boeing, even as it proceeds with the 787 Dreamliner, because the former will be the aviation giant's entry in the more energy-efficient roster of planes that airlines and freight carriers are demanding for long-haul flights with high capacity for passengers and cargo. (The passenger version of the plane is set to arrive about a year after the cargo model.)
And while the passenger version of the 747-8 is perhaps sexier than the freighter that took off at 12:39 p.m. PST on Monday, the 747-8F's first flight is vital evidence that the 747 program is alive and well, and ready to move solidly into the 21st century.
Boeing says that the 747-8 will be quieter and far more fuel-efficient than the existing 747-400 series. It is thought that the passenger version will hold as many as 467 passengers, 51 more than on a current 747-400. The freighter version will offer 21 percent more lower-hold revenue cargo volume than the 747-400 and cost about 8 percent less per seat mile to operate, the company says.
A big part of the plane's improved efficiency comes from an innovative wing design which features double-slotted flaps inboard, and single-slotted flaps outboard, fly-by-wire spoilers and outboard ailerons. The plane also features GEnx-2B67 engines, similar to the GEnx engines that will power the 787 Dreamliner. The engine features a high-pressure compressor that is the most efficient and compact GE has yet produced, Boeing says. The result is said to be high fuel efficiency and low noise.
Boeing said the 747-8F will offer the lowest cargo cost-per-mile in the business. It weighs 154 tons, has a range of 4,390 nautical miles, a height of 63 feet, 6 inches, a wing span of 224 feet, 7 inches, and a length of 250 feet, 2 inches. It can reach Mach 0.85
The Monday takeoff was delayed by nearly three hours by low cloud cover, and the flight was scheduled for about four hours in the air, with a series of initial tests intended to demonstrate the plane's airworthiness.
But as Boeing deputy test program manager Brian Johnson said, Monday's flight was much more "a chief pilot time," as it marked the first opportunity for Capt. Mark Feuerstein, the man in that role in the 747 program, to have "four hours in the cockpit to just get comfortable with" the plane. … Read more
The FAA has asked Boeing to prove that its new connected airplane isn't so connected it can connect hackers. We also discuss why folks think women aren't as good at math when all the women we know are great at math. And we hash over some Apple tablet rumors. I mean, how could we not? We also have special guest host Clayton Morris from Fox News, and Ryan Shrout from PC Perspective.Subscribe with iTunes (audio) Subscribe with iTunes (video) Subscribe with RSS (audio) Subscribe with RSS (video) EPISODE 1152
OnLive responds to bad press, more beta testers … Read more
Over on Laughing Squid this afternoon, a headline and an eerie still-frame photo caught my eye and reeled me in to one of the most captivating videos I've seen online: Time-lapse footage of US Airways Flight 1549 submerged in the icy waters of the Hudson River, awaiting the barges and cranes that would eventually lift it up and take it away.
The video, shot by David Martin is, as Todd Lappin wrote on Laughing Squid, "haunting." It's also amazing and beautiful.
If you've been following the latest Mac news, you already know that Apple is having a special event later this month. Most people believe that we will finally see the long-awaited Apple tablet--a multitouch device that's rumored to fall between the form factor of the iPod Touch and Apple's smallest MacBook laptops. Complete with touch-screen capabilities and rumored compatibility with iPhone apps, the new Apple tablet could be the mobile device a lot of people have been waiting for. Rick Broida wrote a post today saying iPhone OS 4.0 is imminent and it looks like he … Read more
Any geek worth his (or her) weight in salt will tell you that one of the most necessary tools for ad hoc repairs is duct tape. In fact, the one thing geeks don't use it for is to tape ducts. I've known people who have used duct tape to mount a hard drive, weather-proof a camera, build a cantenna, make ice skates, and affix a flash defuser for a camera.
A fisherman chartered a small plane to fly into the Alaskan backcountry for some fishing. The fisherman unwisely left fresh bait in the plane, which attracted a bear--this being bear country and all--and the animal then tore the airplane apart. The image you see above is the trashed plane.
But the charter pilot supposedly was a bad-ass. And like a bad-ass he wouldn't just let a bear get away with tearing up his airplane. No, this bad-ass--who must be a geek--called another pilot to ferry in new tires, sheet plastic, and three cases of duct tape.
lz_NorthPole claims the pilot applied the materials, flew the thing home, and arrived safely. I fervently hope he is not playing an early April Fools' joke, because this is the best use of duct tape I've seen in a long time.
What you see above is the before. The "after" shot is after the jump. Take a look and tell us: do you think this story (and plane) flies? … Read more