The U.S. Department of Defense has suspended airborne testing of its Joint Strike Fighter because of a crack in an engine turbine blade discovered during routine inspection, the Pentagon said this week. The grounding covers every one of the three versions of the F-35 involved in the $396 billion program -- 51 fighter jets that had hitherto been active for testing and training and have been described by the Pentagon as "the most affordable, lethal, supportable, and survivable aircraft ever to be used." Just 10 days ago, one of the three versions of the fighter, the F-35B, … Read more
If you enjoy dreaming up fanciful ways of tooling around, here's something out of the ordinary: an all-electric plane with a helium-filled balloon topped by photovoltaic cells.
It sounds more like a sci-fi prop, but the Ecologic Aircraft Design Concept by French industrial designer Daphnis Fournier is intended to explore new ideas for prototypes that fly.
After all, we do have a flying car that works, so why not this airship-airplane?
About 71 yards long, the craft would be supposedly be able to achieve speeds of 750 mph propelled by four electric turbines while carrying up to 324 passengers. … Read more
We now know that the pilotless X-47B aircraft has its sea legs.
The prototype X-47B Unmanned Combat Air System(PDF) this week completed its first at-sea tests as it gets ready to take off from and land on an aircraft carrier sometime in 2013, a first in naval aviation history.
That eventual flight will be the big moment for the X-47B. But the test phase that just ended is no small potatoes. It's a tricky thing for any aircraft to maneuver around the hectic, cramped, and crowded space of a carrier flight deck. In the test phase that just … Read more
How do you drive a jet-powered drone around the deck of an aircraft carrier? If you've ever guided a remote-control toy car around your kitchen floor, you'll have an idea.
Northrop Grumman said today that it has done its first shore-based tests of a wireless handheld controller that can steer its X-47B unmanned aerial vehicle, a key step toward getting the UAV ready for flight tests on an aircraft carrier in 2013.
In the trial run, which took place earlier this month, Northrop Grumman and the U.S. Navy used the project's Control Display Unit to roll … Read more
In Russia, they probably call this normal.
But see how you feel when you look at this footage of a plane taking off from what seems like an infernal bog.
Imagine if you were a passenger in this thing that seems to be trying to emerge from filthy Jell-O.
Is the pilot auditioning for a Jeep commercial?
This footage, posted yesterday to YouTube and spotted first by Jalopnik, seems to offer the ultimate in man attempting to make a machine do what even the machine doesn't really want to do.
As it shudders through the detritus of, who knows, … Read more
Now, the scale of three-dimensional printing could get even bigger.
Forbes reports that over the last two years an Airbus cabin designer, Bastian Schafer, has been working on a concept plane that could be constructed from the ground up -- using an incredibly large 3D printer.
Most 3D printers available today are no larger than your average dining table -- but Schafer aims first to not only print the smaller components of an aircraft, but by 2050, to print the … Read more
The very first aircraft carrier in the U.S. Navy wasn't even an aircraft carrier at first. Instead, it was toting coal and cargo.
This week marks 90 years since the USS Langley was commissioned and helped set in motion a whole new class of naval vessels and a new era of naval warfare. The mission was experimentation -- how best to have aircraft take off from and land on a tiny airstrip that doesn't hold still.
In the 1920s, "Langley was the platform from which Naval Aviators, guided by Captain Joseph M. Reeves, undertook the development … Read more
The world's largest passenger plane may not be sky-worthy, some aircraft engineers in Australia are saying.
The BBC reports that the engineers are concerned about small cracks that have appeared on the wing ribs of some Airbus A380 airplanes, and that they're calling for the whole fleet to be grounded for investigation.
The cracks were found on A380s operated by Singapore Airlines and Qantas Airways, the BBC reports, and Singapore Airlines says it has repaired the wings of two of its A380s.
The U.S. Navy said today it has demonstrated the successful integration of two of its key next-generation sea-based strike programs--the carrier version of the Joint Strike Fighter, and the all-new electromagnetic aircraft launch system.
Both the F-35C fighter and the EMALS launch technology are expected to see service eventually aboard the USS Gerald R. Ford, the Navy's next-generation aircraft carrier, as well as other Ford-class carriers.
LAS VEGAS--Forget Wi-Fi war driving. Now it's war flying.
A pair of security engineers showed up at the Black Hat security conference here to show off a prototype that can eavesdrop on Wi-Fi, phone, and Bluetooth signals: a retrofitted U.S. Army target drone, bristling with electronic gear and an array of antennas.
"Nobody's really looking at this from a threat perspective," said Mike Tassey, a security consultant who works for the U.S. government intelligence community. "There's some pretty evil stuff you can do from the sky."
The term war driving, meaning … Read more