ROBOpilot makes maiden flight in US Air Force tests

A cockpit view of ROBOpilot attached to seat rails with no permanent modifications to the aircraft

A new US Air Force kit that can turn a conventional aircraft into a robotic one has completed its maiden flight. Developed by the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) and DZYNE Technologies Incorporated as part of the Robotic Pilot Unmanned Conversion Program, the ROBOpilot made its first two-hour flight on August 9 at the Dugway Proving Ground in Utah after being installed in a 1968 Cessna 206 small aircraft.

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Sensor designed for aircraft detects ice formation in real time

Graduate students Kiana Mirshahidi and Ben Wiltshire, with one of the sensors

In a nutshell, it works by measuring how the resonant frequency, amplitude and scattering pattern of emitted microwaves are altered by any water, frost or ice that may be present on its surface. As a result, in lab tests, it was able to detect frost formation within a matter of seconds of its being cooled below freezing.

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Sixth-generation fighters and the future of air supremacy

Lasers will be part of the armament suite of the sixth-generation fighter

The world of aerospace is full of buzzwords and phrases and one that's been getting a lot of attention in military aircraft circles is made of three words – Sixth Generation Fighters. Rather than an F-35 or a Typhoon with new trim and chrome hubcaps, these emerging combat aircraft may represent a real sea change in tactics and, perhaps, strategy in the middle of the 21st century. But what exactly is the sixth gen? Let's take a look.

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Northrop Grumman scramjet sets new thrust record in testing

New thrust records have been set in scramjet testing at Arnold Air Force Base in Tennessee

After a two-year upgrade of its test facilities, the AEDC Aerodynamic and Propulsion Test Unit at Arnold Air Force Base in Tennessee has finally been able to test the latest Northrop Grumman scramjet at simulated hypersonic speeds, setting a new thrust record in the process.

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Cathay Pacific Airways says its uses cameras to record passengers

Cathay Pacific, an airline based in Hong Kong, has updated its privacy policy to reveal that it is logging in-flight infotainment system activity and using cameras to capture images of passengers. These images are not captured using cameras integrated into seat-back infotainment systems, according to the airline, which is instead using CCTVs located in airport lounges and inside airplanes. In … Continue reading

NEC demonstrates wobbly multicopter flying car prototype

NEC's flying car prototype in caged testing

Japanese electronics giant NEC has been working with a company called Cartivator to design, build and test VTOL air taxi concepts. Now the two companies have demonstrated a multi-seat manned multicopter, a step toward a flying car future Japan believes will arrive around 2030.

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Boeing 737 Max will have two computers because one is not enough

When one computer can’t solve a problem, why not try to throw more computers at it? That is probably not the reasoning behind Boeing’s rumored fix for its problematic 737 Max aircraft but it will probably one of the things that will come to people’s minds. The plane’s return was yet again delayed because of an apparent software flaw that … Continue reading

Franky Zapata successfully crosses the English Channel on his jet-powered Flyboard Air

At speeds over 100 mph, Franky Zapata has become the first person to cross the English ...

After ending up in the water on his first attempt, flying Frenchman Franky Zapata has now successfully crossed the English Channel on his jet-powered Flyboard Air. The 22-mile (35.4-km) crossing took Zapata some 22 minutes, holding speeds over 100 mph (160 km/h).

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