On January 31, 2018, Airbus’s Vahana taxi successfully took off their autonomous air taxi for the first time. The aircraft flew around 16 feet above the ground for a few seconds. The test flight lasted for less than a minute. Airbus’s A3 team has been working on the project for two years. The aim is to develop a flying commuter vehicle that goes four times faster than road traffic with arrange of about 50 miles. It has eight propellers and a six-rotor design that allows the taxi to take off vertically, and then adjust its wings to move directionally.
US President Donald Trump announced in his 2019 budget plans to develop the new experimental supersonic aircraft.
The Supersonic aircraft is aimed at making “flight greener, safer and quieter; all while developing aircraft that travel faster, and building an aviation system that operates more efficiently,” said NASA Administrator Charles Bolden. NASA is calling its quieter sonic boom design “low boom” technology.
The companies SolarWorld and PC Aero declared joint plans on start of two new electric planes working at solar batteries. New models, prototype of SolarWorld Eone and the improved Elektra One Solar plane, will be presented on the International show of civil aviation of AERO in the city of Friedrichshafen, Germany. New Electra One Solar represents the improved version of the Electric Aircraft Elektra One plane developed earlier by the company PC Aero. The new model has the increased dimensions and solar batteries with a total area of 6 square meters on wing surface, which can generate more than 1 kilowatt of the electric power necessary for flight. Onboard lithium-ion batteries provide additional 1,5 kilowatts. The plane, which only about 100 kilograms without the accumulator weigh, can fly more than eight hours in a row, with the maximum range of 1000 km and with a speed of 100 km/h. The fuselage is completely executed from carbon composite materials. As for the second presented plane, SolarWorld eOne is a child of designers of the SolarWorld company with technical support PC Aero.
The PAL-V ONE is a two seat hybrid car and gyroplane: a personal air and land vehicle. What makes the PAL-V ONE attractive is the convenience of fully integrated door-to-door transportation. On the ground this slim, aerodynamic, 3-wheeled vehicle has the comfort of a car with the agility of a motorcycle thanks to its patented, cutting-edge, ‘tilting’ system. It can be driven to the nearest airfield and take off just like any other airplane. The single rotor and propeller are unfolded to make the PAL-V ONE ready to fly. When airborne, the PAL-V usually flies below 4,000 feet (1,200 m), the airspace available for uncontrolled Visual Flight Rules (VFR) traffic; so there will be no interference from commercial air traffic. Furthermore, the PAL-V is powered by a very robust, flight certified aircraft engine.
NASA shut down space shuttle Endeavour for the final time on May 11, 2012. Space shuttle technicians working inside Orbiter Processing Facility-2 (OPF-2) at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida powered down Endeavour, the youngest of the retired fleet’s orbiters, at 9:58 a.m. EDT (1358 GMT) as they moved forward with preparations for the winged spacecraft’s museum display. This September, NASA will mount Endeavour on top of a modified Boeing 747 carrier aircraft and ferry it to Los Angeles for its exhibit at the California Science Center.
Volta Volaré has begun taking orders for its four-seater GT4 hybrid private aircraft it calls the most technologically advanced private aircraft available anywhere on Earth. Though the GT4 is perfectly capable of taking off and flying powered only electrically, a gas engine starts when the airplane’s battery drops to 25 percent capacity in order to recharge it mid-flight. Surprisingly, perhaps, Volta Volaré makes a strong economic case for the GT4.
Researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have duplicated the control functions that allow birds to successfully perform a soft landing-in this case, perching on a human hand. By replicating the features that enable birds to make a soft landing, including the flapping wings that help them change direction, the researchers could develop the first micro aerial vehicle (MAV) capable of swooping down to perch on a human hand.
The space shuttle Discovery arrived in Washington on April 17, where it will go on permanent display at the Smithsonian later this week.The retired space plane was delivered to the nation’s capital mounted to the space agency’s Shuttle Carrier Aircraft, a modified Boeing 747 jumbo jet, on a final ferry flight that included a historic flyover of the National Mall and some of its nearby monuments and federal buildings.
The modified-Boeing 747, known as the Shuttle Carrier Aircraft (SCA), touched down at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center on april 10. The jumbo jetliner came in from Dryden Flight Research Center in California to ferry Discovery to the Smithsonian in Washington, D.C., where the iconic spacecraft is set to go on public display. The aircraft landed at 5:35 p.m. EDT (2135 GMT) on the same runway that Discovery used to return from space for a 39th and final time on March 9, 2011.