Saturday, July 6, 2013

How will they keep the bugs off the windscreen?

Airbus unveil the transparent plane we'll be flying around in come 2050 (but maybe not those with a fear of flying)

With its see-through aircraft cabin, passengers of the future will get a get a window on the world as they fly through the sky.
For this plane with it's 'intelligent' cabin wall membrane and interactive games, may be everyday air transport in 2050.
The futuristic concept for travel in 40 years' time was yesterday unveiled in London by Airbus - and it'll terrify those who already have a fear of flying.
Window on the world: Gone are the small aircraft windows in the 'vitalising zone' which provides a panoramic view for passengers
Window on the world: Gone are the small aircraft windows in the 'vitalising zone' which provides a panoramic view for passengers
Flight of fancy? Artists impression of an x-ray of an 'intelligent' concept cabin of an aircraft of the future
Flight of fancy? Artists impression of an x-ray of an 'intelligent' concept cabin of an aircraft of the future
First, business and economy cabins are replaced by zones for relaxation in the front, work in the back, and a fully-stocked bar for socialising.
Passengers will be able to see everything to the sides and in front of them. So blindfolds might be handy come take-off and landing time.
The aircraft's walls change according to light conditions. There are holographic pop-up gaming displays and in-flight entertainment powered by the heat of passengers' bodies.
The technology could mean travellers might even be able to read bedtime stories to their children back home.
Most of the basic technology such as moulding seats and 'head-up displays' already exist, but how Airbus plan to make the plant-based, transparent 'skin' of the plane remains a mystery.
Starry skies: The cabin wall membrane controls air temperature and can become transparent to give passengers views throughout the day and night
Starry skies: The cabin wall membrane controls air temperature and can become transparent to give passengers views throughout the day and night
Night flying: Artist's impression of how the aircraft of 2050 will look on the outside
Voyage of discovery: Artist's impression of how the aircraft of 2050 will look on the outside at night
The concept cabin would be a bionic structure that 'mimics' the efficiency of bird bone, claim Airbus.
It would provide strength where needed, and also allows for an 'intelligent' cabin wall membrane which controls air temperature and can become transparent to give passengers open, panoramic views.
Airbus believes that mid-century passengers might be able to enjoy a game of virtual golf or take part in interactive conferences, while the cabin 'identifies and responds' to travellers’ needs.
    The cabin of the future follows last year’s unveiling of the Airbus concept plane, packed with technologies to reduce fuel burn, emissions, waste and noise.
    In the cabin concept, the 'vitalising zone' helps passengers relax, with vitamin and antioxidant-enriched air, mood lighting, aromatherapy and acupressure treatments.
    Anyone seen my ball? Passengers will be able to play virtual golf in the interaction zone on the plane
    Anyone seen my ball? Passengers will be able to play virtual golf in the interaction zone on the plane
    In the 'interactive zone' there are virtual pop-up projections taking passengers to whichever social scene they want to be in, from holographic gaming to virtual changing rooms for active shoppers.
    The 'smart tech zone' is tailored towards the more functional-orientated passenger with what Airbus describes as 'a chameleon-style offering.'
    It aims to meet individual needs ranging from a simple to a complete luxury service, but all allowing you to continue life as if on the ground'.
    Airbus engineering executive vice-president Charles Champion said: 'Our research shows that passengers of 2050 will expect a seamless travel experience while also caring for the environment.
    'The concept cabin is designed with that in mind, and shows that the journey can be as much a voyage of discovery as the destination.'
    Sky's the limit: Charles Champion, Airbus's Executive Vice President of Engineering, unveils the Airbus Concept Cabin at the Royal Observatory in Greenwich, London
    Sky's the limit: Charles Champion, Airbus's Executive Vice President of Engineering, yesterday unveils the Airbus Concept Cabin at the Royal Observatory in Greenwich, London


    Thursday, July 4, 2013

    Making the Airbus A350

    A behind the scenes look at the building of the Airbus A350, which has taken to the skies in its maiden test flight.

    Planes of the future on display at Paris Air Show

    Cutting edge aircraft from luxurious business jets and unmanned drones to the most advanced commercial passenger planes go on show in the French capital.

    The world's most influential aircraft manufacturers are showing off their latest innovations on the tarmac at Le Bourget Airport.
    More than 350,000 visitors are expected to attend the 50th Paris Air Show, to see some of the most advanced designs in aviation history.
    They include the Gulfstream G650, which is said to be the fastest plane of its kind in the world.
    "It enables you to fly non-stop from Paris to Los Angeles or Paris to Hong Kong at nine-tenths of the speed of sound," said Steve Cass, Vice President of Communications at Gulfstream Aerospace.

    The first class cabin of a Qatar Airways Ltd. Boeing Co. 787 Dreamliner aircraft 
    It also boasts a 15 percent reduction in fuel consumption - in line with the industry's big focus on making aircraft leaner and greener.
    "We are making new engines that are consuming much less fuel, like the Dreamliner behind me and the Airbus A350," said aviation expert Gerard Feldzer.
    "We are also looking towards developing an electric, commercial plane - something that was just unimaginable five years ago."
    This form of power is at the heart of a project being run by the European Aeronautic Defence and Space Company (EADS).
    The "E-Fan" is an electrically-thrusted multi-engine, two seater aircraft, which is designed to have battery packs in its wings and an electrical taxiing system.
    Military aircraft are also on display at the show, along with surveillance systems and unmanned planes.
    The Paris Air Show runs until June 23.


    Saturday, August 9, 2008

    MQ9 Reaper - Predator UAV

    Imagine coming home from a hard day’s work, relaxing on the couch, and busting out your XBOX 360. Instead of playing a video game, you decide it would be nice to unwind while thinking to yourself…”ten seconds to impact”, then witnessing the full-color obliteration of an opportunistic target in Iraq. While this situation is not entirely accurate, it is very close to what US Air Force pilots of tomorrow will be doing on a daily basis as they command the new squadron of MQ9 Reapers set to arrive in Iraq. Controlled–piloted–from a base in Nevada, remote-control airplanes with laser-guided bombs and hellfire missiles attached to them will be raining death from above on anything that might look out of place. In fact, it seems like all the hoopla about the Democratically supported troop “pull out” seems more or less like this–human army out, robot army in. About 60 MQ9s have been ordered by the air force, and they will be flying out of the largest US Air Force base in Iraq, Balad Air Base just outside of Baghdad. Likewise, Balad has begun construction of a 400,000 sq. ft. expansion of the runway to accommodate the staging of the new Reapers. Ultimately, the MQ9 Reaper represents the culmination of about 20 years of R&D, mostly carried out by engineering students working at our nations best research universities. From MIT to Georgia Tech, probably millions of man-hours from our brightest aeronautical, electrical, and mechanical engineering students seeking their doctorates have been, and likely unknowingly, contributing to the final product that represents the forefront of a futuristic military comprised of hunter-killer robots and aircraft. As long as they are used to dominate the world, then I guess that no time has been wasted, not even by reading this article. Have a nice day, and never forget that our people are the most valuable asset we have in America.

    Thursday, July 17, 2008

    Fire Scout - UAV Helicopter

    Manufacturer: Northrop Grumman [NYSE: NOC]

    Sometimes I have trouble controlling myself when it comes to some of this stuff. I have seen it before on TV, but just simply haven’t gotten around to writing about it. I’m talking about the awe-inspiring Fire Scout UAV helicopter. A remote control helicopter capable of autonomous take-off, landing, and flight, it really just makes me giddy. Not to mention that this death machine’s release was coupled with an upgrade to the Hydra 70 rockets typically fired from the rocket pods mounted on Ah-64 Apaches. Now they’re laser-guided. I guess they figured that they just couldn’t have a creation as brilliant as this tainted by “dumb” unguided payloads. Seen this guy on Future Weapons yet? Of course they’ve already made some with the Metal Storm gun mounted to the weapons pylons.

    This bad boy has already been procured by the US Army, whose interest in turn spurred a purchase by the US Navy. The Fire Scout actually landed on a moving ship during, on auto-pilot, during its testing phase. The Fire Scout will eventually end up being deployed at the brigade level, and I’m sure that they are looking forward to having such a weapon added to their already Omni potently superior arsenal. Actually though, it really is just one of the cogs in the network-centric warfare concept known as Future Combat Systems.

    V22 Osprey - Hybrid Helicopter Aircraft of the Future

    V22 Osprey

    Manufacturer: Boeing [NYSE: BA]

    Obviously, getting troops to the battlefield as quickly as possible is a paramount concern for military planners. Choppers can carry many troops, but really can’t fly very far or fast. Planes can get troops there quickly, but where can you launch transport planes without a runway? Aircraft carriers are too small, nevermind the deck of an amphibious assault ship. Clearly, a solution is needed for high speed troop transport in a scenario of limited runway space. Necessity is the mother of all inventions, and respectively the Americans invented the V22 Osprey to fill this vital role. Employed by the United States Marine Corp, the V22 Osprey is the only tiltrotor aircraft in production by any nation’s armed forces. Combining the essential elements of the vertical take-off of a helicopter with the speed and mid-air refueling of a convential airplane, the V22 Osprey can get lots of troops to anywhere, and fast. The top speed of the Osprey stands at around 316 mph, where the closest helicopter comparison, the CH-47 Chinook transport, only reaches 196 mph. In support of a high speed amphibious invasion, this aircraft is intended to work alongside the Marine Corp’s new LCAC’s and EFVs, which will enable the US Marines to rush up to any shoreline with overwhelming force.

    Sunday, August 12, 2007

    A line of future Airbus

    THE LINE OF A-350

    A 350-800
    A 350-900A 350-1000

    Future of Airbus- A 360

    Friday, August 10, 2007



    Sunday, May 6, 2007

    RQ-4 Global Hawk

    The RQ-4 Global Hawk is basically “an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) used by the US Air Force as a surveillance aircraft.” Continue reading for the “Future Weapons” segment.
    The RQ-4 is powered by an Allison Rolls-Royce AE3007H turbofan engine with 31.4 kN (3,200 kgf / 7,050 lbf) thrust, and carries a payload of 900 kilograms (2,000 pounds). The fuselage is mostly of conventional aluminum airframe construction, while the wings are made of carbon composite. The Global Hawk costs about $35 million USD each.

    Friday, April 20, 2007

    Boeing X-32

    The Boeing X-32 was a multi-purpose jet fighter in the Joint Strike Fighter contest. It lost to the Lockheed Martin X-35 demonstrator which was further developed into the F-35 Lightning II.

    Monday, April 16, 2007

    X39, X40A

    Anticipating that FATE would require a flying testbed, AFRL reserved the X-39 designation and began an aggressive research program. Experiments included developing damage-resistant composite airframes and a shape-changing wing to replace hinged surfaces. Drawing on advances in computer technology, work began on artificial intelligence systems that would allow an autonomous aircraft to make minute-by-minute flight-planning decisions to accommodate revised targeting plans and unexpected changes in the weather in the combat zone. Although all of the major airframe manufacturers in business during the late 1990s were involved in some aspect of FATE, none has claimed credit for building a complete X-39. So much of the project is classified, it cannot be confirmed if the plane itself ever progressed beyond engineering studies and wind-tunnel tests. Andreas Parsch, a recognized expert on weapons designations, suggests that the aircraft that started the X-plane revolution is not a proper X-plane at all. He points out that although the X-39 designation was reserved by the Air Force, no formal written request to allocate X-39 to FATE was filed. "Therefore X-39 remained officially unassigned," he concludes. Regardless of the official standing of the X-39, there is little question of the impact of the FATE project with which it is so closely linked. "FATE served as the catalyst for Unmanned Combat Air Vehicles," says aviation historian Jay Miller. These UCAVs, as they are now commonly known, will change the face of combat itself by allowing the United States to project force farther and with greater accuracy than field commanders ever imagined possible. But to fight with such precision would require precise intelligence about enemy positions and movements. To obtain this information, other X-planes would be created to extend the battleground into space. In the days immediately after World War II, Allied intelligence made a remarkable discovery. Agents scouring German factories found plans for a piloted, winged rocket capable of reaching the United States. Space planes have fascinated aerospace designers ever since. In the 1960s, the X-15 came closest to realizing this dream, as military pilots flew to altitudes above 50 miles to earn astronaut wings. The design of the space shuttle's large delta wing was a result of the Air Force's interest in flying single-pass orbital flights over the Soviet Union--the pilots would take off and land at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. Launch facilities were built, but the idea proved impractical. And after the Challenger disaster the Air Force returned to relying upon expendable launch vehicles. Later, the Air Force considered using a modified version of NASA's X-33 single-stage-to-orbit space plane concept. NASA pulled the plug after more than a billion dollars of research and development. Simply put, the X-33 was too heavy to fly.

    Sunday, April 15, 2007

    X-33, X-43, X-36, X-29

    These are the airplanes that will probably be available in the next 15-30 years. We believe that the challenge to inventing future airplanes will be a thoughtful one. This is because people will begin to want airplanes that fly more often and further distances for a smaller price. Some people suggest a ground- effect plane which would have wings that trap air on top of which the plane rides.
    Although you may think robot planes will be with us in the future, they are already invented. The military uses them to prevent the risk of losing a pilot's life. Some people think that we will be able to build invisible planes that will be able to fly through the air undetected to radar.

    Scientists think that space planes that fly above the atmosphere would encounter little or no friction allowing them to fly at speeds of Mach 26 (26 times the speed of sound).

    This speed would allow a plane to arrive in London from New York in less than 30 minutes! NASA is also trying to replace the old shuttle with the X-33 which will carry spare parts and astronauts to the International Space Station (the International Space Station will be built over the next ten years).

    Wednesday, April 11, 2007

    Boeing PelicanA concept

    Boeing PelicanA concept aircraft currently under development at Boeing’s Phantom Works Research and Development unit might be the largest airplane to ever fly, but it won’t set any altitude records. Its called the Pelican and it would have a normal cruising altitude of only twenty feet because it uses the concept of ground effect to achieve lift.
    Performance specifications say this ground effect vehicle (GEV) will have a wingspan of 150 meters and be able to carry up to 1,400 tons of cargo. By comparison the current giant of the skies, the Russian An-225, has an 88.4-meter wingspan and can lift 250 tons.Because the plane skims the surface during flight, it is only practical over large, smooth bodies of water. Flying close to the water, the wing’s downwash angle and tip vortices are suppressed, resulting in a greatly reduced drag which leads to outstanding cruise efficiency. This would translate into a range of 10,000 nautical miles in trans-oceanic flight. Operating from paved runways, the plane has thirty-eight fuselage-mounted landing gears with seventy-six tires to distribute the weight.
    The Pelican is designed to be a hybrid GEV, allowing it to also fly at higher altitudes up to 20,000 feet. But the range would be greatly reduced to 6,500 nautical miles when not using the ground effect.While the Pelican is yet to become a prototype the concept is hardly a new one. For decades the Russians have experimented with aircraft they called WIG (Wing In Ground-effect) planes. A WIG craft, like the Pelican, sits on a cushion of air created by aerodynamics rather than by an engine.

    Tuesday, April 10, 2007

    X-48 BWB Concept

    A secret air war is being waged in clear California skies and in dreary Pentagon briefing rooms. It is the battle of the X-planes--some so secret they have never been photographed. The outcome of this quiet conflict will determine where and how the nation fights its future wars: in air or space, with humans or silicon chips in the cockpit.
    All wars simmer before they erupt. The battle of the X-planes began in the early 1990s with advances in microelectronics, completion of the Global Positioning System (GPS) and the success of cruise missiles during Operation Desert Storm. Together, those developments convinced even the most conservative defense planners that it was time to change the technology of aerial combat. With this objective in mind, the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) began exploring new ways to fight from space. At the same time, AFRL and DARPA also embarked upon a program to alter close combat. The name of that program is Future Aircraft Technology Enhancements (FATE).

    Saturday, April 7, 2007

    The Sonic Cruiser

    The Sonic Cruiser was born from one of numerous outline projects in a Boeing R&D program known internally as "20XX" (hinting that, had it entered production, it might have spawned a new "20 series" of Boeing aircraft), the goal of which was to look at potential designs for a possible new near-sonic or supersonic airliner.
    The strongest of these initial concepts was dubbed "Sonic Cruiser" and publicly unveiled on
    March 29, 2001, shortly after the launch of the A380 by rival Airbus. Boeing had recently withdrawn its proposed 747-X derivative from competition with the Airbus A380
    when not enough airline interest was forthcoming, and instead proposed the Sonic Cruiser as a completely different approach.
    Instead of the A380's massive capacity, requiring a
    hub and spoke model of operation, the Sonic Cruiser was designed for rapid point-to-point connections for only 250 passengers. With delta wings and flying just short of the speed of sound at 0.95 Mach (about 1010 km/h or 627 mph at altitude), the Sonic Cruiser promised 20% faster speed than conventional aircraft without the noise pollution caused by supersonic Concorde's sonic boom. The aircraft would have flown at altitudes in excess of 40,000 feet, and would have possessed a range somewhere between 6,000 and 10,000 nautical miles
    According to Boeing's own estimates, the Sonic Cruiser would burn fuel 15-20% faster than conventional aircraft. However, it was estimated the aircraft would burn roughly the same amount of fuel as a conventional aircraft flying the same route due to the faster travel-time.
    The Sonic Cruiser concept originated in 1999 and a variety of concepts were studied, including supersonic aircraft, aircraft with the engines mounted above the wing, aircraft with a single vertical tail, and aircraft with rectangular intakes. The initial sketches released to the public were highly conjectural. A patent drawing filed by Boeing on
    March 22, 2001
    put the baseline aircraft's dimensions at 250 feet in length, with a wingspan of 164.9 feet.
    Wind tunnel testing and
    computational fluid dynamics analysis further refined the Sonic Cruiser concept. Based on artwork released by Boeing in July 2002, the Sonic Cruiser now sported two taller vertical tails with no inward cant. The forward canard was set at zero degrees dihedral. At this point, Boeing had yet to decide on the size or layout of the aircraft's fuselage cross section.

    The McDonnell Douglas MD-12

    The McDonnell Douglas MD-12 was an aircraft design study undertaken by the McDonnell Douglas company in the 1990s, though it should be noted that this study was a revival of an earlier Douglas study of the 1960s for a double-decker widebody, reprinted in Air International in 2001. Initially it was to be a stretched, higher capacity version of the trijet MD-11. The design then grew into a much larger aircraft with 4 engines and two passenger decks extending the length of the fuselage, and was announced in April 1992. This was similar in concept to the future Airbus A380 and Boeing NLA, and would have been larger than the Boeing 747. Despite aggressive marketing, especially in the aviation press, no orders were placed for the aircraft, and it was quietly forgotten after the 1997 merger between McDonnell Douglas and Boeing.

    The Boeing NLA

    The Boeing NLA, or New Large Airplane was a 1990s concept for an all-new airliner in the 500+ seat market. Somewhat larger than the 747, this aircraft was similar in concept to the Airbus A380 and McDonnell Douglas MD-12. Boeing chose not to pursue development of this concept, focusing instead on updates to the 747.

    Thursday, April 5, 2007

    The Future High-Speed Civil Transport

    L.A. to Tokyo in Four Hours - The Future High-Speed Civil TransportNASA and its industry partners have developed a concept for a next-generation supersonic passenger jet that would fly 300 passengers at more than 1,500 miles per hour - more than twice the speed of sound. As envisioned, the High-Speed Civil Transport (HSCT) would cross the Pacific or Atlantic in less than half the time of modern subsonic jets, and at a ticket price less than 20 percent above comparable, slower flights.
    Technology to make the HSCT possible is being developed as part of NASA's High-Speed Research (HSR) program, managed by NASA Langley. Langley engineers are actively involved in developing technologies for the HSCT airframe, including the materials and structures from which it will be built. Langley also leads the development team for the HSCT cockpit, which will have side windows, but no forward-facing windows.
    According to studies performed by Boeing, the projected market for more than 500 HSCT's between 2000 and 2015 translates to more than $200 billion in sales, and the potential of 140,000 new jobs in the U.S.