-Those Fantastic Flying Machines-


Man must rise above the Earth—to the top of the atmosphere and beyond—for only thus will he fully understand the world in which he lives.— Socrates


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Sunday, January 31, 2010

Video: Russia's New T-50 PAK FA Stealth Fighter Takes First Flight

Friday, January 29, 2010

Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner

Airbus A320-232 and A380

Monday, January 25, 2010

Daredevil Space Diver To Leap Toward World's First Supersonic Free-Fall From 120,000 Feet

Felix Baumgartner:  Sven Hoffmann / Red Bull
Here’s Felix Baumgartner’s plan: Float a balloon to 120,000 feet. Jump out. Break the sound barrier. Don’t die. Simple, right? If Baumgartner, a world famous base jumper and skydiver, pulls off the feat, he’ll set the record for the world’s highest jump and become the first person to break the sound barrier with his body alone. During the jump, he’ll also collect data on how the human body reacts to a fall from such heights, which could be useful for planning orbital escape plans for future space tourists and astronauts.
Dubbed the Red Bull Stratos and sponsored by the energy drink company, the jump will send Baumgartner to the stratosphere in a small space capsule, lifted by a helium-filled balloon. Once he reaches 120,000 feet after three hours of ascension, ground control will give him the “all clear” sign and he’ll pop open the door and jump, as video cameras on the capsule and his suit record his descent. Within 35 seconds or so, Baumgartner will hit supersonic speeds and break the sound barrier. No one really knows what will happen at that point, but the scientists seem confident that he’ll maintain consciousness. He will free fall for roughly six more minutes, pulling his chute at about 5,000 feet and coasting for 15 minutes back to solid ground.
Just what happens to his body as it goes from subsonic to supersonic and back to subsonic speed is of great interest to scientists, and so he’ll be hooked up to an electrocardiogram monitor during the jump. He’ll also be outfitted with accelerometers and GPS units to confirm his acceleration and speed, and from that the stress on his body. But that’s pretty much it for gear—because he’s wearing a pressurized suit filled with 100 percent oxygen, his crew is rightly wary of putting too many electronics and power sources in his suit that could accidentally set him on fire. Any data they collect will then be made public and turned over to the military and NASA.
The plan is to make the jump sometime in 2010. After they complete test jumps at 25,000, 60,000, and 90,000 feet, they’ll watch the Doppler radar and wait for calm weather and then pick the launch location, which for now they can only say will be somewhere in North America. The goal is to drop Baumgartner near the launch site, but even with low wind conditions he could drift some 150 miles away.
But first they have to test all the gear to make sure that it will work as it transitions from the freezing, no-pressure environment at 120,000 feet to the extreme heat of the dive. It’s the same as with any other flight test program, says Jonathan Clark, the team’s medical director (whose work in high-altitude space jumps we profiled in 2007). “Only in this case, Felix Baumgartner is the aircraft.”
Red Bull as put together this video, putting everything into perspective:

Thursday, January 21, 2010

1,600 jetliners may have defective cockpit door locks
Last September, the Federal Aviation Administration and the European Aviation Safety Agency ordered airlines to fix cockpit door locking mechanisms on Boeing 747 passenger and cargo jumbo jets. Industry officials and security experts fear thousands of commercial jets still require modifications to keep the doors secure. The Wall Street Journal (1/21) LinkedInFacebookTwitter

Pentagon to take less ambitious approach to F-35 testing, acquisition
To make sure large numbers of F-35 Joint Strike Fighter jets can be efficiently built when U.S. and allied fighter fleets need to be replaced, the Pentagon is slowing down the testing and acquisition process. "The path we were on was too aggressive, so there's an effort under way to reduce concurrency, to lengthen the period associated with testing, to increase the number of test assets and make the production rate somewhat less ambitious," said Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Norton Schwartz. Navy Times (1/20) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

NASA's Puffin Is a Stealthy, Personal Tilt-Rotor Aircraft

NASA's Puffin Aircraft:  NASA Langley/Analytical Mechanics Associates
What's cooler than a hover-capable, electric-powered, super-quiet personal VTOL (vertical takeoff and landing) aircraft? If you answered "absolutely nothing," do read on, because NASA is preparing to oblige you. The space agency's Puffin aircraft design will be officially unveiled tomorrow, showing just how far personal, electrically propelled flight could change the ways we live and get around. [ Read Full Story ]