We’ve been soaring like eagles in airplanes for a long time now, but up until this point humans haven’t been able to recreate one aspect of avian flight: designing aircraft with wings that flap. Researchers at the National Institute of Aerospace may have solved that problem using advancements in simulation and computer modeling to create unmanned aircraft with flappable wings.
DARPA is planning to invest $150 million to develop a new vertical take-off and landing aircraft called the VTOL X-Plane. The project is the latest attempt to solve a long-standing engineering challenge: how to design an aircraft that can take-off, land and hover like a helicopter, but that can fly at top speed once in the air. Continue reading
Wealthy engineer and pioneering space tourist Dennis Tito is planning to fund a private, manned drive-by mission to Mars that will provide the first close-up view of the planet through human eyes. If that weren’t ambitious enough, he plans to make it happen by 2018. Continue reading