tech e blog

Cormorant UAV Autonomous Aircraft

Urban Aeronautics' Cormorant UAV is the world's first autonomous aircraft, and it has successfully completed its maiden flight over terrain.Data from numerous sensors, including two laser altimeters, a radar altimeter, inertial sensors, and an electro-optic payload camera make up the aircraft's Flight Control System (FCS). "This flight paves the way forward for the immediate evolution of Cormorant from prototype to near-term production and ultimately commercialization of this groundbreaking technology - for broad applications and markets. This is the most exciting time in the company's history and we look forward to accelerating our progress now that the technology is fully proven," said Urban Aeronautics founder Rafi Yoeli. Click here to view the first image in this week's art of trolling gallery. Continue reading for a viral video showing how some are unlocking iPhones without using a passcode.

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XB-1 Supersonic Jet

Aviation startup Boom Technology has a possible successor to the Concorde: the XB-1 Supersonic Demonstrator, nicknamed "Baby Boom". The supersonic jet takes you from NYC to London in just 3.5-hours instead of seven, while the typical 15-hour flight from Los Angeles to Sydney would be slashed down to a mere 6.5-hours. This is more than just a rendering, as the plane was revealed at an event Tuesday evening at Hangar 14 at Centennial Airport in Denver, Colorado. It's set to hit the skies in late 2017. Continue reading for an interesting video of the Concorde.

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Lockheed A-12

Before the SR-71 Blackbird, there was the Lockheed A-12, a reconnaissance aircraft built for the United States Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) by Lockheed's Skunk Works, based on the designs of Clarence "Kelly" Johnson. The aircraft was designated A-12, the 12th in a series of internal design efforts for "Archangel", the aircraft's internal code name. It competed in the CIA's "Oxcart" program against the Convair Kingfish proposal in 1959, and won for a variety of reasons. Continue reading for more cool facts you may not have known.

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China J-20

Two of China's secretive J-20 stealth fighters swept over a large crowd at the Zhuhai Air Show Tuesday. The fighters were not officially listed on the schedule and appeared in the sky just after an aerobatics show by the People's Liberation Army Air Force. After screeching into the sky as a pair at low-level, one of the J-20s quickly disappeared over the horizon, leaving the other to perform a series of turns, revealing its delta wing shape against bright sub-tropical haze. Continue reading for another video and more information.

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Valkyrie Private Plane Rose Gold


For $1.5-million, you could either buy a new hypercar or a Colbalt Valkyrie-X Rose Gold private jet. It's built in California, and currently one of the fastest piston aircraft in the world, equipped with a 350-horsepower engine that propels it at speeds up to 230 mph, with a range of 1,150 land miles. The shell is made from carbon composite, with precision controls and solid stainless steel and aluminum alloys for the retractable landing gear, to keep things light. You also get hand-stitched cream leather seats and the largest one-piece canopy in the world for breathtaking panoramic views of the sky. Click here for the first image in this week's things that look like other things gallery. Continue reading for a viral video showing why you should never try to drive your car off a tow truck after it's been hooked in.

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B-2 Stealth Bomber

Northrop Grumman's B-2 Spirit, also known as the Stealth Bomber, features low observable stealth technology designed for penetrating dense anti-aircraft defenses; it is a flying wing design with a crew of two. The bomber can deploy both conventional and thermonuclear weapons, such as eighty 500 lb (230 kg)-class (Mk 82) JDAM Global Positioning System-guided bombs, or sixteen 2,400 lb (1,100 kg) B83 nuclear bombs. Continue reading for more interesting facts about the B-2 Spirit stealth bomber. Click here for a few bonus images.

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Lockheed U-2

Lockheed's U-2, also known as "Dragon Lady", is a single-jet engine reconnaissance aircraft operated by the United States Air Force (USAF) and previously flown by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). It provides day and night, ultra high-altitude (70,000-feet), all-weather intelligence gathering. It has also been used for electronic sensor research, satellite calibration, and communications purposes. Continue reading for more cool facts about the U-2. Click here for a few bonus images.

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NASA Super Guppy

The The Aero Spacelines Super Guppy, operated by NASA, is a large, wide-bodied cargo aircraft that is used for hauling oversized cargo components. It was the successor to the Pregnant Guppy, the first of the Guppy aircraft produced by Aero Spacelines, which in turn was named for its resemblance to a pregnant guppy. A total of five examples were built in two variants, both of which were colloquially referred to as the "Super Guppy". Continue reading for five more cool facts you may not have known about this aircraft. Click here for a few bonus images of the Super Guppy.

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Flying Airplane 1960s 1970s

First class suites sound nice, but air travel has come a long way since the 1950s - 1970s, and some even consider this period the Golden Age. With commercial flights being a new market, airlines struggled to top each other by offering the fanciest of meals, such as TWA's "full meal" to be served in-flight: soup, meat, salad, vegetables and dessert, complete with real glassware as well as a main lobster entree. Flying was so rare that passengers were given postcards during boarding with pictures of the plane or in-flight meal, to show their loved ones what the experience was like. "The tradition at the time was that you would use your in-flight time to write people you knew on the ground, describing your flight," said historian Guillaume de Syon. Continue reading for more pictures and information. Click here to view the first image in this week's funny autocorrect texts gallery.

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Amelia A7 Fighter Jet

Created by product designer Juan Garcia Mansilla, the Amelia-7 (A7) Fighter Jet was inspired by the props seen in the Captain America movie. Daniel Simon, the film's prop designer, specialized in creating historically accurate props that combined classic design with modern touches, and that really sparked the interest of Mansilla. Continue reading for more pictures.

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