Auto enthusiast Jeff Bloch, also known as “SpeedyCop,” spent 3,000-hours transforming a real Vietnam attack helicopter into the “SpeedyCopter”. The project began in the summer of 2016, when Jeff and his crew spent about six months at his home in Southern Maryland, USA, completely revamping a 1969 Bell OH-58 Kiowa Vietnam attack aircraft he managed to purchase for $3,100 in an online auction, to sit on a 1986 Toyota van chassis. “It’s not just street legal and race ready, it’s also fully amphibious. The 86 Toyota van that provided the chassis actually just gave us the front suspension,” said Jeff. Read more for another video of it in-action and additional information.
The US Air Force conducted its first “elephant walk” drill using a host of F-35 fighter jets on Monday. This batch of high-tech aircraft from the active-duty 388th Fighter Wing and 419th Reserve unit were launched to conduct a “combat power exercise” at Hill Air Force Base in Utah. They were intended to demonstrate the Air Force’s ability to “launch any number of aircraft to support the national defense mission at a moment’s notice.” Read more for the full video and additional information.
MIT researchers have successfully flown a wind-powered aircraft that does not have any moving parts. This 16-foot wide, ion-powered machine stays in the air using charged 40,000V wires that strip negatively-charged electrons from air molecules, which are attracted to negative electrodes at the back of the aircraft, and then using the collisions to create the thrust needed to keep afloat. Read on for a video of it in-action and additional information.
NASA and Lockheed Martin’s X-59 QueSST aims to revolutionize supersonic flight by making it quieter. This aircraft will be able to fly from London to New York in just three hours, and NASA is currently testing the technology over the Texas Gulf Coast in hopes that the ‘sonic thump’ will be ‘no louder than a car door closing.’ During the test, two FA-18 fighter jets climbed to 55,000 feet and then dived to replicate the ‘sonic thump’. Read more for two additional videos and information.
Thrustcycle wants to make flying bikes a reality, starting with the Gyrodrone, designed by Clyde Igarashi, which uses two propellers for vertical lift-off, and two gyroscopes for stability. Its counter-rotating gyroscopes are powerful enough to keep the bike stable even when kicked, which means that high winds should be no problem. Read more for additional pictures and information.
The Lilium Jet Air Taxi could hit the skies before its previously announced launch of 2025, as it has already completed its maiden flight tests. This was originally planned to be sold as a private aircraft, but this all-electric VTOL aircraft is now designed for Uber-like air taxi services. Read more for another video and additional information.
Photo credit: Staff Sgt. Michael B. Keller, U.S. Air Force
Aerial refueling is just as crazy as it sounds, and to be more specific, refers to the process of transferring aviation fuel from one military aircraft (the tanker) to another (the receiver) mid-flight. The two main refueling systems are probe-and-drogue, and the flying boom, the latter which offers faster fuel transfer, but requires a dedicated boom operator station. This procedure enables receiving aircraft to remain airborne longer, extending its range or loiter time on station. Read more for another video, more pictures and information.
Here’s another look at Koncepto Millenya, a flying vehicle that was handcrafted by Filipino inventor Kyxz Mendiola over the past six years. It makes use of 16 motors, 16 propellers, and 16 computers, with the initial carbon fiber prototype capable of flying at up to 20 feet, while offering enough power for a flight time of 10-15 minutes. Continue reading for another video and more information.
Astro Elroy sounds like something straight from “The Jetsons”, but it’s real, and this passenger drone also provides fully autonomous flight should the need arise (package deliveries, etc.). It boasts adaptive flight control, fiber optic internal communications, field-oriented motor control, and encrypted communication channels. Want it to take you somewhere? Simply punch in the destinations on the Glass Cockpit Avionics flight support, which uses a secure 4G network to transmit data. Continue reading for another video and more information.
The Airlander 10, a 302-foot-long hybrid airship, is currently the world’s largest aircraft, but managed to crash softly on its second flight into the grass near its hangar at a U.K. airfield shortly after take off. Fast forward to today, Hybrid Air Vehicles (HAV), the aerospace company behind the airship, showed the public what traveling inside one would be look. The interior by Design Q features a full, spacious bedrooms, glass floors, and room for up to 19 passengers on three-day expeditions. Continue reading for another video, more pictures and information.