This is how to fly, but there is only two seats

In the compendium of complaints about air travel, we have not yet encountered “I do not have an unencumbered, horizon-to-horizon view of the entire planet.” At some point, we surmise, someone must have shared that frustration, because Windspeed Technologies has come up with a solution.

The company’s SkyDeck is a clear bubble that pokes up out of the top of an airplane. One or two passengers access this viewing dome via a staircase, or (rather showily) in an elevator. Once they are head and shoulders above the fuselage, they may rotate their seats to view some particular object — the sunset, or a constellation, or a cloud that looks a lot like a bunny. The bubble is made of the same material as the canopies of a supersonic fighter jet, and it’s a teardrop shape mounted just before the tail to have the smallest possible effect on aerodynamics. Its feasibility has been studied a thousand different ways, patents and trademarks have been applied for, and an aircraft manufacturer has begun offering it as an option on its custom builds — though there are not yet reports of orders taken.

 

Windspeed-Technologies

 

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Does the SkyDeck seem a bit… erm… over the top? Yes, but certainly that is the point. Windspeed identifies business and VIP aircraft as their primary market, where amenities like the SkyDeck make sense because airplanes made of solid gold are too heavy to fly. But the company also sees a commercial application, where, they say, “Current in-flight entertainment offerings have not changed much over the decades” (as if SkyDeck were the logical successor to seatback entertainment systems). In this bright future, airlines would charge passengers for a trip up to the SkyDeck, providing an additional revenue stream for beleaguered airlines that have not yet found enough things to charge for.

Still, it’s awesome. To merely propose cutting a hole in the top of a jet — and then actually figuring out how to make it happen — is an admirable engineering feat. And who hasn’t imagined what the view might be like the outside of a plane, rather than through the tiny windows we’re now supposed to keep shuttered so as not to interfere with the seatback entertainment systems? Given the chance, we’d certainly spend a few minutes enjoying a 360° at 36,000 feet — though we admit to having some concerns about the availability of beverage service up there.

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Flying sub prototypes may be just around the corner

In the 1960’s there was a science fiction TV show called Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea.  The show centered around the crew aboard a huge nuclear powered submarine named the Seaview.  One of the more interesting features of the show was a mini flying sub that was housed in the nose of the Seaview.  This little sub could bolt away from the Seaview, propel itself through the water to the surface, and take to the skies.  Then land back on the water and go submersible and dock back up with the Seaview.

 

 

Americans love their high-technology gadgets.  And the military is often at the forefront when it comes to developing cutting edge high technology systems.  And believe it or not the U.S. military is looking into a real Flying Sub! 

Irwin Allen, the creator of Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea would be very proud indeed.

From Newscientist.com

GUILLEMOTS and gannets do it. Cormorants and kingfishers do it. Even the tiny insect-eating dipper does it. And if a plan by the Pentagon’s Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) succeeds, a remarkable airplane may one day do it too: plunge beneath the waves to stalk its prey, before re-emerging to fly home.

The DARPA plan calls for a stealthy aircraft that can fly low over the sea until it nears its target, which could be an enemy ship, or a coastal site such as a port. It will then alight on the water and transform itself into a submarine that will cruise under water to within striking distance, all without alerting defences.

That, at least, is the plan. The agency is known for taking on brain-twistingly difficult challenges. So what about DARPA’s dipper? Is it a ridiculous dream? “A few years ago I would have said that this is a silly idea,” says Graham Hawkes, an engineer and submarine designer based in San Francisco. “But I don’t think so any more.”

DARPA, which has a $3 billion annual budget, has begun to study proposed designs. In the next year or so it could begin allocating funding to developers. Though the agency itself is unwilling to comment, Hawkes and others working on rival designs have revealed to New Scientist how they would solve the key problems involved in building a plane that can travel underwater – or, to put it another way, a flying submarine.

The challenges are huge, not least because planes and submarines are normally poles apart. Aircraft must be as light as possible to minimise the engine power they need to get airborne. Submarines are heavyweights with massive hulls strong enough to resist crushing forces from the surrounding water. Aircraft use lift from their wings to stay aloft, while submarines operate like underwater balloons, adjusting their buoyancy to sink or rise. So how can engineers balance the conflicting demands? Could a craft be designed to dive into the sea like a gannet? And how will it be propelled – is a jet engine the best solution, both above and below the waves?

 

The future look of commercial airliners

Boeing and NASA are testing blended-wing technologies that could lead to a revolution in airframe design.  The experts contend we will see this new aircraft design flying the skies in 5-10 years.

Currently, both NASA and Boeing are exploring BWB designs under the designation X-48.  Studies suggest that BWB aircraft, configured for passenger flight, could carry from 450 to 800 passengers with some designs having room for 1400 passengers and achieve fuel savings of over 20 percent. NASA has been developing, since 2000, a remotely controlled model with a 21 ft (6.4 m) wingspan. This research is focused on establishing the base data concerning the lift, stall and spin characteristics inherent in a Blended Wing Body design.

Ever since Boeing introduced the 707 in the 1950s, passenger jets have looked pretty much the same: long tubes with tails, engines mounted below the wings. That shape may one day be transformed into the graceful silhouette of a manta ray. In February, a 400-pound, 21-foot (6.4 m)-wide prototype of just such a bird will start practicing unmanned takeoffs, landings, and tricky slow-speed maneuvers at Edwards Air Force Base. Called the X-48B, it’s a scaled-down model of a theoretical 500-ton, 240-foot (73 m)-wide blended-wing aircraft. Aeronautical engineers have long known that this design could be much quieter, more fuel efficient, and far roomier than a conventional cylinder. But recent advances—lightweight composite materials, fly-by-wire controls, sophisticated flight systems—have made building one of these planes more feasible. Commercial versions have been proposed—imagine a flying auditorium—but the X-48B is more likely to debut as a US military transport plane circa 2022.

 

Amazing Drone Magical Holographic Light Shows in China and the USA

Back in America. Intel dazzled its Folsom audience on July 15, 2018 with a spectacular light show designed to feature 1,500 drones, in an effort to outdo its previous world record of 1,218 Intel Shooting Star drones. The performance displayed multicolored choreography including bright, fireworks-like orbs. A single pilot mans the entire fleet of light-emitting remotely controlled machines.

Very Strange Looking Aircraft

Men and their flying machines.  Giant ones, tiny ones, some with forward-swept wings, all kinds of strange aircraft have been invented.  Here are some of the strangest looking ones I have found.

 

This opposite of beauty flew only once in 1947 and was designed to carry over  700 people. It was actually a wooden heavy transport aircraft designed and built  by the Hughes Aircraft company. It was built by the U.S. War Department because  of wartime raw material restrictions on the use of aluminum. Its official name  is Hughes H-4 Hercules but Spruce Goose somehow stuck. This heavy transport  flying boat is the largest flying boat ever built, and has the largest wingspan  of any aircraft in history with span exceeding the length of a football field.  It is currently housed in Evergreen Aviation Museum in McMinnville, Oregon, USA.

 

This overeating plane, officially, the Boeing 747 Large Cargo Freighter, is a  wide-body cargo aircraft and the world’s longest cargo loader constructed by  drastic modifications to an existing Boeing 747-400. Boeing uses this plane to  bring in aircraft parts from suppliers around the world. Only 4 of the type have been built.

 

Pregnant Guppy

As weird as its name, this plane was a large, wide-bodied cargo aircraft built  in the United States by Aero Spacelines and used for ferrying outsized cargo  items, most notably NASA’s components of the Apollo moon program. Infact, the  Dreamlifter was inspired from this beauty. Only 1 unit if this aircraft was ever  built and it served a good 15 years, starting in 1962.

 

Northrop Tacit Blue

Before you start laughing, do understand that this aircraft was a pioneer in  stealth technology. There was only one produced, by the U.S. Air Force, in 1982,  which was meant to demonstrate that a stealth low observable surveillance  aircraft with a low probability of intercept radar and other sensors could  operate close to the forward line of battle with a high degree of survivability.  The pioneer plane is currently housed at the National Museum of the US Air  Force.

 

Horten HO 229

Designed by Horten brothers of Germany this plane was a late-World War II  prototypefighter/bomber. Its odd shape can be attributed to the fact that it was  designed to be more difficult to detect with radar. Horten Ho 229 never made it  to actual war and was only flown as a prototype.

 

Officially, the Vought V-173 was designed by Charles H. Zimmerman. It was an American experimental test aircraft built as part of the Vought XF5U “Flying  Flapjack” World War II United States Navy fighter aircraft program and without doubt it is one of the most strangest planes ever built.

 


The Convair XFY Pogo tailsitter was an experiment in vertical takeoff and landing. The Pogo had delta wings and three-bladed contra-rotating propellers powered by a 5,500 hp (4,100 kW) Allison YT40-A-16 turboprop engine. It was intended to be a high-performance fighter aircraft capable of operating from small warships. Landing the XFY-1 was difficult as the pilot had to look over his shoulder while carefully working the throttle to land.

 

The Grumman X-29 was an experimental aircraft that tested a forward-swept wing, canard control surfaces, and other novel aircraft technologies. The aerodynamic instability of this arrangement increased agility but required the use of computerized fly-by-wire control. Composite materials were used to control the aeroelastic divergent twisting experienced by forward-swept wings, also reducing the weight. Developed by Grumman, the X-29 first flew in 1984 and two X-29s were flight tested over the next decade.

 

The Russians had their version as they always do.

The Sukhoi Su-47 Berkut (Russian: Су-47 Беркут – Golden Eagle) (NATO reporting name Firkin), also designated S-32 and S-37 (not to be confused with the single-engined delta canard design offered by Sukhoi in the early 1990s under the designation Su-37) during initial development, was an experimental supersonic jet fighter developed by Sukhoi Aviation Corporation. A distinguishing feature of the aircraft was its forward-swept wing, similar to that of the Tsybin’s LL-3., that gave the aircraft excellent agility and maneuverability. While serial production of the type never materialized, the sole aircraft produced served as a technology demonstrator prototype for a number of advanced techhnologies later used in the 4.5 generation fighter SU-35BM and current Indo-Russian 5th generation fighter prototype Sukhoi PAK FA.

 

The Hawker Siddeley Nimrod was a military aircraft developed and built in the United Kingdom. It is an extensive modification of the de Havilland Comet, the world’s first jet airliner. It was originally designed by de Havilland’s successor, Hawker Siddeley, now part of BAE Systems.

It was designed with an extended nose for radar, a new tail with electronic warfare (ESM) sensors mounted in a bulky fairing, and a MAD (Magnetic anomaly detector) boom. After the first flight in May 1967, the RAF ordered 46 Nimrod MR1s. The first example (XV230) entered service in October 1969.  Five squadrons were eventually equipped with the MR1.

 

Aircraft with huge rotating radar domes.

The Grumman E-2 Hawkeye is an American all-weather, aircraft carrier-capable tactical airborne early warning (AEW) aircraft. This twin-turboprop aircraft was designed and developed during the late 1950s and early 1960s by the Grumman Aircraft Company for the United States Navy as a replacement for the earlier E-1 Tracer, which was rapidly becoming obsolete. E-2 performance has been upgraded with the E-2B, and E-2C versions, where most of the changes were made to the radar and radio communications due to advances in electronic integrated circuits and other electronics. The fourth version of the Hawkeye is the E-2D, which first flew in 2007.

 

 

XF-107A Experimental Fighter Bomber

The air intake was in the unusual dorsal location as the USAF had required the carriage of an underbelly semi-conformal nuclear weapon. The original chin intake caused a shock wave that interfered in launching this weapon. The implications this had for the survivability of the pilot during ejection were troubling. The intake also severely limited rear visibility. Nonetheless this was not considered terribly important for a tactical fighter-bomber aircraft, and furthermore it was assumed at the time that air combat would be via guided missile exchanges outside visual range.

Duck-Billed Russian Fighter Aircraft

The Sukhoi Su-34 (Russian: Сухой Су-34) (export designation: Su-32, NATO reporting name: Fullback) is a Russian twin-seat fighter-bomber. It is intended to replace the Sukhoi Su-24. The jet has a different look to it as it has a duck-billed nose.

 

 

duck

 

 

Role Fighter-bomber
Manufacturer Sukhoi
First flight 13 April 1990
Introduction 2012 (plan)
Status In production
Primary user Russian Air Force
Produced 2006–present
Number built 136 of plus 7 prototypes
Unit cost US$36 million
Developed from Sukhoi Su-27

 

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General characteristics

  • Crew: 2
  • Length: 23.34 m (72 ft 2 in)
  • Wingspan: 14.7 m (48 ft 3 in)
  • Height: 6.09 m (19 ft 5 in)
  • Loaded weight: 39,000 kg (85,980 lb)
  • Useful load: 8,000 kg (17,600 lb)
  • Max. takeoff weight: 45,100 kg (99,425 lb)
  • Powerplant: 2 × Lyulka AL-31F1 turbofans, 13,500 kgf (132 kN, 29,762 lbf) with afterburner each

Performance

  • Maximum speed:
    • High altitude: Mach 1.8 (2,200 km/h, 1,375 mph)
    • Low altitude: Mach 1.2 (1,400 km/h, 870 mph) at sea level
  • Range: 1,100 km (680 mi) at low level altitude
  • Ferry range: 4,000 km (2,490 mi)
  • Service ceiling: 15,000 m (49,200 ft)
  • Wing loading: 629 kg/m² (129 lb/ft²)
  • Thrust/weight: 0.68

 

 

This jet has really nice sleek lines.

 

The Colorful Jets of the Japan Air Self-Defense Force

The Japan Air Self-Defense Force (航空自衛隊, Kōkū Jieitai), or JASDF, is the aviation branch of the Japan Self-Defense Forces responsible for the defense of Japanese airspace and other aerospace operations.  The JASDF carries out combat air patrols around Japan, while also maintaining an extensive network of ground and air early warning radar systems. The branch also has an aerobatic team known as Blue Impulse and has recently been involved in providing air transport in several UN peacekeeping missions.

The JASDF had an estimated 45,000 personnel in 2005, and as of 2013 operates 791 aircraft.  Of those 791 aircraft in service approximately 350 are fighter aircraft.

Most of the aircraft below are Aggressor Jets.  Aggressors are used as training opposition aircraft and thus painted in the colour schemes of potential enemy air forces.  The Jets are painted in Russian, North Korean and mainland Chinese schemes. The bottom three images are JASDF paint schemes.

 

J-1, Japanese variant of the American F-16 Falcon

 

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F-15 Eagle Aggressors

 

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Some engineers have too much time on their hands

The Goodyear Inflatoplane was an experimental aircraft made by the Goodyear Aircraft Company, a subsidiary of Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company, well known for the Goodyear blimp. Although it seemed an improbable project, the finished aircraft proved to be capable of meeting its design objectives although its sponsor, the United States Army, ultimately cancelled the project when it could not find a “valid military use for an aircraft that could be brought down by a well-aimed bow and arrow.”

The original concept of an all-fabric inflatable aircraft was based on Taylor McDaniel inflatable rubber glider experiments in 1931. Designed and built in only 12 weeks, the Goodyear Inflatoplane was built in 1956, with the idea that it could be used by the military as a rescue plane to be dropped in a hardened container behind enemy lines. The 44 cubic ft (1.25 cubic meter) container could also be transported by truck, jeep trailer or aircraft.  The inflatable surface of this aircraft was actually a sandwich of two rubber-type materials connected by a mesh of nylon threads, forming an I-beam. When the nylon was exposed to air, it absorbed and repelled water as it stiffened, giving the aircraft its shape and rigidity. Structural integrity was retained in flight with forced air being continually circulated by the aircraft’s motor.

Monster of the Caspian Sea – A Once Glorious Soviet Aircraft Rusting Away on a Beach

Developed during the 1980’s in Soviet Russia, the futuristic looking MD-160 Lun-class ekranoplan had been sitting unused at a Russian naval base since the late 1990’s, but has now been beached on the shores of the Caspian Sea, as part of a plan to turn it into an ocean-side tourist attraction.

Known as the Caspian Sea Monster, the giant ekranoplan was designed in 1975 by Rostislav Evgenievich Alexeyev, a prominent developer of of hydrofoil ships and ground effect vehicles. It used a cushion of air beneath its giant wings to hover at about 13 feet above water, making it hard to detect. It was built as part of the Soviet WIG program, which dated back to the 1960’s Cold War, and was the only Lun-class ekranoplan to ever be completed and equipped with supersonic missiles.

 

The experimental aircraft got its nickname from the CIA. When spy satellite photos revealed this giant airplane with “KM” stamped on the wings, they named it Kaspian Monster, not knowing that the letters actually stood for Korabl-Maket (Prototype Ship).

The MD-160 ekranoplan was retired in the late 1990’s and had been sitting abandoned in a Russian naval base ever since. On July 31, the vehicle was taken under tow for a move to Derbent, Dagestan, with plans to turn into a tourist attraction as part of a park. When it arrived, authorities realized that there was nowhere to put the giant aircraft, which dwarfs a 747 jet.

The one-of-a-kind ekranoplan has been beached on the shore of the Caspian Sea since August, despite several attempts by locals to pull it to dry land by hand.

It appears that the Caspian Sea Monster has once again been abandoned, at least for the moment, and there is the sad possibility that it will be pummeled to pieces by the waves. A tragic ending for one of the most visually-impressive aircrafts ever built.

General characteristics

  • Crew: 5
  • Capacity: 50 people
  • Length: 92.00 m (301 ft 10 in)
  • Wingspan: 37.60 m (123 ft 4 in) * Tail stabilizer span: 37 m (121 ft 5 in)
  • Height: 21.80 m (71 ft 6 in)
  • Wing area: 662.50 m2 (7,131.1 sq ft)
  • Empty weight: 240,000 kg (529,109 lb)
  • Max takeoff weight: 544,000 kg (1,199,315 lb)
  • Powerplant: 10 × Dobrynin VD-7 turbojet, 127.53 kN (28,670 lbf) thrust each

Performance

  • Maximum speed: 500 km/h (310 mph, 270 kn)
  • Cruise speed: 430 km/h (270 mph, 230 kn)
  • Range: 1,500 km (930 mi, 810 nmi)
  • Ground effect altitude: 4–14 m (13 ft 1 in–45 ft 11 in)
  • Maximum sea state: 1.2 m (3 ft 11 in)