NASA has a big project of launching an aircraft to Mars this month, but that was put on hold because they found a leak in one of the aircraft instruments. So now they next mission is supposed to be pushed towards May of 2018 which would be sending an aircraft to the Red Planet. They are still 100% sure if they will be sending the aircraft but that’s what NASA is currently aiming for their next project of launching an aircraft to Mars. They plan on sending an aircraft to Mars to study the planets interior and learn more about how the rocky world formed. The project was on track to being launched but everything came to halt in December when a scientist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory discovered a problem in one of the landers two main instruments.
The instrument was designed to measure quakes on Mars and also extremely tiny ground movements but it was said that the leaks were big enough that they would prevent NASA from accomplishing the mission. So now the Jet Propulsion Laboratory is taking over the vacuum failure to redesign it and construct the failed vacuum. NASA has concluded with saying that it will not delay the agency’s next mission to Mars in 2020.
Airbus has been focusing on the loading of airplanes in order to achieve faster boarding. They have recently had an idea patented in which there would be a redesign to its airplane which would allow for passengers to be preloaded into a cabin. Once the passengers are preloaded into the cabin, the cabin is then lowered into the bed of a plane.
Here is the example that Rowley gives to provide a better understanding of this idea.
“Think of it like trucking, where the cargo is interchangeable - only the cargo is people and the truck is a commercial airplane.”
This patent was filled on February 28th, 2013 in the United States Patent and Trademark Office as was published on November 24th, 2015. Although this idea is very revolutionary, it does not seem to be an idea that will materialize very soon.
Ars Technica UK has an opinion on the patent that can be considered.
"Turnaround time is one of the main limiting factors on how many flights can be flown each day: if an airline could squeeze in another flight, or even just reduce the number of late-in-the-day flights being delayed that would be a huge deal."
Airbus was founded in December 18, 1970 in Blagnac, France with founders Roger Béteille, Henri Ziegler, and Bernard Lathière. They are known for their Airbus A320 model.
Rich McCormick released an article from The Verge, talking about how Jeff Bezos is planning to have tourist in space in the beginning of 2018. Jeff Bezos founded the privately owned space travel company, Blue Origin. According to journalists from the New York Times, Jeff Bezos mentioned groups over of six tourists will be able to take short trips into space in about two years so they can experience weightlessness.
According to the Guardian, it will be 2017 when the company will first pilots will be shot into space by Blue Origin’s rockets. The Blue Origin rockets will be using the BE-4 engine, which is their newest engine. It seems as if the company as no shortage of customers as many have shown much interest in paying for a weightlessness experience in outer space.
Although Blue Origin is in the back-seat in terms of the public eye, they are very welcoming to customers. Jeff Bezos says, “We will not be strangers.” In fact, they have done very well in comparison to SpaceX when it came to landing and launching a rocket into space. Here is what McCormick has said.
“SpaceX has attempted the same feat with its Falcon 9 rocket several times, but has only stuck the landing once, and is yet to send the same ship off our planet twice.”
Although the two companies have a little bit of a rivalry, Bezos says "space is really easy to overhype."
U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (Darpa) has awarded Aurora Flight Sciences with a contract worth up to $90 million to build a prototype hybrid electric-powered aircraft. This will be carried out under the VTOL X-Plane project which is the designated Aurora Flight Sciences vertical takeoff and landing experimental plane which Aurora is planning on flight testing in 2018.
The VTOL X-Plane Project is aimed to develop and integrate the novel aircraft subsystems in hopes of improving vertical and horizontal-cruise flight. Aurora was awared the second and third phase contract by the Department of Defense on March 3rd.
There were three companies in direct contention for the contract but U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (Darpa) refused to identify who the losing bidders were. Per Darpa’s specification the VTOL X-Plane is required to have a top sustained flight speed of at least 300 and up to 400 knots, improve their hover efficiency from 60% to at least 75%, improve their cruise lift-to drag ration and have the capacity to carry a load of at least 4,800lbs, which is roughly 40% of the vehicle’s projected gross weight.
The aircraft’s design will required feature parts 2 large rear wings, 2 smaller front canards, a Rolls-Royce AE 1107C turboshaft engine, 3 Honeywell generators, 24 ducted fans, an electric distributed propulsion (EDP), Synchronous electric drive systems which will rotate and the wings/canards to direct fan thrust where needed and . Darpa’s program manager Ashish Bagai believes that should the VTOL X-Plane project prove successful, it will a momentous and radical breakthrough in vertical and horizontal-cruise flight for the aviation and aerospace industry.
Britain and France are planning to spend over $2 billion in order to plan and develop a FCAS or Future Combat Air System. This Future Combat Air System could replace the current-generation European fighters. The current-generation European fighters have a time frame of 2030. The agreement between Britain and France was made in March 3, 2016.
France’s Dassault Aviation is in charge of leading Britain’s development of the Taranis unmanned combat air vehicle.
The last agreement was during a meet with UK Prime Minister David Cameron and French President Francois Hollande at the defense summit in Amiens, France. During the meet, the two parties agreed to contribute a total of over $1 billion to the Future Combat Air System.
Not only is Britain and France working together, but some of the companies residing in the countries as well. This includes Thales, Dassault, and Snecma in France, as well as Rolls-Royce, BAE Systems, and Finmeccanica Airborne and space Systems in the UK.
Michael Fallon, British Defense Secretary, talks about the Future Combat Air System during a statement that was released during the summit.
“The Future Combat Air System project will give the UK and France the most advanced vehicle of its kind in Europe, securing high-end engineering jobs and expertise in both countries with full-scale development of prototypes starting in 2017.”
Dassault CEO and Charman Eric Trappier chimes in and talks about how he feels about the project. According to Ain Online, Trappier was “delighted at the two countries’ shared intention to pursue cooperation in military aviation, and particularly to launch a new phase in 2017 with the ‘scale 1’ development of a UCAS operational demonstrator.”
NASA’s super plan is being referred to as “X-plane” or “experimental supersonic”. This plane will be able to move passengers 2 times faster than the speed of sound, Mach 2.04. Back in 2003, super planes have been taken out of service. The last super plane serviced was the Concorde. These new super planes will allow traveling across the Atlantic Ocean duration times to be cut in half, compared to original conventional jets.
Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Co. was awarded $20 million over 17 months to complete the first designs for “Quiet Supersonic Technology”. This technology reduces the loud booming noise that is associated with supersonic flight. A soft thump will be the new “heartbeat” of these “X-planes”
NASA states that the design and build will take several years to complete a demonstration aircraft with the $20 million award. Lockheed and a few subcontractors from GE Aviation will work closely together to ensure that the demonstration plane will be built around GE Aviation engines, with flight testing to begin in 2020.
Charles Bolden, NASA administrator believes that “NASA is working hard to make flight greener, safer, and quieter - all while developing aircraft and travel faster”. He hopes with the cooperation of both Lockheed and GE Aviation team create an aviation system that will help operate more efficiently.
CEO of Samson Motors, Sam Bousfield has produced something astonishing in the advancements of flying sports cars. The Switchblade is a flying car that has aerial and everyday driving capabilities.
His vision of
“landing at an airport, pushing a button to stow wings and tail and drive to your destination”
is coming to reality. Sam has found a way of stowing the wings in the belly of the Switchblade. This is being protected by the shell of the doors. This prevents foreign road objects coming in contact with the wings while the vehicle is on the ground moving.
Sam has developed a sophisticated two hinged beam system that is connected to one side of each wing and then connected to each side of the vehicles body. Accompanying these hinges are beams for each of the wings. The wings are motorized, which allows them to be pushed in and/or pulled out easily.
The Switchblade is first of its kind, where wings or tails do not have to be removed completely from the vehicle while in ground transportation. Other flying cars, there are parts that need to be stored away from the vehicle, sometimes left at the airport after landing.
Sam wanted to the ability to fly, land, and drive easily and not worry about parts being left behind. He designed the Switchblade that would
“provide high performance on the ground, as well as high performance in the air”.
The Switchblade was being tested for the past 2 years in Central Oregon, where composite aircraft production is significantly ongoing. Sam believes that these auto/aircrafts will be the new era in transportation, he states “It is not just change, it is a true evolution.”
The Department of Defense (DOD) has recently unveiled their plans for development of a repurposed arsenal plane which would be capable of carrying large amounts of missiles as well as bombs into battle. This arsenal plane is hoped to fly alongside modern combat aircrafts such as the Lockheed Martin F-35. The DOD also plans on investing in resilient and fast micro drones which can deploy from fighter jets while travelling at Mach 0.9, while having the capabilities of flying through strong crosswinds.
These plans fall under an initiative known as the Third Offset Strategy. America believes that such technology will put the country ahead of its opponents in future combat. Both projects were first announced by the United States Secretary of Defense, Ashton Carter, during a budget speech.
“[Arsenal plane] takes one of our oldest aircraft platforms, and turns it into a flying launch pad for all sorts of different conventional payloads,” said Carter. “In practice, the arsenal plane will function as a very large airborne magazine, networked to fifth-generation aircraft that acts as forward sensor and targeting nodes – essentially combining different systems already in our inventory to create wholly new capabilities.”
Carter stated that the micro drones had already been demonstrated in 2015 during an operational exercise held in Alaska. The micro drones are built with commercially available aircraft components and are printed through additive manufacturing. Carter did not disclose if the micro drones were explosive, though they are capable of being launched by hand from soldiers on the battlefield.
ASAP Semiconductor is a leading supplier of Aerospace Industry Parts and has the resources to supply an array of Lockheed Martin aircraft products. We provide our customers with a simplified and speedy procurement process. We ensure that our customers production lines and prototype builds are always up and running effectively. We offer cost-effective component solutions by improving our customers’ negotiation power. If you are interested in a quote, please contact our friendly sales staff at firstname.lastname@example.org call us toll free at 1-714-705-4780.
Another barrier has been broken through in the aerospace engineering field. SpaceX announced that they have successful implemented a way to reignite the first-stage booster stage and bring it back down to Earth after having launched it. Sounds confusing? That’s because it is. Not only is it complicated, it’s also incredibly difficult to accomplish as well.
A SpaceX member likened it akin to “Launching a pencil over the Empire State Building, putting it in reverse, and having it come back down and land on a shoebox on the ground in a wind storm.”
This amazing achievement comes on the heels of the disastrous June 28 launch that created a long shadow of doubt as well as scrutiny over SpaceX after the company’s launch destroyed a company’s supply ship christened Dragon which was intended for the International Space Station. The success of the Falcon 9 booster has been credited mostly due to a substantial increase in the upper stage engine bell, a more powerful thrust boost and deep cryo oxidizers which are designed to increase performance as well as redundancy in effectiveness.
With plans to dramatically reduce the cost of space launches, SpaceX has plans to reuse it Falcon 9 rocket with the intention of rebooting live tests and experiments on its Grasshopper test rig. This has marked the ending of a wildly successful year for SpaceX culminating in the first flight of the Falcon 9 upgrade and landing the rocket back on land at Cape Canaveral. Onlookers as well as SpaceX employees were captured celebrating and chanting “U.S.A, U.S.A, U.S.A!” Earlier this year Blue Origin made history by recovering it’s suborbital launch vehicle New Shepard which came one month prior to SpaceX’s landing of the booster stage. SpaceX has been approved by the US Air Force to carry national security space modules and has plans to return to routine operations following the improvements to the Falcon 9.
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The first details and information on the unmade air vehicle, coined the Impact, has been given to Flightglobal to release to the public. This unmanned air vehicle has been developed on Meteor Aerospace. Meteor Aerospace is a privately owned Israeli company that was formed in central Israel in 2013.
Meteor Aerospace is trying its best to keep its public exposure to a minimum. The company is even taking precautionary measures to avoid trade shows and limiting announcements. One of the executives at Meteor Aerospace makes a brief comment. “We’re still flying under the radar.”
Flightglobal was able to find out a little bit more details. The Impact will have a high endurance and will be flown at a medium altitude. The Impact will also be able to carry over a 300-pound payload. This is possible because the Impact has a roughly a 100hp fuel injection engine with a flight endurance of over 24h.
Itzhak Nissan, the Meteor Aerospace’s initiative co-founder and chief executive worked at Israel Aerospace Industries for many years. Israel Aerospace Industries is considered the nation’s biggest UAV manufacturer. Nissan stepped away from Israel Aerospace Industries approximately three years ago even though the company had a backlog of over $9 billion. After stepping away, Nissan worked with Hezi Bezalel, an Israeli businessman, in order to be co-founder of Meteor Aerospace.
The company has received orders on the Impact along with options valuing at over $100 million and other systems valued over $75 million. However, Nissan has decided to not disclose any more information other than that there are other potential customers that are in the works of closing deals.
Here is what Nissan has to say about Impact and his company. “Coming to the defense market with a new company makes sense only if you bring new and innovative products. You can’t claim your place among the well-established industry giants if you offer more of the same.”
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