Before we had access to drones, aerial videography and photography were really left to the professionals, or at least those who could afford the right equipment. But with superior tools, like the Phantom DJI Drone, taking breathtaking shots is completely possible — as long as you know what you’re doing, that is. — Read the rest
The iPhone SE series achieves affordability by marrying old and new hardware to make something better than the model it started as. Now DJI, one of the popular drone companies, is pulling the same trick with a new DJI Mini SE, and in the process, brought the price down to $299.
Most branches of the United States military operate drones in one capacity or another. Some drones are used for short-term surveillance while others loiter over a target site for extended durations keeping an eye on the ground from above. The United States Navy is looking for an uncrewed air vehicle with a much longer duration than what’s currently possible. To … Continue reading
Airliners have become an unremarkable part of modern life, but unless you happen to be an aircraft enthusiast, you’d be forgiven for thinking the latest Airbus model looks more or less the same as the Boeing 707 that ushered in the Jet Age. But that might soon change, with blended wing airliners looking like the next step in air travel efficiency. In the video after the break, [Real Engineering] takes us on a fascinating tour of the past and possible future of jet airliners.
Contemporary airliners all still follow the same old “tube and wing” design, but have become vastly more efficient. The latest jetliners burn almost 50% less fuel per passenger-km than they did 50 years ago. This is thanks to better engines, improved aerodynamics, reduced weight, and a vast array of other, often invisible changes. However, it’s looking like a more drastic change is needed to keep the progress going, and NASA, Boeing, and Airbus are all betting on blended wing designs to do this.
Blended wing aircraft are basically flying wings, where the cargo-carrying section of aircraft is shorter, wider, and produces lift. This layout can be used to increase the aircraft’s internal volume, and improve aerodynamic losses, by eliminating the tail. Research shows that blended wing design could reduce fuel consumption by as much as 27%. Since load and produced lift are spread more evenly along the entire width of the aircraft, it also reduces the amount of structural reinforcement required for the wings, especially at the root. The large internal volumes also allow other power sources, like hydrogen fuel cells to be used.
Blended wing aircraft are not without challenges. They are inherently unstable and require complex control systems to fly. These control systems depend on sensors, actuators, and software to work properly, and require multiple levels of redundancy. The omission of these redundancies ultimately led to the 2008 crash of a B-2 bomber, and the more recent fatal crashes of Boeing’s 737 MAX airliners. Also, unlike tubular fuselages, blended wing designs are not ideal pressure vessels. However, this is not a major problem thanks to the availability of carbon composite materials to create strong, lightweight structures.
With aircraft technology moving as fast as ever, we look forward to seeing what the future will bring. Whether it’s personal rotorcraft or commercial space flight, it sure won’t be boring.
Today we’re taking a peek at Microsoft Flight Simulator for Xbox Series X on its initial debut for consoles. This is the first time the game is available on a platform other than desktop – it was first released (in its current modern form) for Windows 10 in the year 2020. At that time it was instantly regarded as a … Continue reading
“Discovery” flights, a brand-new MSFS feature in its console version, begin in mid-air in scenic locales with pre-populated weather and lighting settings. All of them are a visual treat. The following gallery was captured in real-time on Xbox Series X.
When I think of the history of game consoles, I think of flight simulators.
Nintendo in particular has leveraged the “Pilotwings” name not once, not twice, but thrice to show off brand-new tech over various generations. I have long loved that approach. Pilotwings games err on the side of minimal challenge and maximum relaxation, arguably to let players calmly absorb the newest 3D-rendering tricks of each era.
I think about that strategy now because Microsoft Flight Simulator is launching on Xbox Series X/S this week. Since it’s roughly eight months out from those consoles’ launches, it doesn’t count as a “launch” game. But Microsoft Flight Simulator is honestly the first true “next-gen” first-party console game in Xbox’s latest era. Part of that next-gen quality is because this game, unlike other first-party fare, has no “backwards compatibility” path to the older Xbox One family.
A United Airlines flight headed out of San Fransisco International Airport was hurriedly deboarded Thursday afternoon after staff aboard the plane announced an urgent threat. Someone was AirDropping “inappropriate pictures” onto passenger’s phones, and everyone on board needed to be evacuated and re-screened before…
NASA has announced that Ingenuity, its small Martian helicopter, successfully passed its ninth and most challenging flight thus far, marking a new milestone for the surprisingly capable vehicle. Unlike past flights, NASA used the most recent flight to pit Ingenuity against “challenging terrain,” not to mention the ample distance traveled. It’s important to remember that Ingenuity was designed merely as … Continue reading
We already knew that July is going to be a big month for Microsoft Flight Simulator thanks to its incoming launch on Xbox Series X|S, but today we learned that it’ll be even bigger than we initially imagined. Asobo Studio has revealed that it’s shipping new performance optimizations to the PC version of Microsoft Flight Simulator in Sim Update 5, … Continue reading
Parrot has a new drone, but the French company would really rather you think of the new Anafi Ai as a 4G-connected flying robot. Tapping cellular data for better, broader range, and a new 3D vision system for obstacle avoidance, Anafi Ai’s other big boast is an open-source platform that effectively turns the drone into a flying computer for surveys, … Continue reading