The American Navy’s Next Jet May Have Its Own Drone

The next generation Growler electronic attack plane may carry a drone as part of its payload.

The U.S. Navy’s EA-18G Growler electronic attack plane may get its own pet drone in a future update, FlightGlobal is reporting. The Dash X drone could be deployed by Growler aircrews over hostile airspace, collecting electromagnetic signals and sending them to the waiting jet for analysis. The Growler/drone dynamic duo would be used to identify, locate, and take down enemy air defenses.

The project, funded by the Office of Naval Research, involves stuffing a Dash X drone in a bomb-like capsule designed to hang off the hardpoints of a EA-18G Growler...

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Low-cost Valkyrie and Mako “wingman” combat drones shown by Kratos

The Kratos XQ-222 Valkyrie will act as an armed-to-the-teeth buddy for manned combat aircraft initially, but swarms of combat drones now seem likely in the not-too-distant future (Credit: Kratos Defense)

Defense company Kratos has announced that it will show two low-cost combat drones at the Paris Air Show next week, offering an insight as to what military conflicts might look like in the foreseeable future – a manned combat jet leading dozens of 1,000 km/h lethally-armed unmanned companions.

The Kratos XQ-222 Valkyrie and UTAP-22 Mako drones offer fighter-like performance at between US$2 and $3 million apiece, compared with $100 million for each manned fighter...

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Lockheed’s Catapult-Launched Drone Called Fury Lingers 15 Hours Over the Battlefield

Lockheed is developing a new drone promises to be a long-endurance, high-altitude friend for troops on the ground, acting as an eye in the sky or a communications relay.

Fury, which looks a little like a pumpkin seed with bat wings, can operate for more than 15 hours at altitudes up to 15,000 feet. An in-house project funded on the company dime, Lockheed’s new drone is designed to give ground troops or warships their own surveillance or communications platform. The 17-foot-wingspan drone doesn’t need a runway to operate. Instead, it’s launched from a truck or deck-mounted catapult and can be recovered by flying it into a recovery net.

Lockheed Martin expects Fury to be useful in a variety of roles...

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What Really Happens When a Drone Strikes an Airplane

Drones strikes are not like bird strikes—they’re much, much worse.


The skies are getting crowded.

The FAA says that reports of near-misses between drones and planes have surged since 2014, with as many as 650 cases as of August 2016. Last month an airliner narrowly avoided hitting a drone near London’s tallest skyscraper. Dubai airport has been repeatedly shut down by drone activity, and low-flying drones are increasingly disrupting firefighting aircraft in the western U.S.

Sooner or later, those near-messes are going to become hits. So experts from the U.S. and U.K. are recreating these deadly scenarios before they wreck real-world consequences, hoping to nip this 21st century problem in the bud. New studies by the FAA and its Euro...

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This “Psychic Robot” Can Read Your Mind

Researchers have created an algorithm that understands what movement you meant to make, even if you’re interrupted
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Researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago have created a “psychic robot.” The robot is based on an algorithm that can understand the intention behind a movement—you intended to turn the steering wheel, you intended to take a step, you intended to push the red button—even when that movement is interrupted.

While this may sound like the next step in cyborg world domination, it has actually been developed primarily to help brain injured patients move better.

This kind of prediction is possible, explains Justin Horowitz, a graduate research assistant in bioengineering, because the human nervous system works so slowly.

“Humans have to plan ahead, because t...

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Engineer building a quadcopter drone big enough to ride

Dutch engineer Thorstin Crijns rides on a prototype Quadro.

Quadcopters are a popular choice of unmanned aerial vehicle by drone developers hoping to reduce the costs and improve on the safety record of helicopters.

Online retail giant Amazon hopes to offer delivery by drone in the United States by the end of 2016.

Now a Dutch software engineer is working on a quadcopter that he says will be able to deliver much more. Thorstin Crijns envisions a quadcopter that can transport passengers autonomously, without manual control.

“The main goal of this project is to create a system where passenger can sit in and automatically go to his desired location without manually driving it, so it should be done automatically...

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Iran has announced the first deployment of an unmanned aerial vehicle built to crash into targets, which the media promptly called the “suicide drone.”

Okay, so it’s got a cool name. Is it really a threat? The answer to that depends on how it’s used—and where it’s aimed.

Mobile Bomb?

First, the specs. The new UAV, called the Raad in some Iranian press, is basically a clone of the Boeing-built ScanEagle surveillance drone—an unarmed UAV that earns its way onto the battlefield with its eyes, not its talons. The Iranian version provides overhead surveillance for 10 hours, officials there say, but they’re also calling the Raad a “mobile bomb” that can strike land and sea targets.

This is not the first armed drone, and not the most dangerous...

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NASA awarded Lockheed Martin a modest $892,292 earlier this month to study the feasibility of developing an unmanned hypersonic spy plane called the SR-72. This superfast recon drone, first teased in November 2013, would fly at speeds of Mach 6.0, or 4,500 mph. That’s almost double the speed of the Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird, which made its first flight 50 years ago.

Image: Artist's rendering shows Lockheed Martin's planned SR-72 twin-engine jet aircraft

Neither Lockheed Martin Skunk Works nor NASA Glenn Research Center officials are talking about the recent award. But a Lockheed Martin website notes that the company has been working with Aerojet Rocketdyne to find a way to integrate a turbine engine, which would get the plane up to Mach 3, with a supersonic ramjet engine, or scramjet, to push it to Mach 6.


Scramjets are, structurally at least, pretty simple...

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Robot ‘Athena’ flies to Germany as airline passenger from Los Angeles

Herzog, a doctoral student at Max Planck Society, pushes 'Athena', the first 'humanoid' robot to fly as a passenger, as  they arrive at Los Angeles International Airport

(Reuters) – A humanoid robot with a head, hands and feet and wearing stylish red sneakers boarded a flight for Germany at Los Angeles International Airport on Monday, becoming what was billed as the first robot traveling as a paid passenger on an airline.

The robot, named Athena, created a scene at the Tom Bradley International Terminal as she was pushed in a wheelchair up to the Lufthansa counter to pick up her ticket to Frankfurt. Television crews swarmed, camera flashes went off and people aimed their cell-phone cameras at her, exclaiming: “It’s a robot!”


Built by the Salt Lake City engineering and robotics company Sarcos, Athena was purchased by Germany’s Max Planck Society, which along with researchers at the University of Southern California are trying to make her perform ...

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Are we moving toward pilotless airliners?

This week’s Question: NASA has worked with industry to help create the Synthetic Vision System (SVS), a virtual reality display system for cockpits. The SVS uses 3D to provide pilots with intuitive means of understanding their flying environment, including graphical displays of terrain and hazards. In coming months, Universal Avionics, an avionics manufacturer, will release a product called InSight, which blends larger displays, higher-resolution 3-D synthetic vision, and new icon-based command-and-control architecture. Some say that synthetic vision developments, along with other emerging aviation technologies like touch-screen steering and voice recognition, could lead to a day when airliners fly themselves...

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Version 3.0 of Aeromobil flying car unveiled, see pics & video here

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It may still sound like the stuff of science fiction, but the AeroMobil flying car is close to a final design. The AeroMobil 3.0 prototype was premiered today at the Pioneers Festival in Vienna. The roadster-cum-light-aircraft is being tested to refine final performance and features.

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The AeroMobil first took to the skies last year as version 2.5. According to the company, the new version was developed and built in the 10 months after the release of version 2.5 and is “very close to the final product.”

“I’m very happy with what we were able to achieve in such a short time with the team of only 12 people,” says AeroMobil co-founder and CTO Stefan Klein. “AeroMobil 3...

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Gravity powered aircraft flies with no fuel in pics & schematic diagram.

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January 21, 2004 The concept of sustained flight without the use of fuel seems far reaching even by today’s advanced aviation standards. Even more so when you consider that aircrafts should ideally be able to carry heavy loads of passengers and cargo. However one innovator’s astounding new designs could transform the air transport industry of the 21st Century if they turn out to be valid

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Former nuclear designer, Robert D. Hunt of Hunt Aviation Corp has come up with a new “gravity powered aircraft technology” that he claims can accomplish sustained fuel-less flight. Hunt has designed a new hybrid aircraft: a “gravity-powered aircraft” which is a fixed wing, ridged skin airplane made of lightweight and modern composite materials...

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