With $10 billion in development costs, the Global Hawk UAV has been an expensive proposition for the US Air Force over the course of its 15-year life. The huge UAV – its wingspan is nearly 30-feet wider than a U-2 spy plane and it's only two feet shorter than an F-16 – has become a critical vehicle for the US military, although as Foxtrot Alpha explains, that significance isn't necessarily due to its reconnaissance abilities.
Japan is surging ahead with plans to seriously increase its drone fleet in the face of its ongoing territorial disputes with China and a typically difficult North Korea. The country, which until recently had an exceptionally restrictive section of its constitution that limited any belligerence, will increase its investment in UAVs by 300 percent.
It may not be a flying car, and it may not even be a Hoverboard. But we don't care. A hoverbike is still incredibly awesome, and there's now a chance to bring just such a device to the real world thanks to Kickstarter.
In the mid-size sedan segment, there are few more benign engines than those that power the otherwise terrific Ford Fusion. That assessment may not be entirely true after Boeing has developed an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) powered by an internal combustion engine of the Ford variety. While the article doesn't specify which Fusion engine is being used, we'd guess it's the 2.3L Duratec four-cylinder. Ford's Research and Advanced Engineering created the UAV's means of propulsion, which utilizes a
The Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) has built and demonstrated a new unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) that can fly for up to ten hours using 500 grams of liquefied hydrogen fuel. The hydrogen is the energy carrier which appears to provide electricity to an electric motor via a fuel cell. At this time, the plane is piloted from the ground using radio control, but the team says that they are close to implementing an automatic pilot system, meaning that the machine would not
Sporting a 59 foot wingspan, the Qinetiq unmanned aerial vehicle is likely capable of setting a new world record for sustained unmanned flight. The previous record was set in 2001 by a jet-powered vehicle. The Qinetiq Zephyr, on the other hand, is powered by nothing but sunlight. The solar craft was able to stay airborne over the course of two nights using solar energy stored on-board during the day. The team in charge of the vehicle claims that it has stayed airborne for 54 hours, but this is n
I just ran across this very in-depth article that introduces us to a new team, the Technion Israel Institute of Technology, Haifa, who hopes to rewrite the record books when it comes to solar aviation. They are doing so with a rather small airplane (compared to previous solar fliers) known as SunSailor.
It appears as though military contractors aren't the only ones making headway on the development of unmanned aerial vehicles powered by fuel cells. In a collaboration between Georgia Tech's Aerospace Systems Design Laboratory (ADSL) and the Georgia Tech Research Institute (GTRI), researchers have created their own hydrogen-powered UAV.
Protonex, an advanced fuel cell power systems provider to the US military, will be unveiling it's new fuel cell system in an upcoming meeting for the Association of Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI).