Solar Impulse ends cross-country US flight slightly early in NY due to torn left wing

Solar Impulse ends crosscountry US flight slightly early in NY due to torn left wing

Solar Impulse has successfully hopped its way across the US, completing the final leg of its journey from Washington Dulles International Airport. While today marks the end of the effort at New York’s JFK airport as expected, the solar-powered aircraft landed a roughly three hours early — this, due to an eight-foot tear in its left wing discovered over Toms River, New Jersey. According to the crew, the breakage posed no significant threat to pilot André Borschberg, but it did mean a planned fly-by of the Statue of Liberty had to be nixed.

If you’ll recall, this was the first US-based trip for Solar Impulse, which the team used largely to raise further awareness about energy efficiency. Aside from that, you can bet some extra publicity can’t hurt before a future model is set to make a flight across the world in 2015. Relive Solar Impulse’s Across America start at Mountain View, CA here and get more info about the full endeavor at the source link. Livestream wrap-up embedded after the break.

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Source: Solar Impulse

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Solar Impulse sets off on its journey across the US (video)

Solar Impulse sets off on its journey across the US

Early this morning at Moffet Air Field in Mountain View, California, Solar Impulse finally took off on the first leg of its barnstorming tour across the US. Of course, this isn’t the first time the sun-powered plane and its pilots, Bertrand Piccard and Andre Borschberg, have flown long distance, but it is the first time it’s taken wing through American airspace. Why has it come across the pond? To raise pubilc and political awareness about the benefits of going green and increasing energy efficiency — and perhaps pick up an additional sponsor or two for its second-gen aircraft (currently in development) meant to fly around the world in 2015. “With the technologies we have onboard, we can divide by two the energy consumption of our world, and produce half of the rest [energy we need] with renewable sources” according to Piccard.

This first portion of the journey will end in Phoenix, and it’ll take around twenty hours to get there, as the plane’s meager output limits its average speed to around 40MPH. Should any of you want to join along with Piccard and Borschberg as they fly across the country, you can hit the Solar Impulse Across America website to see a livestream from the cockpit, along with real-time altitude, air speed and battery status of the aircraft. And, you can watch a video of Solar Impulse taking off on its North American journey and hear Borschberg talk about learning to fly it after the break.

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Visualized: Boeing supersonic airliner concept soars in a wind tunnel, quietly

Visualized Boeing's supersonic airliner design carves wind tunnel air, quietly

No, you’re not looking at an early preview of Star Wars Episode VII — it just might represent the future of air transport, though. Boeing has spent years developing a truly quiet supersonic airliner concept, the Icon II, and what you see is an aerodynamics test of a mockup in a vaguely Death Star-like wind tunnel at NASA’s Glenn Research Center. The starfighter design is for more than just show, as you’d suspect. Its V-tail design moves sonic booms further back, reducing the chance that shockwaves will reach the ground (and our ears) intact, while the top-mounted engines isolate engine noise. Boeing and NASA are ultimately hoping for production passenger aircraft discreet enough to fly over land at supersonic speeds, although we can’t help but think that the sci-fi look is a convenient bonus.

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Source: New Scientist

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Hacker claims he can remotely hijack airplanes using an Android app

Hacker claims he can remotely hijack airplanes using an Android app

Hugo Teso, a security consultant who also happens to be a trained commercial pilot, says he’s developed an Android app that can make an airliner “dance to his tune” by attacking its flight management systems. The hack was demoed at this year’s Hack In The Box conference in Amsterdam, where Teso showed how the app — called PlaneSploit — can seek out targets from the ground by infiltrating radio broadcasts between aircraft and air traffic control, and then use a second communication system to send malicious messages to that could “take full control of the plane” or indirectly affect the pilot’s behavior. PlaneSploit is proof-of-concept software, designed to work in a closed virtual environment, so it’s not like we’re going to see it pop up on Google Play any time soon, but just the fact it exists will hopefully help to keep the puppet masters out of real-world planes. And no, there’s no Windows Phone version.

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Via: Net Security, Computerworld

Source: Aircraft Hacking: Practical Aero Series (PDF)

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Boeing 787 Dreamliner completes flight check, certification still awaits (update)

It wouldn’t surprise us to learn that more than a few Boeing officials had their fingers crossed this morning in Everett, Washington. That’s because the 787 Dreamliner took to the skies for the first time since being grounded in an effort to demonstrate a proper fix to that nasty overheating issue that’s plagued the airliner’s battery. The test flight, known as a functional flight check, lasted approximately two hours and will give the folks at Boeing an opportunity to examine data from the outing in advance of the 787’s single certification flight — a process that’s otherwise known as one and done.

Update: This article originally stated that this is the first time the 787 Dreamliner has flown since being grounded, which is incorrect. Today’s test flight is the first time the 787 Dreamliner has flown since the FAA-approved battery fix has been in place.

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Source: Reuters, USA Today

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Navy looks into UV cloak for stealth aircraft

Navy looks into UV cloak for stealth aircraft

The Navy’s invested good money in the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, which obscures radar waves and redirects engine heat to evade recognition by infrared sensors. But that stealth flier is still vulnerable to another type of detection: UV sensors. The Pentagon recently began soliciting proposals to develop a device that cloaks aircraft from ultra-violet detection systems. The hope is that such a technology could shield aircraft from missile seekers that scan the sky for telltale “UV silhouettes.” According to the call for research, the solution could involve a device that disperses a cloud of quantum dots or other materials to veil jet fighters in a shapeless mass of UV shadow. Given that this is a rather daunting task, it’s not surprising that the development timeframe and projected cost are still up in the air.

Navy looks into UV cloak for stealth aircraft originally appeared on Engadget on Thu, 10 May 2012 07:32:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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