NASA’s revolutionary metamaterial “morphing” wing mimics birds wings

NASA’s revolutionary metamaterial “morphing” wing mimics birds wings

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Aircraft wings are subject to different conditions during flight, but until now rigid wings weren’t optimal for any of them.   A team of researchers led by NASA and MIT in the US have come up with a radical new aeroplane wing design that is...

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Autonomous planes, hypersonic jets and flying cars, Boeing unveils its future

Autonomous planes, hypersonic jets and flying cars, Boeing unveils its future

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF One day aircraft will be fully autonomous, but getting there is a journey of many steps and this is one of them, and Boeing is placing its bets.   Everything it seems these days is going autonomous, from cars, trains and trucks, to giant cargo ships...

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Boeing unveil their stunning hypersonic space plane concept

Boeing unveil their stunning hypersonic space plane concept

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF The future of transportation is fast, very fast, and companies are once again getting serious about building commercial hypersonic aircraft.   It’s a vision of the future that could someday jet people from the Los Angeles to Tokyo in just three hours or cut the...

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Lockheed Martin goes full throttle to develop NASA’s quiet supersonic jet

Lockheed Martin goes full throttle to develop NASA’s quiet supersonic jet

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Regulators don’t like noisy supersonic aircraft flying over land, so Lockheed and NASA have teamed up to create a quiet supersonic aircraft.   One of the reasons why the iconic Concorde was mothballed was because it was too noisy when travelling at supersonic speeds, so...

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The world’s first silent, engineless aircraft takes flight at MIT

The world’s first silent, engineless aircraft takes flight at MIT

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF This new type of engine, an ion engine, could one day be a useful propulsion system for drones and small aircraft but a lot of work remains to be done.   Since the first airplane took flight over 100 years ago, virtually every aircraft in...

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Emirates boss says future aircraft will be windowless

Emirates boss says future aircraft will be windowless

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Windows on airplanes add upto 50 percent to the weight of the aircraft, and reduce their structural integrity, so people want to get rid of them.   Would you want to fly eight hours or more on an airplane with no windows? Absolutely you would I...

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Record breaking solar powered aircraft stays aloft for 26 days straight

Record breaking solar powered aircraft stays aloft for 26 days straight

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF The aviation industry is one of the world’s biggest polluters so companies around the world are trying to find new ways to power aircraft.   Recently I talked about SolarStratos, a company that’s looking to produce “the world’s first commercial solar aircraft,” and a couple...

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Featured Futurist, TV Interview: The Future of Aviation 2020 to 2070, APEX Insider

Featured Futurist, TV Interview: The Future of Aviation 2020 to 2070, APEX Insider

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF The pace of change is accelerating, and new technologies are re-writing the narrative for many industries, including aviation.   In the coming decades the aviation industry will, arguably, see more change than it has in the past century, whether it’s because of the introduction of...

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A powerful battery breakthrough from MIT could usher in electric planes

A powerful battery breakthrough from MIT could usher in electric planes

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF The airline industry is one of the world’s heaviest polluters and it’s getting worse as air travel increases, electric aircraft will reverse that trend.   Over the past year or so I’ve been discussing the eventual emergence of fully electric aircraft and sky taxis, such...

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BAE is developing a “wearable” cockpit for fighter jets

BAE is developing a “wearable” cockpit for fighter jets

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Aircraft cockpits haven’t changed much in decades, and digitising them opens up a host of new opportunities.   BAE Systems has announced that it’s looking to make the fighter jet cockpit of tomorrow a much simpler place for pilots by replacing conventional instruments and controls...

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China tests its cutting edge hypersonic aircraft that “rides its own shockwaves”

China tests its cutting edge hypersonic aircraft that “rides its own shockwaves”

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF China, Russia and the US are engaged in a race to create the next generation of hypersonic weapons, and the race is accelerating.   Over the past year China has announced it’s developed the world’s first quantum radar system, that neutralises US stealth, the first...

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Rolls Royce is building cockroach like robots and snakes to fix airplane engines

Rolls Royce is building cockroach like robots and snakes to fix airplane engines

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF In the future we’ll see more maintenance jobs performed by robots of all sizes.   Typically engineers want to get bugs out of their creations but that’s not the case for Rolls Royce, the engineering company who are building everything from autonomous cargo ships and...

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Futurist in the press: Exclusive interview with Richard Branson, Metro newspaper

Futurist in the press: Exclusive interview with Richard Branson, Metro newspaper

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Richard Branson is one of the most iconic entrepreneurs of all time but sometimes you’ve got to give the critics fuel in order to create the future.   I have to admit I do sometimes have to sit back and pinch myself, after all, it...

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Mysterious hypersonic SR-72 demonstrator spotted in California

Mysterious hypersonic SR-72 demonstrator spotted in California

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Hypersonic platforms, from autonomous aircraft to “carrier killers” and missiles, so it’s inevitable that over the next five or so years sightings are going to increase   Lockheed Martin’s Advanced Development Program (ADP), better known as “Skunk Works,” might be further along in the development...

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Fuel-less flights are on the horizon as electric aircraft taxi for take off

Fuel-less flights are on the horizon as electric aircraft taxi for take off

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF The airline industry is one of the world’s most polluting industries but as battery technology improves more companies are piling in to create the world’s first, viable electric passenger planes.   All of a sudden there’s a lot of gossip and activity buzzing around electric...

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Two companies announce plans to become the Tesla of the air

Two companies announce plans to become the Tesla of the air

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Airlines have been dreaming about electric passenger aircraft for decades, and now the technology is improving we might see the first electric passenger aircraft appear by 2030.   Hot on the heels of Rolls Royce’s CEO announcing that he thinks the future of flight is...

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Rolls Royce CEO sticks it to fossil fuels, announces the future of flight is electric

Rolls Royce CEO sticks it to fossil fuels, announces the future of flight is electric

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF The airline industry has been grappling with the dual challenge of rising fuel costs and increasing pollution levels for decades, but now executives agree the future is electric.   Twenty years ago if you’d said that the future of cars was electric people would have...

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