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news on airplanes, helicopters, aeronautics and aerospace technology

by IKE 28-Jan-2012 22:17

The new Sukhoi T-50 / PAK FA Russian fighter is by now quite well known but any official document is certainly welcome. That is the case of the Sukhoi patent that form the basis of this post. Even if it may not bring groundbreaking details, it presents some interesting aspects that may be quite interesting even if they are just raising speculation to fact. This patent document published just yesterday (although submitted by Sukhoi 2 years ago) by the Russian patent office. It presents the general arrangement of the new PAK-FA aircraft, it describes its aerodynamic configuration and function and also some aspects of its design concerning low radar observability. Read below for more details and images.

by IKE 26-Nov-2011 17:44

One of the biggest steps in space exploration, the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) named Curiosity was launched today with an Atlas V 541 vehicle and it is now on its way to Mars. The Curiosity rover is similar in size and weight to a small car and it will be the largest spacecraft to ever land on Mars with a very elaborate procedure that not only enables it to reach safely the Martian surface but also to land in a relatively tight spot with great geological interest. Read below for more details.

by IKE 27-Sep-2011 22:42

Paramount Group from South Africa just presented a new small aircraft destined for a variety of roles that today are fulfilled by more expensive airplanes, helicopters or UAVs. Paramount calls it a Β‘ground breaking multi-role aviation platformΒ’ and even if this sound a bit too much the concept and its impact for South Africa are very interesting. The Advanced High Performance Reconnaissance Light Aircraft (AHRLAC) is described as a Β‘low cost aerial reconnaissance, surveillance and armed patrol system capable of supporting a wide range of operationsΒ’ .

by IKE 10-Aug-2011 14:17

DARPAΒ’s Falcon Hypersonic Technology Vehicle 2 (HTV-2) is an unmanned rocket-launched aircraft, part of a program that is a research and development effort to increase the technical knowledge base and advance critical technologies. It focuses on maneuverability, control and long duration hypersonic flight instead of propulsion. The vehicle is accelerated by a conventional Minotaur IV rocket and its purpose is to collect data. It should of course also remain controllable during its extremely high speed glide where its velocity is around 20 mach (or 21.000km/h at that altitude).

by IKE 22-Jun-2011 12:52

Could this be the European rival for Virgin GalacticΒ’s White Knight 2? Yes and no. This is EOLE, one of the Perseus family of projects. Perseus is an initiative of CNES towards the research of innovative technologies for space transportation and their respective demonstrators, through an educative perspective. It was launched 6 years ago with the participation of many Universities and agencies. This particular system is called EOLE and it is the demonstrator for L3AR (Lancement Assisté par Aéroporteur Automatique Réutilisable, or Assisted launch via an automatic reusable aircraft.). The project started in 2008 and its design, aerodynamic configuration and internal arrangement are developed by ONERA, Aviation Design and Planète Sciences. The design was frozen in Mars 2010.

by IKE 16-May-2011 03:03

The latest and probably the last version of the very successful Sukhoi T-10 program, the Su-35S is ready for production. After the flight tests of the two prototypes (aircrafts #901 and #902 –photo above) the first series production aircraft made its first flight a few days ago piloted by test pilot Sergey Bogdan. The flight took place at the airfield of Komsomolsk-on-Amur Aircraft Production Association (KnAAPO) where the Sukhoi designed aircraft is developed for production.

by IKE 25-Feb-2011 06:21

Space Shuttle Discovery took off a few hours ago for its last mission. After many delays due to relatively minor problems it took off just seconds before the launch window closed and successfully reached orbit. Discovery will spend 11 days in space and two spacewalks are scheduled. This thread will be updated throught the mission.
UPDATE - Discovery just landed after a completely successful mission. It is the first space shuttle to officially retire and it is the most reused and traveled manned spacecraft ever (and it appears it will remain so for many years).

by IKE 10-Feb-2011 07:54

The Eurofighter consortium, one of the six companies chasing the 126-fighter aircraft sale of IndiaΒ’s medium multi role combat aircraft (MMRCA) competition presented a proposal for an upgraded and navalised version of the Typhoon. It was revealed as a concept on the Aero India exhibition and it features a lot of interesting details.

by IKE 14-Oct-2010 01:10

The first SpaceShipTwo aircraft made its first free flight piloted by Scaled test pilot Pete Siebold, assisted by Mike Alsbury as co-pilot. It is a great milestone for Virgin Galactic and private funded spaceflight. The SS2 called VSS Enterprise (not the most imaginative name for a spacecraft) was released from the WhiteKnightTwo (Eve) mothership at an altitude of 45,000 ft (+50% higher than most airliners). Its first flight was without a rocket engine but nevertheless it was a very important event.

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