General Atomics and Boeing’s new liquid laser could win high-energy weapon race

ED0ABD32-7811-4129-AF7C-97DA413B7C3A

The powerful, compact HELLADS liquid laser

The military has been striving to build a laser powerful enough to make an effective weapon literally since the first ruby laser was demonstrated back in 1960. Now General Atomics is working with Boeing BA +6.8% to finally realize the goal of a truly weapons-grade laser using new ‘liquid laser’ technology to break through the barrier holding back current devices.

The original ruby laser had an output of a fraction of watt, and could not be scaled up. Many other types of laser have been developed over the last sixty years, with generous military funding channeled into those that showed weapons potential. The gas dynamic laser, which resembled a lasing reaction taking place inside a rocket motor, was highly classified in the 1970s. One researcher joked that the best way to harm an enemy with such a massive a laser was to drop it on them.

Continue reading… “General Atomics and Boeing’s new liquid laser could win high-energy weapon race”

0

The F-16’s replacement won’t have a pilot at all

AD8513B7-B0FC-4863-9861-070948AB1B13

Somehow, Skyborg will be an operational weapon system in just three years.

The U.S. Air Force is planning to field an operational combat drone by 2023.

The service says Skyborg will replace older weapon-slinging drones and even early models of the F-16.

Skyborg will be reusable but could be sacrificed in combat if necessary.

The U.S. Air Force plans to have an operational combat drone by 2023. The service plans to build out a family of unmanned aircraft, known as Skyborg, capable of carrying weapons and actively participating in combat. The Air Force’s goal is to build up a large fleet of armed, sort-of disposable jets that don’t need conventional runways to take off and land.

Continue reading… “The F-16’s replacement won’t have a pilot at all”

0

Are we one step closer to pilotless commercial jets?

23FEDAED-6375-439E-9E64-9052459C758B

(CNN) — The concept of pilotless commercial jet flight has been bandied about for years.

But while the technology has been there, there’s been little concrete evidence to suggest autonomous flying could ever really get off the ground — until now.

Airbus has confirmed one of its test aircraft took off automatically at Toulouse-Blagnac airport in France last December.

The European aerospace company conducted a series of successful tests on autopilot last month, with two pilots on standby.

According to Airbus, the A350-1000 achieved eight automatic takeoffs over a period of four and a half hours.

“While completing alignment on the runway, waiting for clearance from air traffic control, we engaged the autopilot,” Airbus test pilot Captain Yann Beaufils explained in a statement.

“We moved the throttle levers to the takeoff setting and we monitored the aircraft. It started to move and accelerate automatically maintaining the runway center line, at the exact rotation speed as entered in the system.”

Continue reading… “Are we one step closer to pilotless commercial jets?”

0

Boeing’s flying car has taken off

Boeing’s Driverless Flying Taxi Completes Test Flight.

A Boeing Co. flying car designed to whisk passengers over congested city streets and dodge skyscrapers completed its first test flight on Tuesday, offering a peek into the future of urban transportation the aerospace giant and others are seeking to shape.

A prototype of its autonomous passenger air vehicle completed a controlled takeoff, hover and landing during the test conducted in Manassas, Virginia, the maker of military and commercial jets said in a statement Wednesday. Propelled by electricity, the model is designed for fully autonomous flight, with a range of as much as 50 miles, Boeing said.

The Chicago-based plane maker and arch rival Airbus SE are among a slew of companies racing to stake a claim on flying cars and parcel-hauling drones, which have the potential to be the next disruption to sweep the aerospace industry. Boeing’s push was boosted by a 2017 acquisition of Aurora Flight Sciences, whose projects include a new flying taxi it is developing with Uber Technologies Inc.

Continue reading… “Boeing’s flying car has taken off”

0

The new internet from space

IMG_6105

If they make it through regulatory approvals and meet financial projections, the new satellites will create new industries

A new era of global communications is on the launch pad. Eleven companies have applied to the Federal Communications Commission and other telecom regulators to beam broadband internet from clouds of more than 15,000 new satellites. Not since the telegraph replaced the Pony Express has communication technology seen such a leap in capacity and promise.

Continue reading… “The new internet from space”

0

Boeing built a giant drone that can carry 500 pounds of cargo

IMG_5217

Boeing today unveiled a giant drone that’s capable of lifting a 500 pound payload. Calling it an “unmanned electric vertical-takeoff-and-landing (eVTOL) cargo air vehicle (CAV) prototype,” the aerospace giant said it could serve as a precursor for future autonomous flying aircraft.

Continue reading… “Boeing built a giant drone that can carry 500 pounds of cargo”

0

Boeing’s futuristic CST-100 space capsule tourists won’t hate

boeing

Boeing CST-100 space capsule

When private space is an established industry in the not-so-distant future, different carriers will provide distinctive customer experiences for space tourists—just as Jet Blue and Delta airlines provide different inflight amenities. At least that’s what Boeing is banking on with its recently unveiled interior designs for the CST-100 space capsule.

 

Continue reading… “Boeing’s futuristic CST-100 space capsule tourists won’t hate”

0

Phantom Ray UAV Flies For First Time Riding on NASA’s Space Shuttle Carrier

1_phantom_ray

NASA’s Shuttle Carrier Aircraft, a modified Boeing 747, carries Boeing’s Phantom Ray during a test flight.

As the space shuttle fades into the sunset, NASA’s Boeing 747 Shuttle Carrier is looking for a new job. Here’s the first time it has been used for carrying an aircraft other than NASA’s orbiter: The Phantom Ray combat UAV.

 

Continue reading… “Phantom Ray UAV Flies For First Time Riding on NASA’s Space Shuttle Carrier”

0