Categories
Tech News

Flying Car Makes History With First Intercity Flight

A vehicle capable of flying in the sky and driving on the road completed a momentous  journey this week.

Stefan Klein, founder and CEO of research and development company Klein Vision, drove his prototype AirCar to Nitra international airport in Slovakia before motoring down the runway and taking off. He then flew the 35-minute route to Bratislava and, after landing at the city’s airport, drove the two-passenger vehicle to the downtown area three minutes away. A video (above) shows key moments from the incredible ride.

Klein has been developing a flying car for the last 20 years. His vehicle has already taken more than 140 test flights, but this week’s outing was the team’s most ambitious effort to date.

With the simple push of a button, the dual-mode vehicle retracts/deploys its wings and tail in a mere 135 seconds, enabling it to hit the road or take to the skies.

The gasoline-powered AirCar uses a BMW engine and a fixed propeller. It has a maximum cruising speed of 119 mph (190 kph) and has flown as high as 2,500 meters (8,200 feet). The next version of the AirCar is expected to have a top cruising speed of 186 mph (300 kph) and be able to travel as far as 621 miles (1,000 km) on a single tank of fuel.

There has been growing interest in so-called “flying cars” in recent years — Digital Trends profiles some of the leading designs — though most vehicles can only fly and have no ability to transform into a roadworthy automobile. However, unlike the AirCar, many of the vehicles can take off and land vertically, making them ideal for travel in urban areas. They’re also electric, whereas the AirCar currently requires gasoline.

Still, Klein’s focus has been on something that’s truly worthy of the “flying car” label.

“This flight starts a new era of dual-transportation vehicles,” the inventor said in a release. “It opens a new category of transportation and returns the freedom originally attributed to cars back to the individual.”

Of course, for Klein’s unique vehicle to go mainstream, it’ll first have to convince regulators of its safety and durability, while owners of the AirCar will have to have both a pilot’s license and a driver’s license to obtain the full benefit.

With all that in mind, it may be some time before we see Klein’s flying car on our roads and in our skies, but we can surely all agree that it’s one cool-looking machine and a remarkable achievement.

Editors’ Choice




Repost: Original Source and Author Link

Categories
Tech News

Flying Car Makes History With First Inter-city Flight

A vehicle capable of flying in the sky and driving on the road completed a momentous  journey this week.

Stefan Klein, founder and CEO of R&D company Klein Vision, drove his prototype AirCar to Nitra international airport in Slovakia before motoring down the runway and taking off. He then flew the 35-minute route to Bratislava and, after landing at the city’s airport, drove the two-passenger vehicle downtown three minutes away. A video (below) shows key moments from the incredible ride.

Klein has been developing a flying car for the last 20 years. His vehicle has already taken more than 140 test flights, but this week’s outing was the team’s most ambitious effort to date.

With the simple push of a button, the dual-mode vehicle retracts/deploys its wings and tail in a mere 135 seconds, enabling it to hit the road or take to the skies.

The gasoline-powered AirCar uses a BMW engine and a fixed-propeller. It has a maximum cruising speed of 119 mph (190 kph) and has flown as high as 2,500 meters (8,200 feet). The next version of the AirCar is expected to have a top cruising speed of 186 mph 300km/h (162kt) and be able to travel as far as 621 miles (1,000 km) on a single tank of fuel.

There has been growing interest in so-called “flying cars” in recent years — Digital Trends features some of the leading designs — though most vehicles can only fly and have no ability to transform into a roadworthy automobile. However, unlike the AirCar, many of the vehicles can take off and land vertically, making them ideal for travel in urban areas. They’re also electric, whereas the AirCar currently requires gasoline.

Still, Klein’s focus has been on something that’s truly worthy of the “flying car” label.

“This flight starts a new era of dual-transportation vehicles,” the inventor said in a release. “It opens a new category of transportation and returns the freedom originally attributed to cars back to the individual.”

Of course, for Klein’s unique vehicle to go mainstream, it’ll first have to convince regulators of its safety and durability, while owners of the AirCar will have to have both a pilot’s license and a driver’s license to obtain the full benefit.

With all that in mind, it may be some time before we see Klein’s flying car on our roads and in our skies, but we can surely all agree that it’s one cool-looking machine and a remarkable achievement.

Editors’ Choice




Repost: Original Source and Author Link

Categories
Tech News

World’s First Flying Race Car Makes Historic Maiden Flight

Imagine a car race where the vehicles aren’t hurtling along the ground but instead tearing across the sky.

That’s the lofty ambition of Australia-based Airspeeder, which is planning to launch a three-race series using eVTOL (electric vertical take-off and landing) vehicles before the end of this year.

Airspeeder recently revealed the completion of the first successful test flight of the flying race car that it’s aiming to use in its contest.

The Alauda Aeronautics Mk3 took its maiden flight recently in the skies over southern Australia. Lifted into the sky by eight sets of rotors on four arms, the vehicle can reach 62 mph in 2.8 seconds and fly as high as 500 meters. On this occasion, it was piloted remotely, but it also has a seat and controls for an onboard pilot.

Racing series

Billed as “the world’s first racing series for electric flying cars,” the event, called EXA, will pit the flying skills of up to four teams at three different sky-based racetracks around the world.

In each race, teams will be given identical flying vehicles — in this case the Alauda — with competitive advantage “only gained through pilot skill and world-class strategy,” Airspeeder said.

The first race season will see the eVTOL vehicles flown remotely, but the plan is to put pilots into the flying cars for subsequent racing events. Races will involve navigating virtual courses with the machines flying blade-to-blade, Airspeeder said.

To avoid any devastating midair collisions, the eVTOL aircraft will be fitted with the latest lidar and radar technologies that create what Airspeeder describes as “virtual forcefields” around each of the flying cars.

As the current batteries can only sustain 15 minutes of flight, the vehicles will have to come in for pit stops to swap out power units. Airspeeder says it has developed an innovative “slide and lock” system to enable rapid battery removal and replacement, though just as with more traditional motor racing, the efficiency of the pit stop team will be key to getting the edge over competitors.

Airspeeder

The Airspeeder engineers that built the Alauda Aeronautics Mk3 have come from a range of industries, including motorsports, automotive, and aviation.

Adelaide-based Airspeeder, which launched in 2016, says its ultimate mission is to use the racing series to boost eVTOL technology through intense sporting competition.

“This mobility revolution, underpinned by future tech, will transform urban air mobility, global logistics, and even medical applications with a clean-air electric vehicle solution,” the company said.

Airspeeder is yet to announce specific dates and locations for its debut EXA season. We’ll be sure to update just as soon as we find out.

Airspeeder’s interest in eVTOL aircraft mirrors growing investment in the sector, with companies such as Airbus and Toyota eying the technology for short trips in urban areas using greener technology. Take a look at some of the impressive designs currently in development.

Editors’ Choice




Repost: Original Source and Author Link

Categories
Tech News

AA and Virgin Atlantic want this eVTOL aircraft for “flying taxi” city hops

American Airlines and Virgin Atlantic are looking to much shorter flights to expand their future services, each inking deals that could see them piloting electric vertical take-off and landing aircraft in the US and UK, respectively. The airlines have partnered with startup Vertical Aerospace, which is working on the eVTOL VA-X4 aircraft that can leap vertically into the air and fly for over 100 miles on a single charge.

Inside, there’s seating for four passengers plus a pilot. The VA-X4 has four tilting rotors at the front, which are meant to lift it up off the ground, and more, stowable rotors at the rear for horizontal flight.

It’ll be capable, Vertical Aerospace says, of flying at speeds over 200 mph, with zero emissions and in near silence. While its range is obviously a lot less than most of AA or Virgin Atlantic’s current fleets, the advantage is the flexibility to operate services in locations where traditional aircraft simply aren’t catered for. That makes it potentially ideal for the short-haul city-hopper service the airline has in mind.

For Virgin Atlantic, the goal is to build a network of eVTOL flights between UK cities and airport hubs. That’ll start with London Heathrow, Manchester, and London Gatwick, Virgin Atlantic says. A flight from Cambridge to London Heathrow, for example, could be completed in 22 minutes on the VA-X4, compared to a typical 90 minute drive for the 56 mile journey.

“With 37 towns and cities with populations over 100,000 within 100 miles of London Heathrow Airport,” the airline points out, “the VA-X4 offers huge potential to support zero emissions short haul transfers for 7.7 million customers outside of London, for flights to and from the UK’s main hub airport.”

American Airlines, meanwhile, plan to work on a similar strategy in the US. It and Vertical will collaborate on certification, passenger operations, and infrastructure development.

If there’s a problem with the whole plan, it’s that right now there isn’t actually a VA-X4. That is to say, Vertical Aerospace is currently building a full-scale prototype, but the first test flight for that isn’t expected to take place until later this year.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AWuanKgBpCw

Assuming that goes to plan – and, as with any new aircraft, there’s no guarantee that the current roadmap won’t change – then commercial operations of the VA-X4 are planned for 2024. It’ll need to clinch US Federal Aviation Authority (FAA), European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), and UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) certification before that can happen, of course.

If all the pieces fall into place, Virgin Atlantic has an option to purchase 50 to 150 VA-X4 aircraft. The joint venture will be Virgin Atlantic branded, and focus on “price competitive regional connectivity” for the first and last 100 miles of their customers’ journey. For example, you might get off a transatlantic flight from New York City, and then go straight from a full-sized Virgin Atlantic jet to an eVTOL aircraft to hop that last jump to be closer to home.

American Airlines, meanwhile, is investing in Vertical – along with Avolon, Honeywell, Rolls-Royce, Microsoft’s M12, 40 North, and Rocket Internet SE – and has agreed to pre-order up to 250 aircraft with an option to add a further 100 to the order. That’ll depend on meeting various conditions and milestones. Avolon has agreed to pre-order up to 310 VA-X4, with the option for a further 190.

It’s not the first time we’ve seen eVTOL billed as the perfect way for (wealthy) passengers to avoid road congestion. It’s also a tricky segment to compete in, with multiple startups attempting such aircraft – and some also shutting down operations, too, having discovered how tricky a concept that might be.

Repost: Original Source and Author Link

Categories
Game

Minecraft DreamWorks How to Train Your Dragon DLC released with real flying mounts

Today a DreamWorks How to Train Your Dragon downloadable content pack was released for Minecraft. This new DLC was released to the Minecraft Marketplace with dragons, flying dragons, and the ability to fly on dragons. This content pack was released by Gamemode One, so you know it’s going to be wild.

The How to Train Your Dragon DLC can be acquired for 1340 coins in the Mincraft Marketplace this week. The DLC includes a map with Berk and a variety of activities, too. This DLC includes competitions in racing, quests to release captive dragons, collecting and taming of dragons, and mapping the Barbaric Archipelago.

The DreamWorks How to Train Your Dragon DLC includes 24 skins, as well. Above and below you’ll see some examples of what’s possible in this DLC. Imagine flying over the sea, dropping in on your enemies with fire, learning how to survive the oddity that is this alternate universe.

It’s quite likely that Gamemode One was attached to the How to Train Your Dragons DLC task after releasing the popular “Ultimate Dragons” pack. The creators with Gamemode One have also created the licensed DLC “Minecraft Pac-Man”, and have worked on a variety of other top-quality packs, skins, and so forth.

If you see the Dreamworks How to Train Your Dragon pack and find it amazing, take a peek at the rest of the Gamemode One packs. You’ll want to see Advanced Farming, Drawven Mining Company, and Advanced Mining. They also have a free pack called BLOOM. Their Home Decorating kit is particularly excellent – with 100+ “furniture items” for great justice!

Minecraft also released a new DLC for Minecraft Dungeons. This new DLC is called Minecraft Dungeons Hidden Depths! This new update for the game will be released on Monday, May 26, and it includes both free and paid content. This update includes new enemies called Raid Captains as well as new enchantments and levels, too.

Repost: Original Source and Author Link

Categories
Tech News

Flying Taxi Startup Lilium Shows Off Sleek New Aircraft Design

Lilium

Make no mistake — compact, quiet, and emissions-free aircraft that can take off and land vertically are on their way to our cities.

German firm Lilium is one of a growing number of companies that’s developing such an eVTOL aircraft, and this week it unveiled its latest design.

The super-sleek piloted aircraft has seven seats and a cruising speed of 175 mph. A range of around 150 miles means it can be used not only for short trips within urban areas, but also for much longer trips between cities. Indeed, Lilium is eyeing 14 cities in Florida for its first air taxi service that could launch as early as 2024. It’s also in talks to launch a service connecting cities across Europe. The company told Digital Trends last year that to use the service, “customers would book a shuttle flight much like they would book a ride-hailing taxi ride today.”

The aircraft is powered by a series of small, specially designed electric jet engines integrated into the wing flaps. According to Lilium, the technology offers advantages in payload and aerodynamic efficiency, as well as a lower noise profile.

“Our vision is to create a sustainable and accessible mode of high-speed travel and bring this to every community,” Daniel Wiegand, co-founder and CEO of Lilium, said in a release. “Transport infrastructure is broken. It is costly in personal time, space consumption, and carbon emissions. We are pursuing our unique electric jet technology because it is the key to higher-capacity aircraft, with lower cost per seat mile while delivering low noise and low emissions.”

The Munich-based startup also announced a partnership with San Francisco-based Qell Acquisition Corp. The deal should be finalized in the next three months, after which the newly combined company will begin trading on the Nasdaq stock exchange. Lilium’s new partnership is expected to result in initial funds totaling around $1.2 billion — a decent chunk of change that will help to keep the startup’s ambitious plans on track.

As we’ve already mentioned, there are plenty of other companies looking to enter the potentially lucrative eVTOL market. Check out Digital Trends’ recently updated section showcasing some of the exciting designs currently under development from competitors around the world. The sector has certainly come a long way since this terrifying contraption tried to get off the ground a decade ago.

Editors’ Choice




Repost: Original Source and Author Link