Archive for September, 2013



“Jetman” Makes US Debut High Above Wisconsin
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By ABC News

Yves Rossy, the Swiss pilot who entered the history books as the first and only person in aviation history to fly with a jet-propelled wing , has brought his death-defying stunts to the United States for the first time, flying high above Wisconsin right next to a B-17 bomber.

Rossy, 53, the self-described “Jetman,” flew as high as 4,500 feet in his custom-made, jet-propelled wingsuit at the Experimental Aircraft Association’s AirVenture show in Oshkosh this week.
‘Jetman Flies High Above Rio de Janeiro
Rossy Tuesday clocked speeds as high as 160 mph alongside the B-17 bomber as aviation fans watched in awe below.

“You know, that’s the Super Bowl of aviation here,” Rossy said. “It was absolutely fantastic to fly so freely.
“It was absolutely impressive for me. What I’m doing as ‘Jetman,’ it’s really gratifying.”

Rossy made headlines in May 2012 when he leaped from a helicopter with his four-engine wing strapped to his back and circled the skyline of Rio de Janeiro for more than 11 minutes.
The Swiss adventurer began developing the “Jetman” project in 1993. In 2006, after more than 15 prototypes, he used a wing he’d created with four model jet engines to fly for five minutes and 40 seconds. He carried only an altimeter and a tiny throttle control.

In May 2008, Rossy made his first official flight over the Swiss Alps in front of the media.
Months later, in September, Rossy crossed the English Channel by air, an event that was broadcast live to 165 countries. It took him 13 minutes.
Since then, Rossy has flown alongside two Boeing Stearman biplanes carrying the Breitling Wingwalkers, circled a hot air balloon and hurtled over the Grand Canyon. He performed aerobatic figures in November with two L-39C Albatros planes over the Swiss Alps.
Rossy will be back in the United States in September to appear at the national Championship Air Races in Reno, Nev.

Yves Rossy


Could We Have Commercial Flying Cars By 2014?
By Kevin Holmes

That’s the thing with the future—if you wait around long enough, those retro-futurist ideas that have populated our imaginations for so long will finally come true.

So it was with e-paper, and now comes the flying car, which has been associated with our cliched visions of the future since, well, since the advent of the regular car. Now, Dutch company PAL-V has made those dreams a reality with the PAL-V One (Personal Air and Land Vehicle).

On terra firma you’ll essentially be driving a sports car (albeit one that looks a bit like a helicopter), but once you activate the rotor and the tail comes out, then it’ll be skyward bound using the latest gyrocopter technology. And while the naysayers may say “But what about the laws of the land (and sky)!” the company claims it’s all legit and “within existing international rules for both flying and driving.”

Before you get too excited about flying around amongst the skyscrapers, the car is only in the prototype stage, but they’re aiming to get to work on the commercial version, of which they expect the first deliveries to be available in 2014. So start saving. It should be right about the time jet packs, hoverboards, Mars colonies, underwater cities, and that space elevator will be ready. Probably.


Test flights approved for world’s
first practical jetpack

News: New Zealand firm Martin Aircraft Company has been given permission by the country’s Civil Aviation Authority to conduct manned test flights on what it claims is the world’s first practical jetpack.

Martin Aircraft Company has been developing the Martin Jetpack for several years and this ruling could help it meet its target of providing working ‘first responder’ jetpacks to the military and emergency services by mid-2014. Test flights will be restricted to a height of six metres and must be conducted above uninhabited ground.

Speaking to international news agency AFP about the announcement, Martin Jetpack CEO Peter Coker said: “For us it’s a very important step because it moves it out of what I call a dream into something which I believe we’re now in a position to commercialise and take forward very quickly.”
dezeen_Martin jetpack_8Martin Jetpack P12 prototype
The company’s latest jetpack design, named the P12, has a lightweight carbon fibre body and is propelled by a gasoline engine driving twin ducted fans, enabling vertical takeoff and landing as well as sustained flight.
dezeen_Martin jetpack_5Martin Jetpack prototype
A remote-controlled prototype carrying a dummy pilot soared to a height of 1,500 metres in 2011, and the company say that “changing the position of the ducts has vastly improved the jetpack?s performance, especially its manoeuvrability.”

Martin Aircraft Company hopes to release a commercial jetpack in 2015, with an estimated price of US$150,000-250,000 (£96,000-160,000).

Earlier this week, Elon Musk revealed the designs for a supersonic transport system comprising capsules propelled along a magnetic track by built in rotors. A Canadian company recently won a 33-year-old prize by building a human-powered helicopter, while a Massachusetts-based firm is working on a flying car capable of vertical takeoff.


More than 1,400 killed in Syrian chemical weapons attack
by Washington Post

Unknown to Syrian officials, U.S. spy agencies recorded each step in the alleged chemical attack, from the extensive preparations to the launching of rockets to the after-action assessments by Syrian officials. Those records and intercepts would become the core of the Obama administration’s evidentiary case linking the Syrian government to what one official called an “indiscriminate, inconceivable horror” — the use of outlawed toxins to kill nearly 1,500 civilians, including at least 426 children.

Warning:
The video content is disturbing


Courtesy of YOUTUBE

Pulling back the curtain on some of the United States’ most sensitive collection efforts, the Obama administration released on Friday its long-awaited intelligence assessment of the Aug. 21 event, explaining in rare detail the basis for its claim that Syria was behind the release of deadly gas, the grisly effects of which have been documented in more than 100 amateur videos.

The four-page assessment and accompanying map revealed for the first time how communications intercepts and satellite imagery picked up key decisions and actions on the ground.

In choosing to release the document, White House officials anticipated the likely comparisons to the famously inaccurate intelligence reports from a decade ago that claimed that Iraqi President Saddam Hussein was actively pursuing nuclear, chemical and biological weapons. Secretary of State John F. Kerry, in his remarks on the release of the intelligence assessment, said White House officials were “more than mindful of the Iraq experience.”

“We will not repeat that moment,” Kerry said. “Accordingly, we have taken unprecedented steps to declassify and make facts available to people who can judge for themselves.”

The document proposes a possible motive for the attack — a desperate effort to push back rebels from several areas in the capital’s densely packed eastern suburbs — and also suggests that the high civilian death toll surprised and panicked senior Syrian officials, who called off the attack and then tried to cover it up.

“We intercepted communications involving a senior official intimately familiar with the offensive,” it says, “who confirmed that chemical weapons were used by the regime on Aug. 21 and was concerned with the U.N. inspectors obtaining evidence.”

While unusually detailed, the assessment does not include photographs, recordings or other hard evidence to support its claims. Nor does it offer proof to back up the administration’s assertion that top-ranking Syrian officials — possibly including President Bashar al-Assad — were complicit in the attack.

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