Since Margot Krasojevic’s conceptualization of the dragonfly bridge, it was only about time that flying vehicles came to light. Dubai is fast-tracking this reality, test-flying a two-seater taxi drone that transports passengers autonomously.
The [Autonomous Air Taxi] is environmentally friendly, powered by electricity, and the prototype version has a maximum flight time of 30 minutes, at a cruising speed of 50 km/h (31 mph), and a maximum airspeed of 100 km/h (62 mph).
As it would, the notion of a crew-less flying taxi may be somewhat petrifying. However, the AAT comes with emergency parachutes and batteries, so you can rest — or fly — easy. Developers also plan to create an accompanying booking app, much like Uber, but for the skies.
“Encouraging innovation and adopting the latest technologies contribute not only to the country’s development but also build bridges into the future,” Dubai Crown Prince Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed said in a statement.
Dubai hopes that by 2030, 25% of transportation methods will be autonomous. With many organizations working towards a more efficient traveling system, there is much to look forward to in the future.
When it comes to vehicles of the future, it seems the possibilities are limitless. Planes, in particular, have broken boundaries — running on electric or on no motor at all. Many advancements are still under wraps, or completely theoretical, save for Qantas’ latest shocking achievement. The airliner successfully piloted a trans-Pacific flight on 10% eco-fuel derived from mustard seeds.
The biofuel is reportedly capable of reducing carbon emissions by over 80 percent as compared to regular jet fuel. This means that the blended fuel used in… [the] flight should have resulted in a 7 percent reduction, which works out to 18,000 kg (39,683 lb) in reduced carbon emissions.
The Carinata mustard plant makes a perfect contender as the world’s leading aviation biofuel. Able to thrive under unsuitable conditions, the little-seed-that-could also improves soil quality and prevents erosion.
“Our work with Agrisoma will enable Australian farmers to start growing today for the country’s biofuel needs of the future,” says Qantas International CEO, Alison Webster.
Qantas’ ultimate goal is to maintain a near million acres of Carinata and produce 200 million liters of biofuel annually. If you’ve ever doubted the impact of agriculture, you may now consider switching gears.
Months ago, we considered whether drones could be life-savers. Now that they’re restoring forests and transporting defibrillators, it seems the answer is yes. California-based company Zipline is pushing the limits even further, delivering blood transfusions via drone to remote areas across the nation. Recently, it tested the effects of long-haul flights on blood cartridges.
[The] team used a hybrid drone that combined a helicopter’s ability to launch and land vertically with a glider’s longer flight range. The researchers attached a custom-built, foam-cushioned cooler to the drone’s fuselage. Powered by the vehicle’s onboard battery, the cooler kept the samples at about 75 degrees Fahrenheit — 15 degrees cooler than outside air.
After 3 hours of testing, researchers deemed the blood healthy and relatively unaffected. Zipline has since delivered blood to areas in Rwanda and is now targeting Tanzania. They are also taking extreme safety measures to minimize drone accidents.
Drones for medical transport should be regulated: pilots should have licenses, and specific drone routes should be designated to prevent crashes.
Admittedly, drones have a lot of work to do. Still, they are promising an optimistic outlook of the future. Especially now, we could use the good news.
Some people take crazy risks for the greater good. Hikers rescued a dog and her human after four days in the mountains. A pregnant doctor delivered another woman’s baby in the middle of her own birthing. This Boeing pilot did not only conduct a safety endurance test for the 787 aircraft — he did so in the shape of the plane itself.
Boeing’s aircraft took off from Seattle on Wednesday afternoon, flying around 2,000 miles to northern Michigan to begin its aerial artwork, starting at the plane’s wing tip.
Seems like the team responsible were skilled not only in engineering the flight, but artistically as well.
“The nose of the Dreamliner is pointing at the Puget Sound region, home to Boeing Commercial Airplanes. The wings stretch from northern Michigan near the Canadian border to southern Texas. The tail touches Huntsville, Alabama.”
Though not all netizens were impressed by the 18-hour-long stunt, it’s good to know that Boeing is serious about engine safety.