The window seat is always the jealousy-guarded spot on a plane and these breathtaking pictures prove why.
Snapped thousands of feet above the ground, this set of pictures shows the varying beauty of the earth taken from inside the cabins of planes.
Among the collection are the landscapes of New York City, Christ the Redeemer in Rio, Brazil and Doha in Qatar.
The photos were compiled and uploaded by website Twisted Sifter.
A photo taken by traveller Charlie Gilbert over Doha, Qatar
Wake Island in Hawaii captured from above
A trip from Stansted airport to Tallinn in Estonia captures England’s greenery
Yvon Maurice took this breath-taking photo as she flew over Washington
Karen Blumberg took this photo, with Central Park in the center as she flew New York City
As she flew over Mt. Rainier in Washington Bob Horowitz took this photo including the plane’s wing
Yvon Maurice took this photo from a cabin as she flew past Christ the Redeemer in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Simply identified as Passenger 32A this photo was captured in Asia over Phuket, Thailand
Anguilla in the Caribbean as photographed from the air Eugene Delaney
Mark Shaiken took this vivid photo as he flew over Kansas
Madrid in Spain as snapped by Sidney Gomez
Attribution: Daily Mail
Prototype robots autonomously strip paint from aircraft using lasers
Team of robots decoating a cargo plane
If you think stripping paint off an end table can be a messy, time consuming job, imagine removing paint and other coatings from an aircraft like the C-130 transport plane. Tasked with developing a robotic system that would take such a chore out of the hands of maintenance personnel, Carnegie Mellon University’s National Robotics Engineering Center (NREC) and Concurrent Technologies Corporation (CTC) of Johnstown, Pennsylvania, developed a team of robots that gets the job done – using laser beams, no less.
The prototype robots are being tested at the Hill Air Force Base in northern Utah as part of a program sponsored by the National Defense Center for Energy and Environment to develop ways to cut down on the labor costs, health hazards and environmental problems of repainting military planes. CTC is building six autonomous, mobile robots that work in teams to remove paint and other exterior coatings from fighter and transport planes.
The large robots consist of a mobile platform on which is mounted a large, articulated arm that moves up and down on hydraulic lifts. On the end of each arm is an array of sensors that allow the arm to glide evenly over the plane’s surface and a continuous wave laser that removes the paint in selective layers. The sensors can also assess the plane’s condition as they go. The speed at which they work needs to remain even so that the laser can strip the paint without overheating the plane’s skin. Meanwhile, a custom High Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) system safely collects paint debris as it is removed from the aircraft.
How many robots are required for each team depends on the aircraft. Two robots are enough for a fighter, but four robots might be needed for a cargo plane. The system controlling the robots generates plans for stripping the plane, which can be updated as the job proceeds. It also “virtually” masks areas of the plane that shouldn’t be touched, so maintenance crews don’t have to run about with masking tape and paper.
Using robots means that plane maintenance can carry on around the clock, but it also offers other advantages. For one thing, since they operate autonomously, crews aren’t exposed to harmful chemicals or laser light. According to Jim Arthur, CTC principal process engineer and project manager, “automated laser decoating is expected to significantly reduce labor, waste volume, environmental risk, and overall cost.”
The system is currently in the testing and demonstration phase, but NREC/CTS foresee the robots being used to not only strip, but to also apply paints and coatings as well as inspecting aircraft and doing maintenance and repair work.
Attribution: David Szondy, Real Clear Science