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Go Anywhere Elevator

This cable-free, Willy Wonka-style concept, can move multiple cars vertically and horizontally in a single shaft ...
This cable-free, Willy Wonka-style concept, can move multiple cars vertically and horizontally in a single shaft using a magnet-based drive system similar to that of Maglev train technology. (Credit: ThyssenKrupp)

After unveiling its Multi concept in 2014, German engineering conglomerate ThyssenKrupp has made its vision of a cable-free, Willy Wonka-style elevator design a reality. Over the past few years the company has been constructing a 246-m (807-ft) high test tower and refining the technology that would allow multiple cars to move vertically and horizontally in a single shaft using a magnet-based drive system similar to that in Maglev trains. Just last week, after two-and-a-half years of construction, the test tower and first fully functional Multi unit were launched. read more

Time to Clean up Space

Artist's concept of a magnetic tug nearing a derelict satellite
Artist’s concept of a magnetic tug nearing a derelict satellite (Credit: ESA/Philippe Ogaki)

An ESA-funded scientist is developing a magnetic space tug to combat the growing problem of space debris. The tugs could lock onto derelict satellites and deorbit them before they become a hazard to navigation, and because they use cryogenic magnets, they wouldn’t have to even touch the derelicts and the targets wouldn’t need to be specially modified for towing. read more

Weapon Wednesday – Replacing Navy’s Ouija Board

DSIMS replaces an analog system called the
DSIMS replaces an analog system called the “Ouija board” that’s been in use since the Second World War (Credit: ONR)

Modern aircraft carriers may seem like the bleeding edge of technology, but they still rely on some remarkably low-tech tools to get the job done. read more

Two-Seat Electric Chopper

The Workhorse Surefly will have a range of 70 miles and a top speed of 70 ...
The Workhorse Surefly will have a range of 70 miles and a top speed of 70 mph (Credit: Workhorse)

The 2017 Paris Air Show begins two weeks from now, bringing a rash of new announcements at the bleeding edge of commercial aerospace. Foremost among them this year is a very credible, two-seat flying car. read more

Paul Allen’s New Plane

Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen unveiled the world’s largest aircraft on Wednesday.

The massive plane rolled out by Allen’s aerospace firm, Stratolaunch Systems, features the longest wingspan of any aircraft ever built, according to Popular Mechanics.

With a wingspan of 385 feet, the six-engine plane will be larger than Howard Hughes’ 1947 H-4 Hercules, known as the ‘Spruce Goose,’ and the Antonov An-225, a Soviet-era cargo plane originally built to transport the Buran space shuttle that is currently the world’s largest aircraft.

The Stratolaunch is an aircraft that is designed to carry rockets between its two fuselages.

In 2011, the project’s cost was initially estimated to be at $300million, though there is no word as to the updated figures.

After the plane reaches altitude, it would then drop the launch vehicle, which will subsequently fire its boosters and launch into space from the air.

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Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen unveiled the world's largest aircraft on Wednesday. The massive plane rolled out by Allen's aerospace firm, Stratolaunch Systems, features the longest wingspan of any aircraft ever built

Weapon Wednesday – Cadet Develops New Body Armor

Air Force Academy Cadet 1st Class Hayley Weir created a goo-like substance that can stop bullets
Air Force Academy Cadet 1st Class Hayley Weir created a goo-like substance that can stop bullets (Credit: US Air Force)

A US Air Force Academy cadet demonstrated that school lessons aren’t just about retreading old ground, by turning a classroom exercise into a new ballistic armor made out of goo. In 2014, Cadet 1st Class Hayley Weir’s assignment to combine epoxy, Kevlar and carbon fiber into an anti-ballistic substance inspired her to develop the task into a new type of flexible bullet stopper. read more

Watching the California Condor

The condor chick's mother. California condors can reach heights of 15,000 feet when flying and could ...
The condor chick’s mother. California condors can reach heights of 15,000 feet when flying and could travel as far as 150 miles a day using their keen eyesight to search for carcasses on which to feed. (Credit: Molly Astell/USFWS)

With all of the fine entertainment now on TV, you’d think that watching a baby condor go about its business on a remote mountain perch near Hopper Mountain National Wildlife Refuge in California wouldn’t be that captivating. But somehow it is. Thanks to a livestream video from the Cornell Lab Bird Cams Project, you can check up on the little bird with big feet whenever you want and, if you’re lucky, you can even see it interact with its parents. read more

Monowheel Electric Scooter

With a range of 20 miles (32 km), a top speed of 20 mph (32 km/h) ...
With a range of 20 miles (32 km), a top speed of 20 mph (32 km/h) and a charge time of one hour, the Kiwano K01 trumps the current marketplace offerings on most key points (Credit: Kiwano)

The Kiwano K01 is a monowheel electric scooter with a range of 20 miles (32 km), a top speed of 20 mph (32 km/h) and a charge time of one hour, offering some considerable advantages over anything in its class and a viable commuter for under US$1,000. read more

Weapon Wednesday – New Nano-Drone

Fight time is around 15 minutes, with a top speed of 22 mph and a range ...
Fight time is around 15 minutes, with a top speed of 22 mph and a range of 1 kilometer (Credit: AeroVironment)  

AeroVironment’s new Snipe Nano Quadrotor is a man-packable drone with the potential to be carried by every foot soldier, vastly increasing situational awareness and individual capability. The Snipe will also be available commercially later this year for police, first responders and all those who need to be able to see what’s happening in places they cannot safely go.

Announced at AUVSI in Dallas today, the Snipe Nano Quad UAS weighs just 140 grams (5 oz) and fits into a small hard case light enough to be carried – though AeroVironment has not yet disclosed the weight of the entire UAS including the ruggedized touch screen controller. read more

21st Century Tattoos

An example of the Chaotic Moon TechTat system with embedded LED lights
An example of the Chaotic Moon TechTat system with embedded LED lights (Credit: Chaotic Moon)

Almost every culture from the past 5,000 years has shown some evidence of decorative skin tinkering. As we move into the 21st century, tattoo culture, much like everything else, is being fused with technology. read more