“There are many things that must come to fruition before autonomous aircraft start flying people,” said Mark Groden, a co-founder and the chief executive of SkyRyse. “But we are developing the technology that can take us there.” Sikorsky, a subsidiary of the defense contractor Lockheed Martin, and Xwing, another Silicon Valley start-up, are fashioning similar technology.
Stratolaunch is a very big airplane, but it has never flown. With a 385-foot wing span and two fuselages, the plane dwarves even the US Air Force’s massive C-5. It’s expected to take flight this fall, three years later than Stratolaunch’s main backer, Microsoft billionaire Paul Allen, forecast when the project began in 2011. But the real question isn’t “what is Stratolaunch?” It’s, “why?”
The satellite communications that ships, planes and the military use to connect to the internet are vulnerable to hackers that, in the worst-case scenario, could carry out “cyber-physical attacks”, turning satellite antennas into weapons that operate, essentially, like microwave ovens.
Like the air-to-air F-15C, and unlike the Strike Eagles, the new F-15X would have just one seat. Large digital display screens would replace the analog dials inside older F-15s. The planes could carry all of the existing equipment, like targeting pods, used across the existing Eagle fleet. The F-15X will also be able to carry anti-ship weapons that allies have paid to test and install. In all, the plane could carry 29,000 pounds of weapons.
The Federal Aviation Administration is endangering public safety by getting rid of key merit-based hiring criteria for air traffic controllers (such as rewarding high scores on the Air Traffic Selection and Training exam (AT-SAT), and graduation from FAA-accredited CTI Schools).
In an attempt to spur more new A&Ps, Sens. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), Richard Bluementhal (D-Conn.), Jerry Moran (R-Kan.), and Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.) sponsored the Aviation Maintenance Workforce Development Pilot Program, which was introduced March 7. The bill has overwhelming support from a diverse group of aviation industry organizations including AOPA.
In runway tests conducted on Sunday (Feb. 25) at the Mojave Air and Space Port in Mojave, California, Stratolaunch achieved a taxi speed of 46 mph (74 km/h), according to a tweet posted on Feb. 26 by Paul Allen, founder of Stratolaunch Systems Corp. and co-founder of Microsoft. Stratolaunch, which weighs about 500,000 lbs. (227,000 kilograms), can carry a payload of up to 550,000 lbs. (250,000 kg).
Under the Promoting Women in the Aviation Workforce Act of 2017, the FAA would establish and oversee a Women in Aviation Advisory Board to promote education, training, outreach, mentorship, and recruitment of women to pursue education careers.
Uber is joining forces with NASA to develop an air traffic management system for its flying taxi service, the company announced Wednesday at a technology conference in Lisbon, as first reported by CNN. The ride-hailing firm first unveiled its ambitious plans for a flying car project last year, as part of Uber’s effort to transform the transportation industry.