New method for recording bird flight in 3-D

lunes, 10 de abril de 2017

Birds morph their wings through an incredible range of shapes, but until now we've known little about the angle, twist and asymmetries of each wing beat. After seven years of development, the Lentink lab may have figured out how to more closely observe birds' morphing skills. They've created a new way of automatically recording wing shape that works at high speeds and results in high-definition 3-D reconstructions.

Read more at:

Stanford University press release:

Researchers in the Lentink lab developed a new way to record wing shape during bird flight in 3D. This high-resolution, high-speed, automated reconstruction method could be applied to any studies of movement.

The wind rushing between skyscrapers is a substantial hurdle for anyone interested in operating small drones in urban areas. Yet, pigeons seem to have little trouble maneuvering through turbulent city skies. With sights set on unlocking the secrets of birds’ smooth sailing, researchers at Stanford University have developed a new method for recording the shape of birds’ wings during flight.

“We’re trying to figure out how birds are capable of flying so well in these complex, turbulent environments and a lot of that comes from how they deform the shape of their wings, left versus right, to adjust to gusts quickly,” said David Lentink, an assistant professor of mechanical engineering.

Birds morph their wings through an incredible range of shapes, but until now we’ve known little about the angle, twist and asymmetries of each wing beat. After seven years of development, the Lentink lab may have figured out how to more closely observe birds’ morphing skills. They’ve created a new way of automatically recording wing shape that works at high speeds and results in high-definition 3D reconstructions. Details of their work are published in the Mar. 27 issue Journal of Experimental Biology.
Recording animal movement

Current techniques for recording animals in motion often rely on tracking markers attached to the animal or features of the animal like stripes or spots, an approach that can’t directly or automatically reconstruct an entire wing surface at high resolution. Other methods, which use patterned light, are more easily automated but are too slow to record bird flight.

The Lentink lab has built on previous structured-light techniques, but their version automatically resolves body shape changes at high speed and in high resolution.

“The great thing about this system is it’s the first fully-automated, high-speed reconstruction of birds in the world,” said Marc Deetjen, a graduate student in the Lentink lab and senior author of the paper.

The group’s setup consists of a video camera synced with a projector that projects two overlapping patterns of light. The first layer is a dense grid which, by covering much of the surface of the bird, gives the researchers a high resolution image. The second is a set of unequally spaced lines, like a barcode, projected perpendicular to the first. The irregular second pattern assures that no two areas of the light field look alike. When the bird flies through these patterns, its body acts like a projector screen and the straight lines of light deform based on the bird’s shape.

An algorithm developed by Deetjen matches the deformed pattern on the bird that is captured by the camera with the original projected pattern. It then produces a detailed 3D reconstruction of how the bird moved through the light field.
Test flight

To test their technique, the researchers trained Gary, a 4-year-old parrotlet to fly from one perch to another, with the light grid projected onto the bird as it took off. Gary’s light coloring allowed the camera to capture a clear light pattern, like a near-white projector screen. For this paper, the group only recorded the top surface of the bird, but multiple cameras could create a full-body reconstruction in the future.

The researchers intended this as a simple test of their system but ended up with an insight so unexpected and intriguing, they thought it was a mistake. After recording a portion of four of Gary’s downstrokes, they computed the bird’s effective aerodynamic angle of attack – how much the wing flips backward – and found it was consistently between 55 degrees and 75 degrees in the first downstroke and 45 degrees and 60 degrees in the second. Most airplanes stall when the angle of attack reaches about 15 degrees because even this angle can create drag so significant that the airflow becomes separated from the wing, resulting in reduced lift. The researchers concluded that the bird is actually supporting its body weight using drag oriented upward. In addition, the lift it generates is rotated forward so it functions as thrust.

“They’re actually able to generate more total force on lift off,” said Deetjen. “That enables them to not only push up and overcome gravity but to accelerate forward.”

Details like this could bring us closer to replicating the efficient and acute takeoff of birds in small flying machines, like drones, which are a specialty of the Lentink lab. For their next step, the researchers are planning to apply this technique in a specialized bird wind tunnel to investigate the many mysteries of bird flight in turbulence.

Although the team tested the technique on bird flight, it could be applied to many forms of movement. For example, it could show what happens to a car’s shape during a simulated crash. Lentink says he’s also been talking with a scientist who studies flying snakes in Borneo who might want to give the technique a try.

“This is a technique that goes all the way from animal locomotion to direct applications in engineering, where things deform fast,” said Lentink. “We only need to create one frame and then we can reconstruct the shape in 3D. This technique, in principle, does not have a speed limit.”

Andrew A. Biewener is also co-author on this paper. Lentink is also a member of Stanford Bio-X.

This work was funded by The National Science Foundation and Micro Autonomous Systems and Technology at the Army Research Laboratory.


Pontifications: 787 production rate remains a question [feedly]

Officials said on the January earnings call, for year-end 2016, that they will decide this year whether to increase the 787 production rate to 14/mo by the end of the decade.

LNC has long believed this won't happen. In fact, we predicted last September Boeing will have to lower the production rate from 2020.

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Quest Aircraft Receives EASA Certification For The Kodiak

Press Release

Friedrichshafen, Germany – Quest Aircraft is pleased to announce that it has received certification from the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) for the Kodiak 100, pushing the total number of countries that the Kodiak is certified in to over 50.

“This is a significant milestone for the Kodiak 100 program. With its STOL capabilities the Kodiak will allow European operators with large payloads to access many more airstrips and locations that would previously have proven difficult,” said Rob Wells, CEO of Quest Aircraft. “We anticipate that Europe will play an important role in the continued growth of our company, even more so now with the recent and very welcome regulation changes in regards to single-engine turboprop commercial operations.”

The Quest Kodiak will be sold and supported throughout Europe by appointed Quest Dealer Rheinland Air Service GmbH (RAS), headquartered at Mönchengladbach Airport near Düsseldorf, Germany. RAS is a recognized leader in aircraft maintenance, repair, and overhaul (MRO), as well as aircraft sales, support, and fueling. With over 40 years of technical expertise, including both EASA, FAA Part 145 and many more certifications, RAS employs 250 people across Europe and Africa.

“With its outstanding versatility and performance, the now EASA certified KODIAK is already of great interest to many of our customers since we started promoting the aircraft in 2015,” said RAS CEO Johannes Graf von Schaesberg. “Single-engine commercial IFR operations in Europe, which only were approved a few weeks ago, will add enormous benefit to our customers and open up potential which has been untapped before.”

The Kodiak’s rugged aluminum construction combines superior STOL performance and high useful load. It offers proven turbine reliability with the Pratt & Whitney PT6 turbine engine, has the ability to land and take off from unimproved surfaces and is capable of working off floats without structural upgrades. The Kodiak can take off in under 1,000 feet at full gross takeoff weight of 7,255 lbs and climb at over 1,300 feet per minute. Three interior packages are available along with a wide range of factory-installed options.

About Quest Aircraft Company
The Quest Aircraft Company is dedicated to providing access to more people and more places by building the most rugged, reliable, turbine STOL aircraft in the business. For the past decade, the 10-seat Kodiak 100 has proven its versatility in a wide range of public, private, business and humanitarian applications. Additionally, Quest’s continuously growing dealer and global support network provides customer assurance that their missions will be accomplished. The Kodiak is proudly built in Sandpoint Idaho, with a fleet of over 200 aircraft certified in over 50 countries around the globe. For additional information on Quest and the Kodiak, please visit


Opinion: A Map Of Aerospace Mergers And Acquisitions

In mature industries such as aerospace and defense, mergers and acquisitions (M&A) are primary tools of corporate strategy. The race for competitive advantage increasingly relies on initiatives to reshape the scale, scope and vertical depth of a company’s structure as the bases of competition for product and service offerings become ever more firmly established. More specifically, corporate development initiatives are how companies in mature industries adapt to change—inflections in demand, technology perturbations, capital markets, politics, etc.


History Hour: First flight of B737


EASA confirms A321neo Leap as quiet as PW1100G [feedly]

EASA confirms A321neo Leap as quiet as PW1100G

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Friedrichshafen, AERO 2017

Blackshape launches the Bk160 – Gabriél, a disruptive two-seat tandem aircraft with outstanding performance and EASA CS-VLA certification.

Born with a passion to innovate, Blackshape successfully developed and sold its first light aircraft, the Bk100 – Prime. Now with 58 units in 18 countries and counting and with special configurations successfully in operation also among military operators, the Bk100 – Prime confirms its place as the bestselling aircraft in the tandem-seat light aircraft category.
Following the same cutting-edge path, the Bk160 – Gabriél represents a major milestone in the small aircraft panorama with its unparalleled human-machine interface, completely relying on a full glass-cockpit resembling modern military trainers, its aggressive attitude with sporty finishing inspired by the hand-made tailor style and a glyph of Italianness in its design.

Its performance exceeding by far those of the category, with a top speed of 164kts and a generous flight envelope of +5 -2,5g to manoeuvre the aircraft while enjoying its crisp flying qualities.
The manufacturing of the Bk160 – Gabriél relies on modern and robust technologies, already a legacy in Blackshape’s experience, such as its full pre-impregnated carbon fibre airframe as well as robotized assembly and a lean smart factory approach.

Upon the unveiling of the aircraft, Blackshape already obtained its Design Organization Approval together with its first Type Certificate in the EASA CS-VLA category, with the aircraft now available to the market and the objective either to deliver fast traveller aircraft and unparalleled flying emotion to even the most experienced pilot or to offer unexpected ease-of-maintenance and direct operating costs to flight organizations wishing to train their students to the most advanced level.


World-record electric motor for aircraft sets new records

Photo: Copyright: Jean-Marie Urlacher

Munich, 2017-Apr-04

Extra 330LE electric plane – powered by a Siemens motor – sets another world record
Top speed above 340 km/h in straight flight
World's first aerotow with an electric plane
On Thursday, March 23, 2017, the Extra 330LE aerobatic plane, powered by a propulsion system from Siemens, set two new speed records. At the Dinslaken Schwarze Heide airfield in Germany, the electric aircraft reached a top speed of around 337.50 kilometers per hour (km/h) over a distance of three kilometers. The speed achieved by pilot Walter Extra was 13.48 km/h faster than the previous record, which had been set by U.S. pilot William M. Yates in 2013. The World Air Sports Federation (FAI) officially recognized the record flight in the category "Electric airplanes with a take-off weight less than 1,000 kilograms." The Extra also set a new FAI world record in the category "above 1,000 kilograms": in a slightly modified configuration with an overall weight exceeding one metric ton, test pilot Walter Kampsmann flew the electrically powered plane at a speed of 342.86 km/h.

On Friday, March 24, 2017, the Extra 330LE gave another premiere performance by becoming the world's first electric aircraft to tow a glider into the sky. The nearly silent aerotow piloted by Walter Extra took a type LS8-neo glider up to a height of 600 meters in only 76 seconds. "This aerotow provides further highly visible evidence of our record-setting motor's performance capabilities," said Frank Anton, head of eAircraft at the Siemens venture capital unit next47. "Just six such propulsion units would be sufficient to power a typical 19-seat hybrid-electric airplane."

The new propulsion system from Siemens only recently completed its maiden flight, which took place in July 2016. In addition, the lightweight electric motor for aircraft already held a world record for power-to-weight ratio: weighing just 50 kilograms, it supplies a constant electric output of 260 kilowatts, which is five times more than comparable propulsion systems.

The Extra 330LE, which weighs about 1,000 kilograms, serves as the flying test bed for the new propulsion system. As an aerobatic plane, it is particularly well suited for taking the components to their stress limits and for testing and enhancing them. Currently, there are no plans for series production of this electric plane. Siemens is also contributing this technology to its joint project with Airbus in the area of electrically powered flight. In this connection, the two companies signed a collaboration agreement in April 2016. Electric propulsion systems are scalable, and Siemens and Airbus intend to develop hybrid-electric regional aircraft on the basis of this record-setting motor. "By 2030, we expect to see the first planes carrying up to 100 passengers and having a range of about 1,000 kilometers," explained Anton. Siemens is determined to establish hybrid-electric propulsion systems for aircraft as a future area of business.

This press release, images and additional material is available at



  • Europe will implement aircraft certification reforms on the same timeline as the FAA’s Part 23 rewrite announced in December, officials announced as Europe’s largest general aviation show began April 5.


Boeing Energy Conservation Program Lauded by EPA

CHICAGO, April 7, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Boeing [NYSE: BA] will be recognized by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) with a 2017 ENERGY STAR Partner of the Year – Sustained Excellence Award for the company's continued leadership in protecting the environment through superior energy efficiency. Boeing will receive the award April 26 in Washington, D.C. This is the seventh consecutive year Boeing has been recognized by ENERGY STAR.

"We know that strong environmental performance is good for the planet and key to long-term business success. We are excited to build on the progress we have made and to further improve the efficiency of our products and our operations," said Ursula English, Boeing vice president of Environment, Health & Safety. "In our second century, we're aiming to be the most environmentally progressive company in the aerospace industry and to be a leader among our industrial peers."

Beverly Wyse, president of Boeing Shared Services Group, will accept the ENERGY STAR award on behalf of Boeing.

"We're thankful to the EPA for this recognition, but the greater thanks truly belongs to our Boeing employees who bring a strong commitment to environmental leadership to work with them every day," said Wyse. "It is their inspiration and innovation that allows us to keep incorporating new efficiencies and energy conservation technologies into our processes and operations."

During 2016, Boeing improved energy efficiency, invested in key energy infrastructure and continued public outreach with its conservation message. Boeing's key 2016 accomplishments in the U.S. include:
Improving energy efficiency by 4.1 percent, a cumulative improvement of over 40 percent since 2009, all while reducing absolute energy consumption in 2016 by 2 percent and still delivering commercial aircraft at near-record levels.
Absolute energy reduction of 863,000 MMBtu — equivalent to the annual energy use for 23,000 average U. S. homes.
Replacing over 6,000 inefficient lighting fixtures with more energy-saving LEDs and making direct energy conservation investments of $6.7 million to reduce energy use by over 77,000 MMBtu annually.
Expanding the company's environmental "Build a Better Planet" website to enhance employee engagement and share conservation messages and best practices in key forums and conferences.
Expanding the Everett, Wash., site by 1.5 million square feet to include a new composite wing center built to LEED Silver specifications. Everett is home to the largest contiguous building by volume in the world.
Reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 8 percent or 228,000 metric tons and water intake by 6 percent or 517 million gallons since 2012.

The 2017 Partner of the Year – Sustained Excellence Awards are given to a variety of organizations that have demonstrated continued leadership in energy efficiency. Winners comprise a spectrum from small, family-owned businesses to Fortune 500 organizations — representing energy-efficient products, services, new homes, and buildings in the commercial, industrial, and public sectors.

For a complete list of 2017 winners and more information about ENERGY STAR's awards program, visit


Tecnam unveils P2002 Sierra MkII with Rotax 915, P2006T Twin MkII and Twenty Ten MkII

Tecnam P2002 Sierra MkII powered by ROTAX 915Tecnam revealed today at AERO Friedrichshafen a substantially upgraded and improved Mark II version of the P2002 Sierra featuring the Rotax 915 iS/ISC engine.

Based on the popular Rotax 912/914 engine series, the Rotax 915 iS/iSC 135hp engine offers the best power-to-weight ratio in its class, with full take-off power up to at least 15,000 feet (4,570 m) and a service ceiling of 23,000 feet (7,010 m).

The introduction of the P2002 Sierra MkII powered by the Rotax 915 iS/iSC engine is in response to Tecnam’s customers demand for a modern, more powerful engine allowing higher payload and shorter take-offs. This 4-stroke, 4- cylinder turbocharged engine with intercooler and a redundant fuel injection system, delivers the most advanced aircraft engine technology resulting in lower operating costs and ease of use.

Available in the LSA category from late 2017, the P2002 Sierra MkII also features a number of other enhancements including;

  • Larger cabin, with new premium interior design.
  • Re-designed canopy with more headroom.
  • A new locking mechanism that reduces noise levels.
  • Seats with extra fore and aft adjustment.
  • State of art avionics.
  • Several options for paint colours and interior fabrics

“Tecnam always strives to continually improve and update its product range” said Paolo Pascale, Tecnam’s CEO. “Innovation has always been a part of Tecnam’s DNA and we will do all possible to ensure our customers always benefit from operating efficient and cost effective aeroplanes that are a pleasure to fly”.

More info on the Sierra MkII:

Tecnam introduce the P2006T Twin MkII

Tecnam unveiled at AERO Friedrichshafen today a major upgrade to its best- selling P2006T next-generation Twin.
With over 200 P2006T Twin’s operating worldwide, it is already firmly established as the twin aircraft of choice by both leading Flight Training Organizations and private owners alike.
The P2006T Twin MkII offers unbeatable value, coupled with low operating and ownership costs, innovative design and Italian styling. The Rotax ‘912S’ allows the Tecnam P2006T to lead with respect to the environment too. With both a remarkable fuel saving offering and much lower noise emissions, it has redefined both the flight training and aircraft ownership experience in one step.

The P2006T Twin MkII features a number of significant enhancements including the introduction of the Garmin G1000 Nxi Next Generation Flight Deck and improved levels of comfort for passengers and pilots alike.

Garmin’s innovative G1000 Nxi state-of-the-art avionics platform features wireless cockpit connectivity, including wireless database updates using Garmin Flight Stream, enhanced situational awareness with ‘SurfaceWatch’, visual approaches, map overlay on the HSI and more.
Pilots will appreciate the G1000 Nxi’s processing power that supports even faster map rendering and smoother panning throughout the displays. Garmin have focused on saving valuable time in the cockpit with the displays initializing within seconds after start-up, thereby providing immediate access to flight plan data and frequencies.

As a further safety enhancement Tecnam have now included the provision ADS-B OUT as standard on all P 2006T aircraft. Pilots in an ADS-B IN equipped cockpit have the ability to see, on their flight display, other traffic operating in the airspace as well as access to clear and detailed weather information. They will also be able to receive pertinent updates ranging from temporary flight restrictions to runway closings.
Cabin upgrades include a new seat design, with electronic switches to control height and comfort and an improved lighting system featuring both ambient light and dimmer switches.

“Be it major enhancements such as the introduction of Garmins state-of-the-art avionics suite or even down to the provision of ADS-B OUT and even USB sockets, Tecnam are committed to constantly evolving and improving its product offering, to ensure our customers always benefit in all the latest innovations in the GA world has to offer” said Paolo Pascale, Tecnam’s CEO.

The Tecnam P2006T Twin Mk.11 will be available for delivery in May 2017.

More info on the P2006T:

Tecnam reveals the P Twenty Ten MkII
Tecnam unveiled at AERO Friedrichshafen today a new version of the P Twenty Ten.

The P Twenty Ten is the superlative single engine 4 seat aeroplane that brings together an advanced technology all carbon fibre fuselage with a metal wing and stabilator, resulting in a stunning all-purpose GA aircraft.

n response to the many current and prospective P Twenty Ten owners, Tecnam have developed a more ‘powerful’ aeroplane with the introduction of the LycomingIO-390 engine equipped with a VP prop. Weighing in at 315 pounds, the IO-390 delivers 215 hp at 2,700 rpm. It features a tuned induction system, roller tappets and ‘Slick Start’ ignition. The IO-390 engine has a fuel injection system which meters fuel in proportion to the induction airflow with fuel vaporization taking place at the intake ports. The engine has a displacement of 390 cubic inches (6.39 litres). The cylinders have air-cooled heads and fits into the same footprint as the 180-hp IO-360 which currently powers the original P Twenty Ten.

Higher horsepower notwithstanding another key feature of Tecnam P Twenty Ten MkII is the option of the state-of-the-art Garmin G1000 Nxi Next Generation Flight Deck.Garmin’s innovative G1000 Nxi state-of-the-art avionics platform features wireless cockpit connectivity and processing power that supports even faster map rendering and smoother panning throughout the displays. Garmin have focused on saving valuable time in the cockpit with the displays initializing within seconds after start-up, thereby providing immediate access to flight plan data and frequencies.

As a further safety enhancement Tecnam have now included the provision ADS-B OUT as stanard on all P Twenty Ten aircraft. Pilots in an ADS-B IN equipped cockpit have the ability to see, on their flight display, other traffic operating in the airspace as well as access to clear and detailed weather information. They will also be able to receive pertinent updates ranging from temporary flight restrictions to runway closings.

Tecnam has always paid great attention to comfort for both pilots and passengers. The four-seater Tecnam P Twenty Ten incorporates an expansive cabin and three large entry doors. The rear seats feature exceptional legroom, separate third entry door on the right hand side of the fuselage, as well as an external access door to the baggage compartment.

The combination of a prepeg carbon fiber fuselage with a metal wing and stabilator/rudder, has allowed Tecnam to optimize aerodynamic quality and reliability of the P Twenty Ten. Carbon fiber ensures a lower weight, resulting in a very streamlined and fuel efficient aircraft.

Paolo Pascale, Tecnam’s CEO said “At Tecnam we pride ourselves on actively listing to evolving needs our customers and the GA market. The introduction of the P Twenty Ten MkII affords customer to choose not only the avionics package they want but an upgraded engine too. They have control!”

This exclusive configuration of the G1000 Nxi and Lycoming IO-390 upgraded engine MkII option is an additional offering to the G500, G1000 Legacy/IO-360 edition of the P Twenty Ten and will be available from September 2017.

More info on the P2010:


Airbus Corporate Jets introduces Easystart support

Adds to customer care for ACJ Family

Airbus Corporate Jets has launched a new initiative, called Easystart, offering tailored support to the buyers of its corporate jets already in service.

Easystart will help buyers to understand how an Airbus corporate jet can perform on their key missions, how it can be an attractively affordable upgrade, and how services – such as training, support and upgrades – are available to ensure a smooth entry into service.

“Being customer-orientated has always been part of the Airbus recipe for success, and providing advice, care and support throughout an aircraft’s life, including beyond first ownership, is an important part of that,” points out Airbus Chief Operating Officer, Customers John Leahy.

Airbus began delivering A320 Family-based corporate jets at the end of the Nineties and, with new models such as the ACJ320neo on the horizon, more owners are interested in trading up.

Airbus airliners are designed for 20 years or more in service, while flying several thousand hours a year. They have potentially much longer lives as corporate jets, which typically only fly a few hundred hours a year, helping to ensure excellent residual value.

Pre-owned Airbus corporate jets thus have a lot to offer and, because they are the most modern aircraft family in their class, longevity is in their genes, with much potential for new owners.

Key ACJ320 Family features include a much wider and taller cabin than any other business jet, while being similar in size externally. This delivers more sociable, comfortable and productive travel, because passengers can easily move around – as well as allowing more passengers.

Airbus corporate jets already include many features that customers expect when buying a business jets today. Such as the enhanced protection of fly-by-wire controls, weight-saving new materials, and cost-saving centralised maintenance - features often lacking in competitors.

More than 180 Airbus corporate jets are in service on every continent, including Antarctica. They are supported by a worldwide network of technical advice, spares and training that is sized for the needs of more than 500 customers and operators, including services dedicated to the particular needs of corporate jet fliers.

For more information visit the dedicated page.


US-Russia Venture Hopes to Sell More RD-180 Rocket Engines to US [feedly]

US-Russia Venture Hopes to Sell More RD-180 Rocket Engines to US

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Russia Opens 1st Ground Station to Monitor Orbital Debris in Brazil [feedly]

Russia Opens 1st Ground Station to Monitor Orbital Debris in Brazil

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China to launch new strike-capable reconnaissance UAV in 2018 [feedly]

China to launch new strike-capable reconnaissance UAV in 2018

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ANALYSIS: Half-century milestone marks 737's enduring appeal [feedly]

ANALYSIS: Half-century milestone marks 737's enduring appeal

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Irkut confirms need to reinforce MC-21 wing [feedly]

Irkut confirms need to reinforce MC-21 wing

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USAF’s sixth AEHF satellite to feature 3D printed part [feedly]

Lockheed Martin is using 3D printed parts for production of the sixth advanced extremely high-frequency (AEHF-6) satellite for the US Air Force (USAF).

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Sea monsters: Is this the new age of the aircraft carrier?


Climate change may give air travellers a bumpier ride

original paper: Climate Change to Increase Severe Aircraft Turbulence

in news:


Boeing 737, which ‘took the aviation world by storm,’ marks 50 years of flight