Last month, Airbus Helicopters was granted approval for a new compound helicopter which could revolutionize high-speed chopper designs.

The new design is part of the company’s high speed, long-range, hybrid helicopter initiative and is based on their previous X3 experimental machine that first flew in 2010. The X3 reached speeds of 293 mph, making it the fastest non-tilt-rotor helicopter on Earth. Incorporating wing-mounted engines driving pusher propellers, the X3 eliminates the need for a tail rotor and was able to reach the performance levels of the V22 Osprey, which can takeoff and land like a helicopter, but fly like a fixed wing aircraft.

The newly patented design builds on the X3’s progress by mounting the props behind the wings to improve safety while reducing noise and vibration. The machine will also reportedly include turbojet engines, which could propel it to higher speeds than the X3.

Whether the project will be produced in its current form is unknown. Hit the jump to learn more.

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A Novato, California-based group called “Spirit of St. Louis 2” is planning to recreate Charles Lindbergh’s historic 1927 solo flight across the Atlantic Ocean in a replica of his famous Ryan NYP.

The aircraft is currently under construction in an 8,000-square-foot hangar at Gnoss Field, where a team of “devoted pilots, businessmen, engineers and craftsmen” have already invested an estimated 4,000 hours in the project.

The build is being lead by construction coordinator John LaNoue, who states that the replica will be roughly 95 percent accurate. Major departures from the original Spirit of St. Louis will include the addition of a radio, brakes and modern instrumentation, as well as a 530 gallon fuel capacity, which is 40 more than its predecessor. The replica will also dispense with the original Wright J-5 engine in favor of a Jacobs 755B2 radial, which is considered “a next-generation radial engine” that offers greater reliability.

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Yesterday, Dovetail Games released their highly anticipated Flight School simulator as a digital download from the Steam store.

As previously reported, Flight School is designed to “teach would-be pilots the basics of flying a light aircraft as well as the essential premises of flight simulation”. The game includes a Piper PA-18 Super Cub, a Piper PA-28 Cherokee and nine missions. A free flight mode is also included, allowing users to fly anywhere in the world.

According to Dovetail, the game is being released “across digital platforms”. The current Steam download will be followed by a Windows 10 and a boxed version containing a Steam code later this summer. A separate Dovetail Games Flight Simulator will also reportedly be released later this year.

Click here to check out the game’s new launch trailer.


As drones increase in popularity, so are devices meant to disable them. Case in point, Battelle’s DroneDefender, which is used by the military to jam the electromagnetic waves of unfamiliar UAVs, causing them to either return home, land or hover in place.

The device covers a 400 meter range, or a distance equivalent to roughly four football fields. The Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Defense are said to have about 100 DroneDefenders already, although they are currently the only customers, as FCC regulations prevent them from being commercially available. Despite this, there is speculation that things could one day change, which would no doubt lead to widespread aerial warfare over suburbia.

Hit the jump to learn more.

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Brazilian airplane manufacturer Embraer has developed a “Airship Kyoto” design that basically adds a sunroof to a private jet.

The design includes wraparound glass windows at the front of the aircraft that offer “unparalleled views” and “access to natural light”, while looking like an extremely luxurious variation of a B-29 cockpit.

The windows are reportedly an optional feature for those buying a new, $53 million Lineage 1000E private jet, for which Embraer is now accepting orders. They are said to be easy to install and will have no impact on structural integrity as long as they’re in front of the wings; however, they do add extra weight and will affect fuel efficiency.

The jet’s additional features include around 800 square feet of living space spread across five separate areas, a master suite with a queen-sized bed and a two-person, walk-in shower. Customizable fabrics, fittings, and layouts are also available.

Click here to check out additional images.


The upcoming release SR-71 Flight Manual: The Official Pilot’s Handbook Declassified is touted as partially demystifying the operation of history’s fastest jet-powered aircraft. Described as “a facsimile reprint of the official flight manual issued to SR-71 crew members”, the book is augmented with anecdotes and and descriptions of flight procedures from former SR-71 pilot Col. Richard Graham (Ret.).

Divided into seven sections, the book covers in minute detail everything from the SR-71 trainer to normal and emergency operation procedures, navigation and sensor equipment, operating limitations, flight characteristics of the Blackbird, and all-weather operation.

The 1040 page SR-71 Flight Manual is currently available for pre-order with an expected release in October.

Product Page: ($43.83 Pre-Order)


The Vulcan to the Sky Trust has announced plans to restore a record-breaking English Electric Canberra bomber to airworthy condition.

The aircraft, WK163, set a world altitude record in 1957 when it flew to 70,310 ft with a prototype Napier Double Scorpion rocket motor fitted to its weapons bay. It performed its final flight in 2007 and is now based at Coventry Airport in Warwickshire, England.

WK163 is considered a celebrity and will be restored and returned to the airshow circuit, hopefully in time for the centennial of the RAF in 2018. An education program will also be initiated in order to “inspire new generations of engineers and aviators.”

A team of engineers have been assembled to carry out the work, and six engines have also been acquired for the project. The Canberra’s fuselage will be stripped and inspected this summer to determine the scope of the job and estimated costs. Enthusiasts will reportedly be able to book tours to see the restoration in progress at Robin Hood Airport Doncaster Sheffield.

(Vulcan to the Sky via Yorkshire Post Photo: Mike Freer – Touchdown-Aviation [GFDL 1.2 or GFDL 1.2] via Wikimedia Commons)


YouTuber “AvgeekYVR” recently captured a British Airways Airbus A380 abort a landing at Vancouver airport mere seconds before touching down.

We don’t know the reason for the go-around, but AvgeekYVR says that the world’s largest airliner “may have flared a little too early, and ended up floating before going around”. Whatever the case, the second attempt was reportedly successful.

Click here to check out the video.


In anticipation of the release of the Aerofly FS 2 flight simulator for PC, the game’s developer has released a video showing a selection of aircraft that will apparently be available, including modern airliners and GA aircraft, as well as WW2 warbirds such as the F4U Corsair and P-38 Lightning.

The game, which was previously released for mobile devices, reportedly allows players to “explore the world of flying in a quality never seen before”, operating “a large selection of highly detailed aircraft with interactive 3D cockpits” and featuring “over 150 airports in the south western USA and global elevation and satellite imagery.”

Aerofly FS 2 for PC will be available “real soon” as a download from Steam. It will be released as an early access game with the intention of future improvements.

Click here to check out the new trailer and additional screenshots.


While a drone was filming a historical re-enactment in the Lipetsk region of central Russia, a man clad as an ancient Russian warrior emerged from the crowd and heaved a spear at the device with stunning accuracy.

The impact and the drone’s descent was captured on video, but what’s not known is what prompted the attack in the first place. We’ll have to assume this guy was just really lost in character and thought the location was being raided by some giant mosquito.

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