Urban air mobility concepts tend to be odd-looking airframes covered with propellers. The innovations promise maneuverability and energy efficiency, but they also bring aerodynamic complexities. How does one control such an aircraft? Keith Button spoke to the designers of Vahana, the Airbus urban air mobility demonstrator, to find out.
Companies face an array of crucial technical decisions as they pioneer additive manufacturing techniques for parts on commercial aircraft that must carry hundreds of passengers safely to their destinations.
NASA has long been working with the FAA and the aviation industry to improve technologies for containing broken fan blades and preventing damage like that which killed a Southwest Airlines passenger. Keith Button looks at a research project that could help prevent future tragedies.
Rotorcraft advocates in the U.S. military have been laying the research groundwork to replace many of today’s helicopters with versions that would employ a revolutionary propulsion concept to-be-decided. Jan Tegler looks at the battle to elevate the Future Vertical Lift initiative into an acquisition program and speed up its schedule.
As powerful as computational fluid dynamics and supercomputing are, they have not come close to relegating wind tunnels to history. In fact, in the U.S., a new tunnel is going up at MIT, and NASA is deliberating whether it should close a historic tunnel at NASA’s Langley Research Center in Virginia four years from now as planned.