Think Flight wanted to see how much they could scale up the design of a standard rubber band airplane. Besting the record recently set by Project Air, this single-engine rubber band flyer has a 16-foot wingspan. It took him roughly seven months of experimentation and flight testing to achieve his final lightweight design.
This specialized aircraft takes off vertically using four electric fans, then rotates its wings to fly horizontally. The compact X-P4 shown in this video is designed for logistics missions and can carry up to a 15-pound payload to a distance of up to 60 nautical miles. PteroDynamics is working on larger models which can carry up to 220 pounds. (Thanks, Sean!)
Nik from Supercar Blondie scored an exclusive flight in the Hexa Lift, a lightweight, single-passenger drone from Lift Aircraft. Designed for recreational use and backed by robust safety systems and a remote monitoring crew, the 18-rotor electric aircraft can be piloted by an amateur with less than an hour of training.
Handcrafted by a Boeing long-haul pilot and an aircraft metal worker, this unique wall shelf is based on the dimensions of a 777 jumbo jet. The 44″ wide shelf has three portals for storing and showing off your barware or other small objects. It’s made from laser-cut aluminum with real rivets and upcycled pallet wood.
After building a couple of rocket-powered planes, James Whomsley from ProjectAir wanted to see how fast he could make a lightweight foam plane fly. After testing its speed with the off-the-shelf electric motor and upgrading its battery, he reworked its vertical stabilizer, and strapped on a rocket engine that could be triggered mid-flight.
Most DoorDash and GrubHub deliveries are made using gas-guzzling cars sitting in traffic. Zipline hopes to change that with drones that hover 400 feet up, then lower a small delivery unit to quietly and safely drop off small packages. Mark Rober explains the tech and how Zipline has been saving lives with their existing drones.
If you visit Normandy, France, 60 euros will give you the chance to float off the ground strapped to your own personal blimp. Each blimp is filled with about 70,000 liters of helium and has a harness and wings for controlling flight. Tom Scott visited Aéroplume Écausseville to take the low-altitude flight inside of an aircraft hangar.
Modelmaker Boylei Hobby Time created this fanciful miniature of an airship based on viewer requests. He started with two individual dirigible models and combined them to form the floatation system for a steamboat that hangs beneath them. The finished piece looks like something from Jules Verne’s imagination.
Helicopter rotors are usually propelled by a spinning motor, but Project Air wanted to see if it would be feasible to use a rocket engine to make the blade spin instead. Rather than build a complete helicopter, he built a free-flying monocopter that could fly with a single rocket.
Maker Peter Sripol has an obsession with flying machines. He recently put together a working replica of one of the more unusual aircraft – a gyrocopter. Combining elements of a helicopter and an airplane, it has both horizontal and vertical rotors. It took Peter a lot of trial and error (and crashes) to make one that flies reliably.
We’re still waiting for the jetpacks that sci-fi stories promised, but flying cars are here. AirCar Prototype 1 has received a Certificate of Airworthiness with production models due in 2023. The push of a button transforms the two-seater between car and aircraft modes in three minutes.
Kaman Air Vehicles makes the K-MAX Aerial Truck, a dual-blade helicopter designed for lifting cargo, disaster response, and search-and-rescue operations. In this time-lapse clip, you’ll see how they build one of the choppers, and then how its blades spin without hitting each other. The helicopter can be flown with a pilot or unmanned.
United Airlines might need to update its slogan to “It’s time to fly electric” and get some extra-long Lightning cables. They’re buying 100 electric planes being developed by Sweden’s Heart Aerospace. The 19-seaters could take off by 2026. They’re also buying 200 Archer electric vertical takeoff and landing aircraft for air taxi service.
This short video from Pilot Yellow provides an incredibly concise and easy to understand explanation of the basics of helicopter flight, using a small Guimbal Cabri G2 chopper to demonstrate. While it doesn’t go into the complexities of weather or flight safety, it’s a great primer on what all of those controls do.
Designed by LEGO Ideas 10K Club Member BrickHammer, this wondrous 2720-piece flying machine combines pirate-themed elements, steampunk aesthetics, and a splash of color. Despite the pirate ship looks, its creator says it’s a flying research vessel with defensive cannons to take on space pirates.
Over the years, we’ve seen a couple of drones that could carry a person, but none of them were designed for speed. FliteTest visited with the guys at the Drone Champions League (DCL), who built a single-person flyer with a Formula One cockpit for maximum speed. For now, they’re only flying it with a dummy, but it is awesome.
There’s a whole lot to love about the visuals and storytelling in Hayao Miyazaki’s films. Among his regular subjects are flying machines, and The Royal Ocean Film Society takes to the skies to find out why they’re a recurring theme, and why aircraft are so important to this master of anime.
Fed up with the terrible traffic in the Philippines capital of Manila, inventor Kyxz Mendoza decided to build himself a vehicle that he hopes to fly OVER the jams. His 16-rotor carbon fiber-wrapped metal drone has seating for one, and flies for up to 15 minutes on a 2.5 hour charge.