A success. On 11th February, thanks to the European Space Agency (ESA) prototype space ‘plane, called the "IXV" ( Intermediate eXperimental Vehicle ), measuring five metres (16,5 feet) long by two metres (6,5 feet) wide, Europe demonstrated that it is now capable of returning craft to Earth from space.
When we first talked about it in 2012, it was still a prototype. Today, the Transition, is on the market. To acquire this flying car, developed by the American company Terrafugia, it will cost you $280,000, after paying a $10,000 refundable deposit, for the pleasure of adding your name to the waiting list. It was certified by the American Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) in July 2012.
Since our last report in 2011, Michel Aguilar’s project, Xplorair, the flying car of the future, has moved up a gear. A French industrial consortium has been created, with four patents, and the concept of the thermoreactor jet engine validated by the engine manufacturer Turbomeca and the Institute of Pprime research, having been established. Advances that allow the designer the possibility of foreseeing the maiden flight of a fullsize demonstrator in less than three years’ time.
Welcome to the home of the most powerful aircraft wind tunnel in the world. Situated in the French Alps, close to the French-Italian border at Modane, the French National aerospace research centre (Onera) has an exceptional test centre. Inside a steel tunnel two giant fans produce transonic winds of speeds up to Mach 1, enabling aircraft manufacturers to conduct aerodynamic testing on their development aircraft.
At airports, identity checks always take time. So why not replace passports with fingerprints? This was the challenge of Morpho, a Safran group subsidiary, who, this week released the world's first and fastest, contactless, four fingerprint sensor. Called "Finger On the Fly" it is able to verify your identity in a jiffy.
The ''E-Fan'' was launched, and successfully completed its first public flight in the presence of the Minister of Economy, Anaud Montebourg, with great pomp and ceremony, last Friday 25th., April, in Bordeaux. This electrically propelled 'plane designed, notably with the aid of the Airbus group, is something of an heir to the ''Cri-Cri'' ( another french electric 'plane ).