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Aerospace Blog

The Aerospace Blog is the place for conversation and discussion about aeronautics, astronautics, fixed-wing aircraft, future space travel, satellites, NASA, and much more.

EPA to Propose Emission Limits for Aircraft

Posted September 30, 2016 12:00 AM by Engineering360 eNewsletter

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has taken a first step in regulating greenhouse gas emissions from commercial aircraft. An endangerment finding issued in July 2016 activates a requirement, under the Clean Air Act, for the agency to develop emission standards for aircraft. The time frame for the final rule, which will cover carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, hydrofluorocarbons, perfluorocarbons, and sulfur hexafluoride, has yet to be set.


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8 comments; last comment on 10/01/2016
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Could Mass-actuated Control Change Aircraft Design?

Posted September 13, 2016 12:00 AM by Engineering360 eNewsletter

A recent graduate of the aerospace engineering program at the University of Texas has flight tested a UAV that uses moving weights in its wings instead of traditional control surfaces or ailerons to turn. The test could prove important in designing future aircraft, as it would potentially allow engineers to eliminate ailerons and elevators, which increase drag. Eliminating ailerons and elevators could also reduce a stealth plane's radar signature.


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4 comments; last comment on 09/16/2016
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Airbus Eyes Autonomous Aircraft

Posted August 24, 2016 12:00 AM by Engineering360 eNewsletter

A first prototype is scheduled for 2017, and the company is already building and testing vehicle subsystems. The goal: an autonomous flying vehicle platform for single-passenger and cargo transport. Airbus envisions transport service providers operating the system like car-sharing applications, with customers using smartphones to book a flight.


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1 comments; last comment on 08/26/2016
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The Race for a Reusable Rocket

Posted August 10, 2016 12:00 AM by Engineering360 eNewsletter

Despite decades of effort, aeronautics engineers have not been able to apply the adage "reduce, reuse, recycle" to space-bound rockets. Reusable rockets, however, could revolutionize space travel, perhaps reducing the cost of spaceflight by a factor of 100. Engineering360 examines efforts to design and fly a reusable rocket by market competitors SpaceX and Blue Origin.


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Innovations That Led to Navigational Certainty

Posted July 21, 2016 12:00 AM by Engineering360 eNewsletter

The flying public owes a debt to Lawrence Sperry. He was an early aviator who invented the autopilot, which allowed "hands-off" flying while maintaining aircraft stability. This retrospective article summarizes the development of navigation technology — from using sun and compass, to inertial navigation with gyroscopes and accelerometers, to the global positioning systems (GPS) of today.


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7 comments; last comment on 07/25/2016
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