An emergency landing system that passengers can activate

ON NOVEMBER 9TH 2018 a Piper Dakota light aircraft flying over Iowa broadcast a distress call. The pilot seemed to have suffered a heart attack. One of the other three people on board, a student aviator, had taken over the controls, but to no avail. The plane crashed shortly afterwards, killing all four. How often […]

Hypsersonic jet engines

After more than 30 years of research, a new sort of rocket engine starts to sizzle SOME good ideas take years of dogged perseverance to come to fruition. That has certainly been true of a hypersonic engine which Alan Bond, a British engineer, began developing in 1982. Its first incarnation was as part of a […]

What China is doing with additive manufacturing

China is quickly getting to grips with 3D printing and is applying the technology in a pragmatic way. Rapid prototyping and mould-making for casting metal items are two examples. Scientists are also printing some very large items directly, such as titanium fuselage frames for their commercial-aircraft programme. Chinese officials also get the maker movement and […]