Purely electric aircraft are still in their relative infancy. They're closer than you think. Airbus, Rolls-Royce and Siemens are partnering on a hybrid electric aircraft prototype, the E-Fan X, that will prove the mixture of conventional and electric engines will work. The demonstrator will modify a BAe 146 by replacing one of its gas turbine engines with a 2MW electric motor, followed by a second if everything goes smoothly. It's currently slated to fly sometime in 2020.
Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd. said Wednesday it will provide ¥220 billion ($1.94 billion) to its struggling aircraft subsidiary to bolster its capital and help its long-delayed development of a regional passenger jet. Mitsubishi Heavy said it will increase the capital of Mitsubishi Aircraft Corp. by ¥170 billion and also cancel ¥50 billion of the total debt owed by the subsidiary, as the aircraft company continued to have a negative net worth at the end of fiscal 2017. With the financial support, Mitsubishi Aircraft aims to speed up the development of the Mitsubishi Regional Jet, the first commercial passenger jet developed in Japan, as delivery -- initially scheduled for 2013 -- has been delayed five times due to design modifications. The subsidiary aims to deliver the first MRJ jet to All Nippon Airways Co. by the end of 2020. The development costs for the MRJ have risen fourfold from the initial estimate to ¥600 billion, and could also balloon to ¥800 billion, according to company sources.
Benton, J. (NASA Ames Research Center) | Smith, David (None) | Kaneshige, John (NASA Ames Research Center) | Keely, Leslie (NASA Ames Research Center) | Stucky, Thomas (NASA Ames Research Center and SETI Institute)
Pilots have benefited from ever-increasing and evolving automation techniques for many decades. This automation has allowed pilots to handle increasingly complex aircraft with greater safety, precision, and reduced workload. Unfortunately, it can also lead to misunderstandings and loss of situational awareness. In the face of malfunctions or unexpected events, pilots sometimes have an unclear picture of the situation and what to do next or must find and follow written procedures that do not take into account all the details of the particular situation. Pilots may also incorrectly assume the mode or state of an automated system and fail to perform certain necessary actions that they assumed the automated system would handle. To help alleviate these issues, we introduce the Cockpit Hierarchical Activity Planning and Execution CHAP-E system. CHAP-E provides pilots with intuitive graphical guidance on what actions need to be performed and when they need to be performed based on the aircraft and automation state, and projection of this state into the future. This assists pilots in both nominal and off-nominal flight situations.
The last time we'd heard about E-Volo's 18-rotor electric helicopter was almost a year ago to the day. The latest news out of the company is that at AERO, an aviation trade show in Germany, E-Volo revealed its latest model, the Volocopter 2X. The firm says that the advantages of this version versus previous iterations (namely, the VC200) are that it's a "consequent evolution" geared toward everyday use as an autonomous urban mobility vehicle. Translation: it could be a pilot-free, or remote-flown taxi for two. "By 2018, the first Volocopter 2X models with special permit are set to be used as flying taxis in pilot projects," a press release reads.