Tag: flying

13
Oct
2020
Posted in technology

The U.S. Air Force Looks To Advanced Manufacturing To Keep Existing Aircraft Flying And Develop Next-Gen Capabilities

What if there were Olympic events that weren’t physical, but were focused instead on completely geeking out on super-cool breakthrough technologies for real-world aerospace and defense challenges? Even better, what if they offered prize money totaling nearly a million dollars?

Now there are just such events, thanks to the U.S. Air Force’s Rapid Sustainment Office (RSO). In fact, participants in five such Olympic “sports” (or Technical Challenges, as the RSO calls them) have already been competing over the past few months. Those competitions will culminate when the winners are announced during next week’s four-day Advanced Manufacturing Olympics. This virtual conference runs from October 20-23, and features technology demonstrations, expert speakers from both industry and the military, virtual networking opportunities, and the awarding of prized for those Technical Challenges mentioned above.

“RSO is working to revolutionize sustainment, while building an agile supply chain for the future,” said Nathan Parker, Deputy Program Executive Officer at the RSO. “Originally, we were planning to hold this inaugural event outside Salt Lake City, Utah. But then Covid hit, so we’ve taken the whole thing virtual.”

Event speakers will include military officials such as Barbara M. Barrett, Secretary of the Air Force; General Charles Q. Brown, Jr., Chief of Staff of the Air Force; and General John W. Raymond, Chief of Space Operations of the U.S. Space Force. Other speakers featured are Sebastian Thrun, founder of Google X; Dr. Mae Jemison, NASA astronaut; and Brad Kesolowski, NASCAR Cup Series driver and founder of Kesolowski Advanced Manufacturing.

The five Technical Challenges began with an

30
Sep
2020
Posted in technology

Toyota-Backed Startup Successfully Tests Manned Electric Flying Car, Plans Launch By 2023

KEY POINTS

  • Tokyo-based SkyDrive successfully tests flying car
  • Startup claims its prototype is the smallest flying car
  • The vehicle may be commercially available in 2023

A Toyota-backed Japanese startup has said it successfully tested a manned flying car prototype, crossing a major milestone in the race to a trillion dollar futuristic industry that could transform urban transport. SkyDrive expects to market its flying car in Japan in 2023.

The company said its prototype is the smallest electric flying car. About 6.5 feet tall and 13 feet wide, the SD-03 prototype is a little bigger than a standard sedan. It can carry up to 500 kilograms and travel up to 60 kilometers/hour.

It hovered in an enclosed field in Japan before landing safely, the company said. It runs on electric motors that charge four pairs of rotors, lights and other parts.

SkyDrive chief technology officer Nobuo Kishi said the vehicle will be introduced commercially in 2023.

“I would like to help take the industry forward by introducing a lean development process while ensuring the same degree of safety as conventional aircraft, implementing advanced components, and employing innovative mass production processes learned from various industrial sectors,” Kishi said.

The company conducted unmanned tests on the vehicle in December 2018, December 2019 and March 2020. This was the first manned test.

SkyDrive, a 2-year-old startup based in Tokyo, raised $37 million in a Series B funding round on Sept. 1 led by investors like Sumitomo Mitsui and Development Bank of Japan, bringing its total funding since inception to $55 million.

SkyDrive joins other niche startups and major auto players invested in the future of urban mobility. Alibaba-backed Chinese startup Xpeng unveiled its electric flying car concept at the Beijing Auto Show on Saturday. Hangzhou-based Geely Automobile Group launched X-Chimera 25, an all-electric flying