Nov 24, 2008
A group of engineering students from the University of Michigan has set the world record for the longest flight by a UAV powered by a fuel cell. The plane, named Endurance, stayed aloft for 10 hours, 15 minutes -- about an hour longer than the previous record. Adaptive Materials Inc., a Michigan-based manufacturer of fuel cells, recruited the students to work on the project. "We have some other military contracts we're testing it with, but we thought this would be a great opportunity to collaborate with the university and bring some students into the mix and see what we can accomplish," said Nick Schoeps, an engineer at the company. Nov 18, 2008
Even as oil prices plunge, experts say many of the conservation techniques and technologies adopted over the past few years, particularly in the aviation industry, are likely to remain. It is estimated that more than 2,500 Boeing 737 aircraft are now equipped with fuel-saving winglets, representing "a long-term strategy ... despite the ebb and flow of fuel prices." With airlines seeing cost savings of about $200,000 per plane, many are now planning to install winglets on larger aircraft. Other fuel-conservation and efficiency-boosting practices include washing inside jet engines more frequently and shedding onboard items such as ovens to reduce excess weight. Nov 17, 2008
Navy Secretary Donald Winter said Monday he is unsatisfied with the USS San Antonio, the first in a new class of amphibious ships being built by Northrop Grumman Corp. He said the Navy would "adopt an appropriate course of action" to remedy problems with the San Antonio, which was forced to Bahrain for repairs during its maiden deployment. Northrop Grumman says the ship's problems -- and bloated budget -- resulted from too many change orders as well as disruption by Hurricane Katrina at the shipyard. Nov 18, 2008
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