Where we're going, we don't need roads.
On Saturday, the United States Marine Corps few the very first combat resupply mission using an unmanned robot helicopter. The Kaman K-MAX, delivered a sling-load of cargo to an unidentified location inside Afganistan.
Those crazy folks at the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) always come up with the coolest military tech concepts, but a lot of them don't get past the drawing board. Now one of their wildest ideas is getting the green light, and will be turned into working prototypes by two competing manufacturers.
We already know that heavily modified and ultra stealthy MH-60 Blackhawks were used in the raid on Osama Bin Laden's compound in Pakistan. The Associated Press has learned that two MH-47 Chinooks were involved as well, and it seems likely that they were also modified to be silent and invisible on radar.
How do you double the speed of a helicopter? Maybe it shouldn't be as obvious as just stapling a couple extra engines onto it, but it seems to have worked, as the Eurocopter X3 is now the fastest helicopter ever built.
One of the most impressive things about Sunday's raid in Pakistan, was the way the Navy Seals managed to penetrate deep into Pakistan without being caught by Pakistani air defenses. Now it looks like a super secret stealth helicopter may be behind this embarrassing security lapse.
Yesterday Eurocopter unveiled its new helicopter… and boy, is it fast. Created in part to compete with Sikorsky's speedy X2 concept, Eurocopter's X3 can fly comfortably at 220 knots, where most of today's helicopters max out around 130-140 knots.
Snapping pictures of celebrities used to mean risking your life climbing a tree or getting arrested for trespassing. Wouldn't it be much easier if you could simply fly your camera overhead and snap shots to your heart's content?
Most toy helicopters use electric motors, but the concept of a full sized electric 'copter has long been scuttled by the heavy batteries it would require. In recent years, however, battery technology has progressed to the point where Sikorsky thinks this is now a workable idea, and they have retrofitted a 50 year old design with electric power to prove it.
Boeing's A160T "Hummingbird" robotic helicopter looks like it's almost ready for prime time, as the company tested its military vehicle in a series of mock resupply tests. The 'bird performed a variety of maneuvers over seven test flights, including hovering...