Sony's VTOL Drone Prototype

Interesting prototype drone from the partnership company between Sony and Japanese robotics firm ZMP, Aerosense. It looks like counter-rotating blades on a transverse axle that can transform between rear-facing and vertical modes for level flight and takeoff/landing. A couple aerodynamic things it would be interesting to know more about: In vertical mode, it looks like the body provides half a duct for the fan but possibly not for both propellers and definitely not on the back side of the drone.

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Tue, Aug 25, 2015

Infrared Video of an E190 Takeoff

Infrared video is starting to come to the masses with devices like the FLIR camera but this is a completely different level. I love the way the tarmac heats up behind the engines! That’s one of those details you never think about because you (obviously) can’t see in IR. (the takeoff starts at 5:00 in the above video, embedding doesn’t want to take my start time parameter today) You can pretty clearly see normal striations in the skin of the jet.

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Wed, Aug 19, 2015

Heavily Modified Gulfstreams

Among some of the weirder modifications done to Gulfstream planes were the changes for Shuttle Training Aircraft, a G-II that was used to simulate landings before astronauts jumped into the Shuttle itself. Shuttle approaches were so steep — 20 degrees! — that the jets had to be operated with the main landing gear down and both Spey engines running in reverse at 92% N2. N2 is a measure of the rotational speed of the high-compression stage of the engine, so 92% reverse N2 is almost full throttle in the opposite direction!

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Tue, Aug 18, 2015