It's a dream that's been a long time coming - the flying car. The credit goes to Terrafugia, a US company, which has created the car called "Transition". This is a "roadable aircraft", according to a company - so...
That was the sound of a Harrier GR7 taking off, if you weren't aware. You could be hearing that sound with your very own ears, if you fancy bidding for one of the iconic planes. Well, actually, it doesn't come with an engine, so you'll still need to be making the 'neeeaoww' noise yourself.
The plane's being auctioned off after being retired from RAF Cosford, where it was used as a training plane for mechanics. It's a two-seater, has leather seats and electric windows, and a top speed of 730mph.
If you want it, you'll need to get in touch with the Disposal Services Authority, who normally seem to just offer old camo jackets to the public. If you're more of a chopper chap, then there's a Lynx Mk 7 here, and if you like wheels, then there's a Saxon APC, too.
Second and final in our series of posts today about very big things is this Soviet K-7 bomber, which dates from 1930s, before jet propulsion. As you can see by the tiny little people in the bottom right, this thing is vast - 28 metres long and 53m wing-to-wing. It weighed 38 tonnes when loaded.
It carried 120 passengers within wings which were 2.3m thick. Melded from chrome-molybdenum steel, the design originally called for six engines, but when built, a seventh had to be added. It first flew in August 1933, but crashed that November, killing 15 people. Two more were ordered, but the project was cancelled before they could be delivered.
Related posts:No phones on planes please, we're British, survey finds | XCOR Lynx - Tech Digest's Space Plane of the Week
Picture the scenario - you're at home, and your internet connection's gone down. You want to ring the providers, but all the info is in your GMail, and you can't get to it, because you've got no internet connection! What do you do? You stop panicking, because you're turned on offline access for GMail.
It's a new feature for the popular webmail client that'll allow users to keep a local cache of their messages so that if your internet connection drops for some reason, then you'll still have complete access. It'll also work in situations with no connection at all - on a plane, for example, or a bus.
To activate offline access, go to the Labs section of your GMail. It should be in the list there. If it's not yet (it's not for me) then give it a few hours and it should show up. Once activated, click the "Offline 0.1" link in the upper righthand corner to set everything up.
(via Official GMail Blog)
Related posts: GMail adds themes | GMail adds voice and video chat
Click play on the video. Now watch as the world's aeroplanes cross continents and oceans. It's strangely relaxing in the same way that watching a trail of ants in a garden on a warm summer's afternoon is relaxing. One thing that's worth looking out for - compare Europe at the start of the video to Europe at 0:45 - the flight volume changes dramatically between day and night.
Seen a similarly fantastic depiction of data? Post it in the comments below. I love stuff like this, so if you've got a favourite visualization of information then I want to see it too.
Nitmesh (via @damiano)
Related posts: First photo of Hudson air crash surfaces on Twitter | No phones on planes please, we're British, survey finds
One of modern life's great pleasures is cruising YouTube for odd videos of experimental technology. A lunatic on a rocket bike. An inventor with a death-wish positioning his head a few inches from a spinning rotor. A man risking carbon monoxide poisoning and all kinds of exotic death by using jet engines he bought off the Russian eBay in his garage.
And today, this - a twin-propeller, hand-launched spy helicopter drone thing you carry around with you in a tube until it requires deployment in a spying situation. Then you set it free like a dove of peace.
Maker Lite Machines was commissioned to come up with this spying "solution" by the US Navy...
I'm a bit nervous about travelling in 777 jumbos after events at Heathrow last week, but even so, I'd be even more nervous about getting in a plane called LAPCAT. Even if it does stand for Long-Term Advanced Propulsion Concepts and Technologie. Maybe it'll have a companion jet called HANDBAGDOG too.
Singapore Airlines pulled off a next-gen aeroplane first yesterday, with the first ever commercial flight of the vast double decker Airbus A380. There wasn't even one fireball over the Indonesia as flight SQ380 successfully made it all the way from Singapore to Sydney in one very large piece.
"The flight was spectacular, just truly awesome," said Thomas Lee, one of the passengers - a man who's so into his planes he was also one of the first passengers on the inaugural 747 flight back in 1970...