‘World’s biggest plane’ Stratolaunch completes first flight
Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No, it's a flying car (really)
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…
Harrier Jump Jet for sale now, no tyre kickers
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.
Be the hostess with the mostess with an airline food trolley
Frequent flyer? Want the airline experience in your home? Then you might fancy a “Vintage Airline Food Cart”. It’s got ‘authentic dents and scratches’, as well as a retractable serving tray, 14 tracks for drawers or shelves (which cost extra) and a magnetic latch closure. There’s also pedal-operated wheel locks.
It measures 41″ x 12″ x 15″ and costs a rather mighty $1450. Shipping to the UK will be even more. What would you do with it, though? Indulge your air hostess fantasies? Ideas in the comments.
More furniture and furnishings: Nottage Design G1 – the transparent glass pool table in the boozer of your dreams | Lightbulb/speaker mashups suddenly all over the web
Soviet K-7 bomber blots out the sun
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
GMail gets offline access
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
VIDEO: Worldwide air traffic over 24 hours
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
First photo of Hudson air crash surfaces on Twitter
Score another one for citizen journalism. The very first photo of the plane crash in the Hudson was taken on a mobile phone, and uploaded to Twitter. The photographer was one Janis Krums, and he was on one of the ferries used to rescue the passengers from the stricken plane.
Although you could say he was in the right place at the right time, the quality of the photo is pretty damn good as well – well framed, and with plenty of detail. On a side note, though – you’ve got to wonder if it’s the first class passengers that are on the raft, while the economy plebs have to stand on the wing…
Twitpic (via Silicon Alley Insider)
Related posts: Twadio – silent radio station launches on Twitter | Twitterer liveblogs his own plane crash
The Lite Machines "Voyeur coaxial-rotor VTOL UAV" (US Navy spy-copter)
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…
LAPCAT will fly you from Sydney to Brussels in four hours
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.