Tag Archives: aviation

Images of an airship might evoke some long past 1920s phenomenon deemed too dangerous or too impractical and brushed aside for different flight technologies. But no technology should ever be considered down and out. The distinctive spire on the Empire State Building, originally intended as a mooring mast for dirigibles, is now copied on many other skyscrapers as a matter of course and style. It was only a year and a half ago that I talked about an Army request for proposals for an airship drone. Lockheed Martin just flew their HALE-D (that’s high altitude long endurance) a little earlier this week on July 27th, 2011. It only flew to 32,000 ft before coming down in Pennsylvania unexpectedly but should be capable of achieving 60,000 ft altitude. I talked about Boeing’s Phantom Eye UAV which supposedly can hang out at 65,000 ft. Neither aircraft is making any major promises on…

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What is it that keeps us awake at night? A new study from the German Aerospace Center on sleep patterns showed that unpredictable noises are the most disturbing to our sleep patterns. Noises like an airplane taking off have a more gradual rise and fall in sound despite lasting longer than the passing of a car. And yet in sleep surveys, people report aircraft noise as disturbing their sleep. The study’s authors speculated this was because a typical sleep cycle lasts 20 minutes and so airplane noise was most likely to be remembered. However what they actually found was car and rail noise interrupted normal sleep patterns. It’s no surprise people would complain about aircraft noise, it’s  a constant nuisance for people who live near military airfields and commercial airports. A lot of work goes into reducing the noise airplanes make. When new airports are built or existing ones are…

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