Airplanes have been commonplace for quite some time now, and we’ve grown accustomed to what an airplane should look like. Ask any kid to draw a plane, and you’ll probably get familiar results. However, this doesn’t mean we’ve reached the end of novel plane designs. Plenty of unconventional planes are being designed and tested, and here are just a few.
- NASA is testing an experimental wing design with 18 electric motors as part of its Leading Edge Asynchronous Propeller Technology (LEAPTech) project. Each motor can be optimized for better ride quality and noise reduction — and possibly improved fuel consumption. [url]
- The Russian PAK TA concept is a supersonic transport that could be ready for military service by 2024. A 200-ton capacity plane traveling at 1200 mph with a range of 4,000 miles sounds a bit futuristic because it would be amazing to see a plane actually capable of doing it (but maybe not so amazing in another 10 years or so). [url]
- DARPA wants to make a VTOL (Vertical Take-Off and Landing) aircraft that’s much much better than a helicopter or existing VTOL designs. Boeing has a Phantom Swift design that’s been built (as a 17% scale model) — one of four contenders aiming to meet DARPA’s technical specs. [url]
If you’d like to read more awesome and interesting stuff, check out this unrelated (but not entirely random!) Techdirt post via StumbleUpon.