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Unique F-22 Raptor-inspired 2017 Ford F-150 will be auctioned off to benefit EAA youth programs

This year, Ford will put up for auction another one of its special vehicles to benefit the Experimental Aircraft Association's (EAA) youth aviation programs.

The auction will take place at the annual EAA Gathering of Eagles on July 27. This time, the special vehicle that will be put on auction is none other than the F-150 Raptor, which is quite a departure for Ford as they often choose the Mustang to be sold off. Melvin Betancourt, Ford design manager, took inspiration from the famous Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor fighter jet when he designed the high-performance truck. At the same time, he highlighted the F-150 Raptor's unique style, capabilities, and design.

Not only does this F-150 Raptor look aggressively unique, it also has been given several tweaks on the inside. The truck's performance has been maximized, enabling the 3.5 liter twin-turbo, Whipple inter-cooled V6 engine to produce a total of 545 horsepower, that's 95 hp more than the standard model. Credit goes to the Ford Performance Team for all the work they have put into the Raptor from upgrading the suspension and the brakes, adding a roof mounted light bar to changing the wheels.

Read the entire article Unique F-22 Raptor-inspired 2017 Ford F-150 will be auctioned off to benefit EAA youth programs

HondaJet proves claim of being fastest jet in its class, sets two new speed records

Honda Aircraft Company has recently cemented its claim of the HondaJet being the fastest jet in its segment after having been presented by the U.S. National Aeronautic Association with speed records for the Boston, Massachusetts to Palm Beach, Florida, course as well as the one from Teterboro, New Jersey to Fort Lauderdale, Florida. This award was given during the National Business Aviation Association's Business Aviation Convention and Exhibition held in Orlando, Florida. The two flights were piloted by Peter Kriegler and Glenn Gonzales and while the speed record has already been approved by the USNAA, it is also awaiting final approval for possible world records by none other than the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale, based in Switzerland.

With regards to the Boston to Palm Beach course, the HondaJet started at the New Bedford Regional Airport leaving on July 19, 2016 at 7:18 a.m. EDT. It then arrived at Palm Beach International Airport by 9:16 a.m., resulting in a total flight time of 2 hours and 58 minutes over a distance of 1,060 nautical miles. With headwinds averaging around 30 knots, this means the HondaJet had an average true air speed of 385 knots with maximum ground speed measured to be 422 knots, or around 486 mph. This achievement is remarkable as well in the sense that the HondaJet is the first aircraft belonging to its segment that attained this particular record.

For the second course, HondaJet left the Teterboro Airport in New Jersey on April 9, 2016, at 2:15 p.m. EST. It then arrived at the Fort Lauderdale Executive Airport in Florida by 4:06 p.m. During its transit, average speed of the headwinds was measured to be 60 knots, which is around 70 mph. Nevertheless, HondaJet flew at a 43,000-foot cruising altitude and covered the total 960 nautical miles in 2 hours and 51 minutes. Considering both the headwind and the high temperature, this meant that the HondaJet had average true air speed at 396 knots (456 mph) with top ground speed of 414 knots (478 mph).

Read the entire article HondaJet proves claim of being fastest jet in its class, sets two new speed records

Airbus developing world's first autonomous aircraft

It seems that having a self-driven personal flight craft will cease to be only a dream in the near future. This comes as A3 -- pronounced as “A-cubed” – announced that a full-size prototype of its Project Vahana aircraft would be flying the skies before the end of 2017.

A3, a Silicon Valley-based subsidiary of European aircraft maker Airbus Group, commenced Vahana in early 2016. This personal flight aircraft is special – it does not require a runway and a human pilot. Moreover, this personal flight aircraft could detect and automatically avoid obstacles as well as other aircraft on its flight path. A3 is aiming to have a ready-to-produce demonstrator by the end of the decade and make the Vahana the first autonomously piloted certified passenger aircraft.

Thanks to the fact that technical and regulatory challenges have become possible to comply with, the trend towards affordable flight. For instance, battery safety and energy density have now become adequate to be applied for aircrafts. In addition, obstacle detection and avoidance technologies have already matured to the point that safe aircraft takeoff and landing as well as collision avoidance in flight are now possible. Moreover, recent advances in automated composite manufacturing as well as assembly have made it possible to produce small and lightweight vehicles at high volumes yet with lower costs. Lastly, low-cost, reliable avionics are now widely available following years of UAV (unmanned aerial vehicle) development.

Read the entire article Airbus developing world's first autonomous aircraft

Which is faster: the Tesla Model S or a Boeing 737? [w/video]

Unbelievably, an electric car has been on the run beating all sorts of muscle cars and supercars in various drag races. This electric car is specially produced by American automotive and energy storage company, Tesla. The Tesla Model S has been considered a great competitor in the field of drag racing because of its capability to launch from 0 to 60 mph in just a matter of 2.8 seconds with the P90D version.

Meanwhile, sprinting to this speed takes 4.2 seconds and 5.2 seconds, for the 90D and 70D, respectively. It has a top speed of 155 mph for both the P90D and 90D versions, and 140 mph with the 70D.

Now all this will not be possible if not for its 70 kWh battery pack. Recently, someone came up with the idea for the Tesla Model S to race with something other the usual drag racing cars. For their joint promotion, Tesla and Australian national airline Qantas have decided to pit the greatest rivals of all time – the Tesla Model S and a Boeing 737 into a drag racing event. That’s something out of the ordinary, right?

Read the entire article Which is faster: the Tesla Model S or a Boeing 737? [w/video]

Honda Aircraft Company has completed all function and reliability (F&R) test conditions for its HondaJet, the company's top honcho announced at the National Business Aviation Association Convention and Exhibition.

Honda Aircraft Company President and chief executive Michimasa Fujino also disclosed that the company is now concluding F&R flights for the HondaJet. He said that F&R tests with the United States Federal Aviation Administration should allow for HondaJet type certification and entry into service.

He added that Honda Aircraft is expecting FAA type certification of the HondaJet "very soon." The F&R tests simulate typical, in-service flight operations for a new aircraft design. The sets of tests include takeoffs, landings and system operations, as well as failure cases and approaches. Also included are the aircraft's operations in hot, cold, and humid environments.

Read the entire article Honda Aircraft completes function and reliability (F&R) test conditions for HondaJet

Honda Aircraft Company has achieved two significant milestones in the development of the world’s most advanced light jet, the HondaJet. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has issued the first Type Inspection Authorisation (TIA) certificate for the HondaJet. FAA has also recently certified Honda Aircraft Company’s customer service facility as a Part 145 repair station.

TIA is considered as a pivotal point in the development and certification of a new aircraft. During this final testing phase, a nose-to-tail FAA review is expected to result to HondaJet type certification and first customer deliveries to customers.

“Achieving FAA Type Inspection Authorisation is a tremendous milestone for the HondaJet and a significant step toward type certification,” remarked Michimasa Fujino, president and CEO of Honda Aircraft Company.

Read the entire article HondaJet gains 2 certifications from FAA

The first HondaJet production aircraft is almost completed, Honda Aircraft Company president and chief executive Michimasa Fujino has disclosed during the Business Aviation Convention and Exhibition of the National Business Aviation Association. Honda is now assembling six production aircrafts and is on pace to complete build activities on the first production aircraft.

Honda said that they expect the production workforce to double as they prepare for market entry. The testing program for the HondaJet is also making steady progress.  The company expects to get FAA Type Inspection Authorisation in the next few months.

The HondaJet program has already flown over 4,000 test points and has done numerous missions to remote testing sites across the United States. The testing program includes testing at the McKinley Climatic Laboratory at Eglin Air Force Base in Florida, which houses the largest environmental testing chamber in world.

Read the entire article First HondaJet production aircraft is nearing completion

Honda Motor Co Ltd. expects the United States Federal Aviation Administration to certify its HondaJet small passenger jet in late 2014. This means that the unconventional-looking HondaJet would not be allowed to fly in the US until it receives its license in late 2014. Honda originally expected the HondaJet to receive flight approval this year, but the green light was delayed no thanks to a minor issue in the certification procedure, which has since been resolved.

Honda spokesman Shigeki Endo said that while there was a minor issue in the process of the engine approval, the fundamental design of the jet is “not being swayed by this." He remarked that HondaJet has logged several successful test flights and Honda is pressing on with more flights.

The engines of the HondaJet are located on top of its wings, a configuration that Honda says allows for more cabin space and better fuel-efficiency than rival business jets. According to Endo, while HondaJet uses a lithium-ion battery like the grounded Boeing 787 Dreamliner jet, the delay in approval has nothing to do with the battery system.

Read the entire article US flight approval for HondaJet expected in late 2014

After a year of various completed various flight, systems and structural tests, Honda Aircraft’s fifth FAA-conforming test aircraft is now in final assembly and is set to become the first HondaJet having a full production interior. The tests the HondaJet was made to undergo include crew seat crash tests, speedbrake testing, ultimate load tests, EASA windshield bird strike testing, wind tunnel icing tests and night lighting testing.

Honda Aircraft recently completed the first in a series of remote testing to authenticate the HondaJet’s performance under extreme temperatures. Honda Aircraft conducted hot-weather flight tests in Yuma, Arizona, which included critical case tests for both aircraft systems and infrastructure like hot fuel testing, fuselage structure temperature validation and powerplant and electrical generator cooling.

The company employed a 42-foot, custom telemetry vehicle in October to assist in remote location testing of the HondaJet. The mobile telemetry truck was designed to replicate the telemetry capabilities at Honda Aircraft’s global headquarters in Greensboro, North Carolina. The mobile telemetry truck is a fully self-contained telemetry system used to monitor aircraft data during flight testing.

Read the entire article HondaJet goes into production

Honda Motor Co.'s unit, Honda Aircraft Co., announced that its first HondaJet aircraft, which can apply for Federal Aviation Administration certification, lifted off recently. The flight marks an important step for Honda Aircraft as the initial flight of its first business jet that meets Federal Aviation Administration standards kicks off the federal certification process.

Honda Aircraft operates out of Piedmont Triad International Airport in Greensboro, N.C. In 2003, the company flew its first jet, but since it didn’t have FAA approval, the aircraft could not be sold commercially.

Honda’s new version of the jet was built with parts that meet FAA standards, meaning that the jet can be used for FAA certification tests. CEO Michimasa Fujino hailed the 51-minute flight as a milestone for the company.

Read the entire article HondaJet successfully completed its first flight

Honda provided updates of what to expect from its HondaJet advanced light jet program at this year’s National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) convention. Honda talked about its production cockpit and cabin designs that feature production parts, indicating the quality of materials, colors and finishes.

Michimasa Fujino, Honda Aircraft Company's President and CEO, said that the advantages of the HondaJet's advanced design are proven by the more than 500 flight hours that have been accumulated on the concept HondaJet as well as the successful completion of the robust range of static structural stress tests on the conforming aircraft.

Honda also said that ground testing is ongoing for its first conforming flight test aircraft and that static structural stress testing is underway on its second conforming aircraft.

Read the entire article HondaJet: more details and photos released

In Northern California, a Cessna 310 struck an electrical tower and crashed into a residential neighborhood, killing three Tesla Motors employees.

Local police say that Tesla confirmed all had worked at the company. CEO Elon Musk said that the names would be withheld since they´re still in the process of notifying their families.

Musk gave a statement about this tragic day, saying that Tesla is a small, tightly-knit company.

Read the entire article Three employees of Tesla Motors were killed in a small airplane crash