from the urls-we-dig-up dept
Most folks don’t really like flying for more than a few hours at a time, so it’s not really a problem for a lot of people that most planes aren’t even capable of flights lasting longer than day. (Zeppelins can fly for weeks at a time, but those ships haven’t been flying regularly for a while.) Autonomous drones have been making some really long flights recently, and there may be more uses for aircraft that can stay up in the air for long periods of time. Here are just a few examples.
- Google has acquired Titan Aerospace for its solar-powered drone technology that can act as “atmospheric satellites” by flying for months or even years at a time. Google presumably outbid Facebook for this company, but regardless who bought this company, it sounds like wireless internet services could become more competitive with traditional wireline telcos/cablecos. Maybe. [url]
- The world’s longest aircraft, the Airlander, is just over 300 feet long and can fly for a couple weeks. This particular Hybrid Air Vehicle (HAV) is a cross between a blimp and a zeppelin — and a bigger version is designed to carry a 50-ton payload. [url]
- The Solar impulse 2 has a maximum speed of only about 85 mph, so it’ll take more than a couple days to accomplish its flightplan to circumnavigate the globe. This solar-powered plane is expected to launch sometime in mid-2015, and it’ll take a solo pilot almost a week to travel around the world. [url]
If you’d like to read more awesome and interesting stuff, check out this unrelated (but not entirely random!) Techdirt post via StumbleUpon.