Otherlab’s Cardboard Drone – “A Pizza Box… Shaped into a Wing”

Dean Sigler Batteries, Electric Aircraft Materials, Sustainable Aviation Leave a Comment

A disposable drone that will make a one-way trip to a disaster area won’t add to the suffering if it dissolves within a few weeks of delivering its life-saving cargo.  That’s the promise of the “Aerial Platform Supporting Autonomous Resupply Actions” (APSARA), currently being developed by Otherlab, a San Francisco-based group specializing in next-generation creations.  Funded by DARPA (the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency), APSARA is part of their ICARUS program (Inbound, Controlled, Air-Releasable, Unrecoverable Systems).  The acronyms are becoming overwhelming. Disposable medical supplies are a commonplace in today’s clinics and hospitals.  A recent chat with a nurse elicited her concern that medical supplies were so readily disposable.  Latex or nitrile gloves, single-use syringes, and protective paper covers and wraps …

Thunderbirds Are Go With Camelina

Dean Sigler Sustainable Aviation Leave a Comment

The Air Force Thunderbirds F-16 demonstration team will become the first Department of Defense military air show group to fly on bio-fuel when two members of the team have their craft powered by a 50-50 mix of standard JP-8 and camelina-derived bio-fuel.  The flights were scheduled to place at Andrews Air Force Base for the Joint Services Open House on May 20 and 21. The team follows two other uses of camelina in military jets: the Earth Day 2010 flight of an FA-18s (the Green Hornet) and this year’s supersonic flight on the fuel blend by an F-22.  These demonstrations exhibit the interest DOD planners are taking in finding alternative fuels. The Air Force press release makes the overall effects of such changes …