Facebook Unveils a Very Big, Very Light Electric Flying Wing

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg is intent on providing at least basic Internet services to everyone in the world, even if means creating his own air force to accomplish that lofty goal. March 27, 2014, he shared his overall plan, including a large fleet of airplanes that would loiter in the stratosphere, beaming high-speed Internet connections to one and all. Just a few days ago, Zuckerberg announced the completion of the first full-scale aircraft for this grand plan, the Aquila.  Aquila has the wingspan of a Boeing 737, but weighs in at around 400 kilograms (880 pounds).  Apparently built in England by his recently acquired team of aeronautical experts, Aquila will be able to stay in the air for months at a …

EAS VIII: John Langford Shares a Wide Range of Skills

Dean Sigler Diesel Powerplants, Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

Dr. John S. Langford is the Chairman and CEO of Aurora Flight Sciences Corporation, which he founded in 1989.  He has Bachelor’s, Master’s and Doctoral degrees from MIT in Aeronautics and other disciplines. While at MIT, he led a series of human-powered aircraft projects, culminating in the Daedalus Project, which in 1988 made a 72-mile flight between the Greek islands of Crete and Santorini.  He was just named 2014 winner of the National Aeronautics Association’s Cliff Henderson Trophy, awarded for “…a living individual, group of individuals, or an organization whose vision, leadership or skill made a significant and lasting contribution to the promotion and advancement of aviation and aerospace in the United States.”   He shares the honor with earlier winners …