Tag Archives: aerospace

Soar through the air in this futuristic ‘invisible’ plane

  • Flying over any city has never been so cool.  Technicon Design Studio France

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    An exterior of the high- tech plane.Technicon Design Studio France

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    Sunny skies all around.Technicon Design Studio France

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    The exterior cameras project images on the screens inside the cabin.Technicon Design Studio France

Who doesn’t a love a great view when soaring at 35,000 feet?

A new private plane design brings world class views to every passenger—without any windows.

Technicon Design’s Paris based team designed the jet to display to 360-degree views that are simulated on internal screens from external cameras that capture the surrounding environment in real time, according to the Daily Mail.

The images displayed in the interior cabin—including the walls and even the ceiling—give passengers the feeling of flying through the air in an invisible vessel.

For business minded clientele, the screens can also be used for video conferences. Or if you’re in the mood for a some entertainment, kick back and relax with a state of the art in flight movie. For claustrophobic passengers, the screens can also be used to project relaxing landscapes like a tropical beach.

Technicon Design created the design for a National Business Aviation Association and has since won an award at the International Yacht & Aviation Awards in the exterior design category.

“I challenged the team to break out of conventional thinking with regards to a business jet exterior and interior,” Gareth Davies, design director at Technicon Design’s studio near Paris, told the Daily Mail.

“We quickly settled on the controversial yet interesting idea of removing the windows from the cabin and using existing or very near future technology to display the exterior environment on flexible screens.”

A transparent plane might be a nightmare for some fearful travelers but if the design takes off, it will definitely one of the coolest ways to travel.

Take a look at the plane in action.

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Thought-controlled planes are in our future

Thought-controlled planes are in our future

Why pilot a plane with your hands and feet when you can do it with your brain? Thought-controlled flight could be arriving soon, according to the EU-funded “BrainFlight” project.

A team of scientists from the Institute for Flight System Dynamics and the Berlin Institute of Technology says it has translated brain impulses into control commands, enabling pilots in a plane simulator to achieve a range of remarkably precise maneuvers without touching the controls or pedals.

Wearing a cap with lots of cables attached, pilots in the simulator were able to land a plane simply by looking at the screen and moving the control stick with their thoughts, correcting the plane’s position repeatedly until it landed.

To achieve the breakthrough, the researchers connected electroencephalography (EEG) electrodes to a cap to measure the pilot’s brain waves. An algorithm created by Berlin Institute of Technology scientists enabled a program to decipher the brain waves and convert them into commands fed into the plane’s control system.

Once it’s perfected, brain-controlled flight could reduce pilot workload and increase safety. Freeing up pilots’ hands would give them freedom of movement to manage other manual tasks in the cockpit.

The German team conducted its experiment using seven test subjects with a range of flight experience, including one who had no experience whatsoever.

The team reported that all seven, flying the plane only with their thoughts, managed to achieve accuracy that would meet some flying license requirements. Astonishingly, even the participants with little or no prior training succeeded in landing the planes.

One participant was able to follow eight out of 10 target headings with only an incredibly small 10-degree deviation. Another was able to land within only a few meters of the runway’s center line.

Some even managed their approach in poor visibility conditions.

Imagine what trained military pilots might be able to do with this technology.

In 2010, British researchers revealed that fighter pilots, despite being more sensitive to irrelevant and distracting information, have significantly greater accuracy on cognitive tasks. When scientists looked at MRI scans, they found that pilots have a white matter microstructure in the right hemisphere of their brains that is different from non-pilots’.

The German team’s achievement isn’t the first of its kind.

Last year, a team from the University of Minnesota announced that it had flown a model helicopter through an obstacle course using thought alone. As in the German system, electrodes were attached to the pilot’s scalp, and his brain waves were used to guide the aircraft.

Creating a mental image altered brain activity in the motor cortex, which was recorded by the electrodes. A computer program deciphered the signals and translated the pilot’s intent.

To move the helicopter in a particular direction, a user imagined clenching his or her hands. To go left, for example, the pilot pictured clenching the left hand. To go up, he clenched both hands.

Ultimately, the developers of the mind-controlled helicopter hope to adapt their technology to direct artificial limbs and other medical devices.

In another example, in 2010, a team at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign announced it had flown an unmanned aircraft at a fixed altitude with the ability to adjust headings in response to the pilot’s thoughts.

What’s next?
The TU München scientists are now researching how control systems and flight dynamics must be altered to accommodate brain control.

For example, pilots flying with their hands feel resistance in steering. But this sort of feedback doesn’t happen in brain-controlled flying.

The next step is to find ways to provide this sort of critical feedback without physical contact.

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