Ice road truckers could be out of business soon. Boeing and SkyHook are developing a hybrid heavy-lift helicopter/blimp capable of hoisting a 40-ton sling load and moving it 200 miles without refueling. The JHL-40 will be capable of transporting equipment and materials to remote drilling and mining locations in the Canadian Arctic and Alaska. The helium “envelope” will support the vehicle while the four main rotors will lift the payload.
U.S.-based TGV Rockets has completed test firings of a 30,000-pound-class throttleable rocket engine that uses JP-8 kerosene fuel. The first phase of testing was conducted over the past two months at NASA’s Stennis Space Center in Mississippi. The second phase, focused on gaining more information on the performance of the JP-8 fuel, is under way.
EADS Astrium’s plans to move into the space tourism market, revealed last week to a VIP audience and represented here by a full-scale mockup of a hybrid spaceplane’s forward fuselage and its business-jet-like cabin, depend on raising money from the private sector.
Bell 206L-1 LongRanger, Patterson, La., March 14, 2006–The LongRanger’s loss of power during cruise, the NTSB said, was due to the improper installation of an engine fuel line fitting by maintenance personnel, which resulted in a loose fitting. The NTSB listed a tailwind and the lack of a suitable site for a forced landing as factors.
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