Feeds

SpaceShipOne designer produces hybrid flying car

Famous engineer Burt Rutan's swan song

SANS - Survey on application security programs

Burt Rutan, the famous engineer behind the Ansari X-Prize-winning SpaceShipOne and many other amazing aircraft, has produced a hybrid-electric aeroplane which can also be driven on roads as his final design before retirement.

The BiPod features twin fuselages equipped with electrically driven wheels and propellers (though the latter have yet to be fitted). The batteries powering the craft's propulsion and systems are kept topped up by two small internal-combustion engines, one in each fuselage. The batteries hold enough power for two landing attempts should the BiPod suffer an engine failure in flight, and also furnish extra power for takeoff.

Here's a slideshow with pictures of the BiPod, as well as other aircraft Rutan worked on during his long career at his company Scaled Composites – now a subsidiary of defence mammoth Northrop Grumman.

Thus far the BiPod doesn't have its propellers, but it has made test hops from the runway at the Mojave Air and Space Port, Scaled Composites' main base. In these tests the BiPod got up to speed using its driving wheels.

For road use, the BiPod's wings are removed and stowed between the two fuselages. One cockpit has road controls, and the other has flight ones.

As an aircraft the BiPod is expected to cruise at 200mph for a range of 500+ miles, or at 100mph for 750+ miles. On the road it will have plug-in hybrid performance: it can go 35 miles on batteries alone or 800 using engines, and "highway speeds" will be achievable. The machine can fit into a decent-sized garage, as it is 7' 11" wide with its wings stowed.

Scaled says the BiPod was developed in a crash effort in order to get it finished in time for Rutan's retirement from the company he founded – and also to give some of the firm's young engineers a chance to work with him before he departed. The BiPod is now being publicly shown off in order to gauge the level of interest in it as, until now, selling flying cars is not the sort of business Scaled (or Northrop) has been interested in. ®

3 Big data security analytics techniques

More from The Register

next story
Most Americans doubt Big Bang, not too sure about evolution, climate change – survey
Science no match for religion, politics, business interests
KILLER SPONGES menacing California coastline
Surfers are safe, crustaceans less so
Discovery time for 200m WONDER MATERIALS shaved from 4 MILLENNIA... to 4 years
Alloy, Alloy: Boffins in speed-classification breakthrough
LOHAN and the amazing technicolor spaceplane
Our Vulture 2 livery is wrapped, and it's les noix du mutt
Liftoff! SpaceX Falcon 9 lifts Dragon on third resupply mission to ISS
SpaceX snaps smartly into one-second launch window
Opportunity selfie: Martian winds have given the spunky ol' rover a spring cleaning
Power levels up 70 per cent as the rover keeps on truckin'
Elon Musk's LEAKY THRUSTER gas stalls Space Station supply run
Helium seeps from Falcon 9 first stage, delays new legs for NASA robonaut
Dragon capsule arrives at space station for Easter Sunday delivery
SpaceX reports Falcon booster made controlled touchdown in ocean
prev story

Whitepapers

Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
SANS - Survey on application security programs
In this whitepaper learn about the state of application security programs and practices of 488 surveyed respondents, and discover how mature and effective these programs are.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.