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Aerial still of the Dallas Cowboys stadium

Dallas Cowboys to return 'dumbass' Texan's chopper

The Dallas Cowboys have located the quadcopter which a self-confessed "dumbass" pilot planted on the roof of the team's AT&T Stadium in Arlington, the local Star-Telegram reports. The unnamed operator's DJI Phantom Vision went into "return to home" mode when he "let the building get between me and the transmitter", as he …
Lester Haines, 11 Jun 2014
Aerial still of the Dallas Cowboys stadium

Texan parks quadcopter atop Dallas Cowboys stadium

A self-confessed Texan "dumbass" is attempting to retrieve his quadcopter from the roof of the Dallas Cowboys stadium in Arlington after interrupted radio comms prompted an unplanned touchdown atop the lofty structure. Aerial still of the Dallas Cowboys stadium The vehicle in question is a DJI Phantom Vision, which went …
Lester Haines, 10 Jun 2014

Cunning Reg reader cracks LOHAN hot coupling condundrum

We invite fans of our Low Orbit Helium Assisted Navigator (LOHAN) project to raise a glass or two today to the Reg reader who finally cracked the problem of just how to hook up our Vulture 2 spaceplanes's rocket motor heater. To summarise, we've got a space-grade Polyimide Thermofoil flexible heater wrapped round our aircraft's …
Lester Haines, 10 Jun 2014
The servo doused in foam as a fireman, doctors and workers gather around our Playmonaut

Plucky Playmonaut bails out of smoking Vulture 2

Our plucky Playmonaut has decided to take a long weekend off after a servo meltdown during a ground avionics test of our Vulture 2 spaceplane prompted a sharpish exit from the vehicle. Here's the scene immediately after the scare, as emergency crews rushed in to cordon off the area, douse the offending kit with foam and gave our …
Lester Haines, 6 Jun 2014

Russians turn Raspberry Pi into fully-fledged autopilot

Anyone with an interest in Raspberry Pis and autopilots – in common with the Low Orbit Helium Assisted Navigator (LOHAN) team – should nip down to Indiegogo to check out the Navio: an impressive-looking autopilot shield for the diminutive fruity computer. The Russian team behind the Navio is already well on the way to raising …
Lester Haines, 4 Jun 2014

New development in 'stadium-sized' FLYING SAUCER orb invasion

Pics NASA has clarified the exact size of the mighty helium balloon that will later today lift its Low Density Supersonic Decelerator (LDSD) over the Pacific Ocean. As we reported yesterday, the agency vaguely described the whopping 963,000 cubic metre orb as so big you could "fit a professional football stadium inside it". The …
Lester Haines, 3 Jun 2014

SPB's mountaintop HQ menaced by WOLVES

It's with one eye on the distant sierra and a shotgun close to hand that I report today that attempts to expel wolves from the Spanish province of Ávila have failed. Despite vociferous and emotive exhortations, mostly from farmers, the Junta de Castilla y León has rejected a call to declare the province a "wolf-free zone", …
Lester Haines, 30 May 2014

US sheddies knock up flying plastic toolbox

Vid If ever there was a bit of kit with shed written all over it then the Box-O-Copter is definitely it - a flying plastic toolbox knocked together by the chaps at FliteTest. The Box-O-Copter Apart from being agreeably silly, the Box-O-Copter was built on the principle of "brain not frame" - investing cash in avionics and not …
Lester Haines, 28 May 2014

Beautiful balloon burst caught on camera

Vid + Pics Watch Video It's a traditional tip of the hat today to Tim Middleton of Replay XD for providing a couple of the company's vid cameras for a recent Low Orbit Helium Assisted Navigator (LOHAN) imaging test flight, during which they captured the moment of mighty orb burst in all its glory. The Replay XD The above video speaks …
Lester Haines, 23 May 2014

French teen fined for illegal drone flight

Video The 18-year-old French lad who strapped a GoPro to a drone 'chopper and used it to produce a noteworthy aerial video of the city of Nancy has been fined €400, Le Figaro reports. Nans Thomas bought the vehicle on the internet and sent it aloft without realising he needed proper training and air authority permission. The online …
Lester Haines, 23 May 2014
Still from downwards-facing camera on the EDGE 11 flight

El Reg chats with stormchasing Edge Research Lab

Pics + Vids One of the great pleasures of the Low Orbit Helium Assisted Navigator (LOHAN) project has been the chance to hook up with kindred spirits worldwide, such as Colorado-based Edge Research Lab, which recently donated a HackHD hi-def camera to our ballocket cause. Edge formed around two-and-a-half years ago, "the result of a …
Lester Haines, 22 May 2014
The Carrotcopter

Scoff ye not: Chap carves crunchy carrot-copter

Video We're obliged to Gary Mortimer of sUAS News for flagging up an entertaining piece of tomfoolery in the form of a quadcopter hewn from vegetables - the entirely convincing "Carrotcopter". The Carrotcopter Sadly, there's no information on the avionics, or indeed the variety of carrot used to create this magnificent flying …
Lester Haines, 21 May 2014

NASA preps flying saucer ballocket flight

NASA has announced it's poised to do an airborne test of its Low-Density Supersonic Decelerator (LDSD) - a test platform for technologies that may one day safely deposit larger payloads on the surface of Mars. The LDSD at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Pic: NASA/JPL The LDSD flying saucer at NASA's Jet Propulsion …
Lester Haines, 16 May 2014
Colin Furze joyfully showing off his fully retractable Wolverine claws

Time-rich Brit boffin demos DIY crazytech WOLVERINE talons

Video Youtube Video Perhaps you thought the bits of cardboard you meticulously painted metallic grey and sellotaped to your hands were an awesome Wolverine costume last Halloween. If you did, you lacked the sheer naked ambition, engineering knowhow and oodles of time available to one Colin Furze, who has made his very own fully …

Urinating teen polluted 57 Olympic-sized swimming pools - cops

A Portland teen collared last month for urinating in a reservoir at the cost of 38 million gallons of lost drinking water has raised some interesting scientific questions. There's more here on just how cops charged 18-year-old Dallas Jeffrey Delynn for taking a slash at the water repository at Mount Tabor, prompting officials to …
Lester Haines, 16 May 2014
A microscopic view of the biometric shark skin. Pic: James Weaver

Boffins 3D-print biomimetic shark skin

Scientists from Harvard University have used 3D printing to reveal just how sharks lower their energy consumption in a cruise thanks to miniature teeth-like "denticles" on their skin. Sharks are coated with million of these "overlapping tooth-like scales", known to reduce drag, but until George Lauder, James Weaver and Li Wen …
Lester Haines, 15 May 2014

Our Reg reader 'mutt's nuts' dictionary is le chien's biens

Last month, we provoked quite a linguistic rumpus when we unwisely described our Vulture 2 spaceplane's magnificent livery as les noix du mutt. This immediately prompted protests at the use of noix for French goolies, and we threw the matter over to our beloved readers, inviting them to also provide international translations …
Lester Haines, 14 May 2014
Close-up of the HackHD

US alliance strengthens LOHAN imaging arsenal

Vids Watch Video Fans of our Low Orbit Helium Assisted Navigator (LOHAN) project know that we've recently been working on the spaceplane mission's imaging capability, with airborne tests of the budget DBcam and the prototype CENTR Camera four-eyed panoramic beast. Amid all this excitement, we expressed doubts about our GoPro 3, …
Lester Haines, 9 May 2014
Parrot Ar.Drone

Spain clamps down on drones

Spain's Agencia Estatal de Seguridad Aérea (State Air Security Agency - AESA) has issued a declaration in which it reminds citizens that the commercial or professional use of "drones" is illegal, and that amateur UAV operation is restricted to "authorised areas". The document (PDF) stresses that "the use of remote control …
Lester Haines, 7 May 2014
Dave Akerman and Heston Blumenthal

Potato in SPAAAAACE: LOHAN chap cooks up stratospud with Heston Blumenthal

Pics Low Orbit Helium Assisted Navigator (LOHAN) team member Dave Akerman confirmed his status as one of the UK's go-to guys* for high-altitude ballooning (HAB) launches when he popped up on Channel 4 last week in Heston Blumenthal's Great British Food series. Dave Akerman and Heston Blumenthal The celebrity food-botherer wanted …
Lester Haines, 7 May 2014
The full Spanglish breakfast: mealy pudding, bacon, black pudding, sausages, fried egg, toast

El Reg Quid-A-Day Nosh Posse back on the bacon

Pics We're pleased to report that the El Reg Quid-A-Day Nosh Posse has emerged in fairly good shape from last week's Live Below the Line challenge, although team member Toby Sibley hasn't told us whether he walked up the aisle on Saturday or had to be carried by his best man. Toby certainly deserves an extra round of applause for …
Lester Haines, 6 May 2014

El Reg Quid-A-Day Nosh Posse crawls towards finish line

The El Reg Quid-A-Day Nosh Posse has entered the final furlong, with less than 24 hours to go before members can enjoy something considerably more substantial than the meagre rations which have sustained them since Monday. And as the finish line comes into view, the effects of the Live Below the Line challenge - to exist on just …
Lester Haines, 2 May 2014
Another grab showing images from the camera at altitude

Classified LOHAN payload is four-eyed beast

As regular readers know, the Low Orbit Helium Assisted Navigator (LOHAN) team likes a nice bit of imaging kit, and we can now reveal that the classified payload which flew atop our recent "Judy" test flight was in fact a prototype four-eyed beast capable of capturing hi-def panoramic video. The chaps from CENTR Camera got in …
Lester Haines, 2 May 2014
Toby's lentil and carrot surpise

Quid-a-day Reg nosh posse chap faces starvation diet

As the El Reg Quid-a-Day Nosh Posse's Live Below the Line challenge enters its fourth day, we're delighted to report that team member Toby Sibley has resurfaced - albeit looking a little thinner than when we last spoke to him. At the beginning of the week, Toby expressed doubts that he'd spend his £5 food budget wisely: Toby's …
Lester Haines, 1 May 2014

The Reg Quid-a-Day Nosh challenge: What's the point, exactly?

It's been an entertaining week so far for the El Reg Quid-a-Day Nosh Posse, as team members battle to survive on just £1 per day for food as part of the Live Below the Line challenge. Calorific intake concerns aside, we've managed to knock up a few decent meals, and even forage a bit of extra nutrition. Of course, living for …
Lester Haines, 30 Apr 2014

The quid-a-day nosh challenge: Anyone fancy this fungus I found?

The sun has risen on day three of the El Reg Quid-a-Day Nosh Posse's Live Below the Line challenge, and the team's in generally good shape. I say generally, because we've haven't heard from Toby Sibley since Monday, when he expressed concern that he simply didn't have enough calories stockpiled to make it through the week. We' …
Lester Haines, 30 Apr 2014
Teepee village

Marauding quid-a-day nosh hack menaces teepee hippie villages

It's day two of the El Reg Quid-a-Day Nosh Posse's Live Below the Line challenge, so let's see how our intrepid members are getting along on just £1 per day for food. First up, we haven't had a chance yet to consider Chris Winpenny's complete cornucopious stockpile, some of which we've already seen... Chris's initial stash of …
Lester Haines, 29 Apr 2014

Microsoft forms 'Special Projects' black ops team

Microsoft has secretly formed a "Special Projects" sub-tentacle of its Microsoft Research limb in an apparent attempt to out-black-ops Google X. This sinister group is "tasked with working on disruptive technologies that could benefit the company and society". Although MS is remaining tight-lipped on when it was formed and who …
Lester Haines, 29 Apr 2014

Quid-a-day Reg nosh posse chap fears for his waistline

El Reg Quid-a-Day Nosh Posse member Toby Sibley has been in touch to say he only got to spend his £5 food allowance for the Live Below the Line challenge last night, and is beginning to worry about his waistline. Here's his last-minute stash... Toby's food stash for the week Lentils in brine? Lovely ...comprising: 25g …
Lester Haines, 28 Apr 2014
The stew on the outdoor fire

A real pot-boiler kicks off Reg man's quid-a-day nosh challenge

Pics It's day one of the El Reg Quid-A-Day Nosh Posse's attempt to survive for five days on a fiver for food in support of Malaria No More UK. I have no doubt our elite team is rising magnificently to the challenge, having prepared their cunning survival plans well in advance. While I await news of how it's going, here's some of my …
Lester Haines, 28 Apr 2014

El Reg posse prepares for quid-a-day nosh challenge

The countdown to this year's Live Below the Line challenge has begun, and next week, the elite El Reg Quid-A-Day Nosh Posse will attempt to survive for five days on a food budget of just £1 per day. I did the challenge in 2013, and raised a good wedge of cash for Malaria No More UK. Magnificently, five brave souls have agreed to …
Lester Haines, 25 Apr 2014

LOHAN spaceplane's budget minicam punches well above its weight

Pics + vids Watch Video They say good things come in small packages, and that's certainly true of the impressively titled "DBcam Hi-Resolution Micro Action Sports Video Camera", which soared heavenwards for a quick test during the recent Low Orbit Helium Assisted Navigator (LOHAN) "Punch and Judy" test flights. It was the first time we'd …
Lester Haines, 25 Apr 2014

Vulture 2 rocket motor heater a non-sizzling success

The Low Orbit Helium Assisted Navigator (LOHAN) team is toasting a toasty success today after reviewing the data from our recent Judy test flight, which carried the rocket motor heater rig designed to stop our Vulture 2 spaceplane's mighty thruster from catching a nasty cold. Here's the data in question, captured as Judy rose to …
Lester Haines, 23 Apr 2014

So, just how do you say 'the mutt's nuts' in French?

Our Low Orbit Helium Assisted Navigator (LOHAN) mission is on temporary hold today while we attempt to answer a question of vital linguistic import: just how do you say "the mutt's nuts" in French? Last week we unveiled the magnificent finished livery of our Vulture 2 spaceplane... The Space Graphics Solutions team poses with …
Lester Haines, 23 Apr 2014
The Space Graphics Solutions team poses with the wrapped Vulture 2

LOHAN and the amazing technicolor spaceplane

Picture special Cue the traditional portentous drumroll and fanfare of trumpets as we reveal today the finished livery of our Vulture 2 spaceplane – a provocative combination of paint job and vinyl wrap which is, frankly, the mutt's nuts. Fans of our Low Orbit Helium Assisted Navigator (LOHAN) project will recall we asked readers back in …
Lester Haines, 19 Apr 2014

Fancy joining Reg hack on quid-a-day challenge?

Last year, I rather recklessly signed my self up for the Live Below the Line quid-a-day nosh challenge, which involves surviving for five days on £1 per day for food. Here are my supplies at the beginning of the week... My supplies for five days My Live Below the Line 2013 supplies ...which kicked off with fried egg sarnies, …
Lester Haines, 17 Apr 2014
Double Facepalm; when one facepalm is not enough.

Red-faced LOHAN team 'fesses up in blown SPEARS fuse fiasco

Vid It's while standing in the corner of the room wearing pointy hats emblazoned with a big "D" that the Low Orbit Helium Assisted Navigator (LOHAN) team admits today that the blown fuse which scuppered our recent Punch test flight actually went pop back in September last year. Youtube Video Yes indeed, during the test flight of …
Lester Haines, 16 Apr 2014
The LOHAN team prepares for launch this morning

LOHAN's Punch and Judy show: The big fat round-up

Pics+Vid The dust has pretty well settled on the Low Orbit Helium Assisted Navigator (LOHAN) Punch and Judy test flights, and we now present for your further entertainment a round-up of the two missions. Watch Video As you can see from the above timelapse video of the launches last Thursday, we did finally get off the ground after a …
Lester Haines, 16 Apr 2014
The LOHAN team prepares for launch this morning

Reg LOHAN spaceplane: Punch and Judy show in comedy non-explosive climax

It's with more than a degree of staring at the heavens in exasperation that we confirm what those of you watching the live coverage of yesterday's Punch and Judy test flights had already deduced - that the Low Orbit Helium Assisted Navigator (LOHAN) team failed to make fire in the sky. Dave and Anthony prepare for launch as …
Lester Haines, 11 Apr 2014
The LOHAN team poses with the Vulture 2

LOHAN spaceplane 'Punch and Judy' test flights live online

Vids If you're looking for some light entertainment this fine April morning, then tune in to the live launch of the Low Orbit Helium Assisted Navigator (LOHAN) "Punch" and "Judy" test flights. Dave Akerman and I are at Blighty's Baikonur in Herefordshire, determined to get two mighty orbs aloft. The live feed from the launch site is …
Lester Haines, 10 Apr 2014

LOHAN's Punch and Judy show relaunches Thursday

Following last weekend's cancellation of the Low Orbit Helium Assisted Navigator (LOHAN) "Punch" and "Judy" test flights due to high winds, the team is relieved to announce that Thursday morning is looking good for a second pop. Saturday's planned missions were scuppered by excessive gustiness at the Herefordshire launch site, …
Lester Haines, 9 Apr 2014
The LOHAN team prepares for launch this morning

The Punch and Judy show is LIVE NOW cancelled

Updated Update at 14:12: Today' flights have been cancelled due to high winds. Highly irritating, but that's the British weather for you. We'll let you know when we've formed an alternative plan. The Low Orbit Helium Assisted Navigator (LOHAN) "Punch" and "Judy" test flights are about to kick off - assuming the wind doesn't scupper …
Lester Haines, 5 Apr 2014