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Very few, it seems, even though this remarkable inventor paved the way for the Wright Brothers and all the aviators who followed. If it had not been for Sir George's pioneering work, the Wright brothers may not have got off the ground. Cayley is the man described by aviation experts as the father of aeronautics. He designed his first aircraft as long ago as 1799, and by the middle of the 19th Century, he was building and flying...


 human airplane flight inventor George Cayley aviation flying
The US space agency's experimental hypersonic research aircraft, the X-43A, could one day revolutionise long-distance travel and space launches. The unpiloted 3.7m-long vehicle uses a scramjet to reach a design speed in excess of Mach 7, about 8,000 km/h. Scramjets burn hydrogen but take their oxygen from the air which is forced into the engine at very high speed. A scramjet operates by the supersonic combustion of fuel in a stream of...


 travel transport speed aviation scramjet jet supersonic
Japan and France are to work together to develop a successor to the retired supersonic jet aircraft Concorde.


 travel airplane transport aviation supersonic Concorde
With predictions of gridlock on the roads and talk of a congestion charge on the railways, hard-pressed travellers should perhaps be looking skywards for an answer to their woes. Air taxis have more than a ring of science fiction about them but in the US the dream of zipping between towns in tiny jet-powered planes is fast becoming a reality.


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A new jet engine designed to fly at seven times the speed of sound appears to have been successfully tested.


 travel transport aviation scramjet supersonic
The team says any noise from the concept aircraft, known as the SAX-40, would be "imperceptible" beyond the boundaries of an airport. It would also burn far less fuel than conventional planes.


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European Union transport ministers have unanimously backed an "open skies" aviation deal with the US aimed at liberalising transatlantic air travel. The deal, which has been criticised by some UK airlines, eases restrictions on travel between Europe and the US.


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The way we get about has a profound impact on the way we live - affecting where we set up home, work and holiday.


 future travel train transport car aviation flying jet pack taxi
Flying may be the safest form of transport, but many of the three million people who take to the air each day are terrified of crashing. Now more than ever, though, it's possible to survive a plane crash. ... There is a factual error in this report, air travel is not necessarily the safest form of transport. It all depends how it is measured, in fact rail travel wins on safety in terms of accidents per journeys and accidents per hours...


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In a future world without aeroplanes, children would gather at the feet of old men, and hear extraordinary tales of a mythic time when vast and complicated machines the size of several houses used to take to the skies and fly high over the Himalayas and the Tasman Sea.


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Just as air causes lift on the wings of an aeroplane, light can do the same trick, researchers have said. The effect, first shown in simulations, was proven by showing it in action on tiny glass rods.


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The future of flying will be organically grown, with seats made from plants and fuel made from oils from seeds or algae. There will be "no more non-renewable materials, like metal or plastic" in the cabin of tomorrow's aircraft. Flying will be the answer to scarce resources on the ground; by travelling through the air rather than by road or rail, the ground can be "left for farming and preserving biodiversity"...


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