Video: Boeing's Truck-Mounted Laser Neatly Picks Off 50 IEDs in a Row

Boeing's laser weapons have already shown the power to blast aerial drones from the sky, but may find even more immediate use in detonating roadside bombs, which are a top killer of soldiers deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan. A newly unveiled video shows the company's truck-mounted Laser Avenger destroying two improvised explosive devices (IEDs) during a series of 50 test firings that took place at Redstone Arsenal in Huntsville, Alabama last September, according to OptoIQ.

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Inside Sofia, NASA's Airplane-Mounted Telescope

After a slew of successful of space telescope repair missions and launches in recent months, NASA is taking it easy these days. To use the newest powerful telescope, scientists will take a ride in a convertible. Sort of. The space agency's new telescope is situated inside a 747 with a hole in its side.

The Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy, or Sofia, has an open hatch so a telescope can watch the sky while the plane flies at 500 mph.

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Boeing's Truck-Mounted Laser Weapon Ready for Production

Laser warfare took a big step closer to reality today as Boeing officially selected an Oshkosh Defense military truck to haul around the beam control system for the tactical laser it's developing for the U.S. Army. Put another way, the idea of driving large, powerful laser weapons around on trucks has gone from the design phase to the fabrication phase. Surely we'll soon witness the epic laser wars we've all been anxiously awaiting.

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Boeing's 787 Dreamliner To Attempt First Flight Next Week

Boeing announced early this morning that its next generation airliner, the 787 Dreamliner, will take to the skies next Tuesday, December 15 at the company's Everett, WA proving grounds--if the Pacific Northwest's finicky weather cooperates.

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Boeing's Latest Mobile Laser Weapon Tracks and Shoots Down Drone

Laser Defense: Boeing's MATRIX high-energy directed weapon knocks a UAV out of the sky.  U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory
Boeing has just announced it successfully tracked and shot down an unmanned aerial vehicle with a laser weapon. Actually, it shot down five UAVs at various ranges with the trailer-mounted Mobile Active Targeting Resource for Integrated eXperiments (MATRIX).

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Pew Pew! Airborne Military Laser Takes Out Truck

In a recent test at the White Sands Missile Range, a specially equipped C-130 plane fried a parked truck with a powerful laser. And PopSci's got the video.

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New from Boeing: Flying Bot Swarms You Control With Body Language

Human operators could use gestures to direct clouds of robot drones

Robot swarms could someday hover, spin, and attack in response to a simple gesture or graceful pirouette from a human operator. And yes, Boeing has filed a patent on that future vision.

"The method may involve defining a plurality of body movements of an operator that correspond to a plurality of operating commands for the unmanned object," Boeing notes in its patent filing. "Body movements of the operator may be sensed to generate the operating commands."

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Southwest’s Boeing 737 With Blowhole

The airlines famous for painting a whale on the side of one of its Boeing 737s has taken the idea one step too far… Also: Air France to receive next A380

Southwest Airlines, one of the biggest airlines in the United States (mainly a domestic carrier using Boeing 737 models), is the latest airlines to have a mid-air emergency. The Boeing 737 flying from Nashville, Tennessee to Baltimore Washington had to make an emergency landing in Charleston, West Virginia, after a 30 centimetre hole opened up in the roof of the aircraft.

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Delta Takes to the Skies, Heads for Australia

Delta Airlines’ first flight from the US to Australia has just taken off (3.35pmAEST)

Delta Airlines has become the only US carrier to fly to six continents today when it’s first flight to Sydney from Los Angeles took off at 3.35pm AEST. The Boeing 777-200 was sent off at Los Angeles International Airport by a small party that included a live kangaroo. It’s scheduled to touch down at Kingsford-Smith Airport ion Sydney around 7am tomorrow morning.

Delta Airlines, the largest airline in the world, joins Qantas, V Australia and United airlines offering direct services from Australia to mainland USA.

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Yemenia Airbus A310 Crashes – The Sky Isn’t Falling

Yet another plane crash, yet another airbus, but this time one survivor. Air travel is still a good idea though

Yesterday it was reported that a Yemenia Airbus A310 crashed into the Indian Ocean with 153 passengers on board. The good news is that a sole passenger (a 14-year-old girl) has survived and was found by fisherman swimming in the water.

But rather than get paranoid about the situation, lets take a breath, step back, and analyse what has happened. It’s a terribly sad event, of course, but air travel is still the safest mode of transport. Far safer than taking a car or bus.

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787 Dreamliner's First Flight Delayed Yet Again

Structural reinforcement for a side-of-body panel is the latest hold-up

Boeing announced today that they would not hit their latest scheduling target of a first Dreamliner flight before the end of this month, needing to go back to the drawing board for structural reinforcement of a side-of-body panel. This is the latest in a series delays, and it will almost certainly push back the current first-delivery target of Q1 2010.

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Aussie Invention to Help Airlines

No, it's not something that will get more bums on seats sadly. But what it will do is make sure the people on board are as safe as possible...

A new technology has been developed to help ensure the structural safety of the next generation of more fuel efficient, less environmentally harmful civil airliners.

RMIT University PhD student Caleb White has been developing an Australian invention used to detect cracks in metal airliners for use in new, largely advanced carbon fibre structure jets.

Since 2005 much of this has been done with the Cooperative Research Centre for Advanced Composite Structures (CRC-ACS) in Melbourne. CRC-ACS is a world leading research organisation in high-strength lightweight plastics.

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The Notebook Airline Test

Lifehacker Australia editor is currently on his 'Hand Luggage Only' trip around AUS. Here are his tips when it comes to laptopping on planes

Battery life is crucial, but there’s an equally important test for any notebook that’s going to get regularly used on a plane: is it small enough to fit on the tray, allow typing when there’s someone sitting next to you and not end up half-closed when the person in front reclines their seat?

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Landing With A Bang!

Caught on camera: A SouthWest Airlines Boeing landing at Houston Airport has had a tyre burst on landing and catch alight

Last night a SouthWest Airlines Boeing 737 plane’s tyre blew on landing and then caught fire. The difference with this emergency was that the entire event was caught on camera, from the plane lining up and landing on the runway to the smoke pouring from it’s underside on impact with the ground and then finally the passengers disembarking using the emergency chutes. Thankfully only minor injuries were sustained by a few passengers who mistimed their evacuations. For the full video hit the jump.

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Sucked in Japan Airlines!

JAL outdoes US Airways in the “Look what we can suck into our engines without injuring any passengers” game…

Yesterday at Los Angeles International Airport a Japan Airlines (JAL) flight was grounded after one of its engines managed to suck up a container. JAL Flight 61, a 747-400, managed to wedge the container in the engine. There were 264 passengers on board but no one was injured and they were all taken back to the terminal to await a replacement flight. The cause of the accident is not yet known and an investigation is currently underway.

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