Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind is a film about an apocalypse, a millennium after an earlier apocalypse. The 1984 anime, by now-legendary director Hayao Miyazaki, is a sort of gunpowder fantasy, with strange bio-engineered toxic monsters cohabitating a world with windmill farms and sword-armed guardians. The most iconic machine from the film is the jet-powered glider flown by the protagonist Nausicaä. Could such a fanciful flyer ever actually work?
Amazon is an empire of being "just in time." The venerable online retailer is as much a store as an intermediary, an algorithmic colossus astride the vast architecture of modern logistics. Which is to say this: when people buy something online through Amazon, the company coordinates everything from the payment to the product to the shipping between them, all to create a uniform experience. To better meet that need, and stay on top of deliveries, Amazon will now begin operating its own fleet of cargo airplanes.
For almost half a century, "jumbo jet" has meant one plane: Boeing's 747. The gigantic airliner, which first flew in 1969 and started carrying passengers in 1970, is an icon of the sky, ferrying hundreds of passengers between continents regularly since its introduction. But the venerable sky giant's reign may soon be at an end. In September, Boeing expects to cut production from one 747 a month to one made every two months. If demand continues to fall, the company says in a regulatory filing, “it is reasonably possible that we could decide to end production of the 747.”
There is too much happening at the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro for any person to watch it all. Not just the sporting events, though there are over 30 events during the 16 days of the event. For the security personnel tasked with making sure athletes, attendees, and civilians are all safe during the event, that's a sky-high task, so it helps that Brazil is going to have an all-seeing camera on a blimp record everything happening within an area of 15 square miles.
There is more water than there are runways. For places that have access to the sea, or lakes, or large, calm rivers, it might be easier to use a seaplane than building a runway for a plane designed to land on, well, land. China's state media today announced the completion of the first AG600. It's the world's largest functional seaplane and made by China itself.
Airplanes, trains, and cargo ships may travel through different mediums, but they roughly do the same thing: encase precious cargo in a similar container, and then unload it at the destination. “Clip Air” is a concept from Switzerland's Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale De Lausanne that wants planes, trains, and ships to carry people much the same way they carry shipping crates: in detachable, modular tubes, which can be put on rails, loaded on boats, or slung under wing.