SpaceX’s Grasshopper takes a 12-story leap towards full and rapid rocket reusability in a test flight conducted December 17, 2012 at SpaceX’s rocket development facility in McGregor, Texas. Grasshopper, a vertical takeoff and landing vehicle (VTVL), rose 131 feet (40 meters), hovered and landed safely on the pad using closed loop thrust vector and throttle control. The total test duration was 29 seconds. Grasshopper stands 10 stories tall and consists of a Falcon 9 rocket first stage, Merlin 1D engine, four steel landing legs with hydraulic dampers, and a steel support structure.
Meet Biologist Doug Altshuler. He’s a hummingbird fan and has created a “hummingbird training center” in his lab to test their agility, as well as to record their twists and turns with multiple slow motion cameras. The secret to their talents: hovering… which ties into that whole flying backwards and upside down while turning on a dime thing that they do. #incredible
This clip is from "Hummingbirds: Magic in the Air." You can watch the entire documentary on pbs.org. We also have a few more slow motion hummingbirds in the archives.
Make a very lovely hovercraft! This super awesome DIY project requires a bit of parent or teacher supervision (sharp needle needed to make a hole), but overall, it answers all of my wishes: Not only does it teach about physics and get kids making things that are fun, but it gives us a great use for the old CDs that we have in boxes around the house! (And there are quite a few.) That alone makes this project a gem in my book.
YAY, Toys from Trash! We’ll definitely be seeing vids from Team Arvind Gupta here again…
At the end of October 2011, Thomas Senkel of e-volo made the first manned flight with an e-powered multicopter at an airstrip in the southwest of Germany. The flight lasted one minute and 30 seconds, after which the constructor and test pilot stated: “The flight characteristics are good natured. Without any steering input it would just hover there on the spot”. This could be the future of flight, piloting a device as simple as a car.