Created by the team at Ogilvy 12th Floor for British Airways, these awesome billboards installed in London’s Piccadilly Circus and Chiswick interactively display information about the flight that appears immediately overhead. Using custom-built surveillance technology the billboards display the flight number and route information in sync with a recorded video of a child who appears to be pointing at each plane as it soars above. Pretty fun. (via PSFK)
Even though I thought I could fully anticipate what this video would look like, I still wound up being delightfully surprised. Shot and edited by Joel Schat at the 2013 Balloon Festival in Albuquerque, New Mexico. (via swissmiss)
Photo by Gianluca Giannone courtesy Blinking City>
Photo by Gianluca Giannone courtesy Blinking City
When he was just 16 years old Luigi Prina entered and won a national aircraft modeling competition. When he went to collect the prize money the organizers asked the boy why his father couldn’t come and collect it himself. Nearly fifty years later the now successful architect met a painter and boat builder named Eugenio Tomiolo and while they were talking made a bet that perhaps Prina could take one of his small model ships and make it fly like an airplane. Tomolio accepted and it wasn’t long before a small flying boat was whirring in circles around his small studio that coincidentally had clouds painted on the ceiling. A new passion was born and Prina has since dedicated nearly 20 years of his later life to building flying model boats, bicycles and other unconventional aircraft.
The Igor I. Sikorsky Human Powered Helicopter Competition was established in 1980 by the American Helicopter Society to help foster the creation of the first human-powered helicopter. To win the prize a team of engineers would have to build a helicopter powered solely by a human that would achieve a flight duration of 60 seconds, reach an altitude of 3 meters (9.8 ft), while remaining in a 10 meter (32.8 ft) square. The first attempt wouldn’t even leave the ground until 1989 when the Da Vinci III built by students Cal Poly San Luis Obispo flew for 7.1 seconds.
Over 33 years have passed since the creation of the AHS Sikorsky Prize and dozens teams have tried to win it. Finally, on June 13th of this year the AeroVelo team from the University Of Toronto managed to fly their Atlas Human-Powered Helicopter for 64.1 seconds, reaching an altitude of 11 feet (3.3 meters). The Atlas is a mammoth four rotor helicopter that despite measuring 154 feet (47 meters) across weighs only 119 pounds. The results were just verified this morning and the AeroVelo team was officially declared the winners of the $250,000 award. Watch the record-breaking flight above and read more over on the Huffington Post. Surely Da Vinci is fist-pumping in his grave.
Dancing on Thin Ice, Happy End #9.1, Canada, 2012 / Bristol freighter broke through ice while landing in 1956, all survived.
Bamboo in the Wine, Happy End #31.1, USA, 2012 / Cessna T50 bamboo bomber ran out of fuel in the 60s, all on board survived and walked over frozen river to Fort Yukon.
The Scenic Route to Nowhere, Happy End #3.1, Mexico, 2010 / Grumman Albatross, no official report as used for drug trafficking, locals say all survived.
Forces at Work, Happy End #2.1, Canada, 2010 / Douglas C3 stalled at take-off on skis in deep snow, all 6 survived. February 1950.
Knock on Wood, Happy End #11.3, USA, 2012 / Fairchild C-82 with total electrical failure, all survived for three days at -50°F (-45°C).
Passion is Rebel to Reason, Happy End #4.1, West Sahara, 2011 / Avro Shackleton Pelican, 25y SAAF, forced landing on flight to UK, all 19 saved by Polisario Rebels in July of 1994.
Never Eat More than You Can Lift, Happy End #5.1, Canada, 2011 / Curtiss C46 Commando, nicknamed Mrs. Piggy as she could load so much freight, including pigs. All survived, 1979.
Fuel of Life, Happy End #6.1, Canada, 2011 / Curtiss C46 Commando, lost engine power on a fuel run, all survived in 1977.
Life is a Tide, Happy End #8.1, USA, 2012 / The pilot swam to shore with favorable tides in 1947 and is still alive 65 years later.
I would be remiss if I failed to mention this post made my palms sweat a bit while writing the details, but despite the unnerving visuals of these downed aircraft, each one of these photographs by Dietmar Eckell tells the story of a genuine miracle. In his series Happy End Eckell captures incredible moments in aviation history where planes went down and everyone walked away or was rescued shortly thereafter. Above are just a selection of photos, many more of which can be found over on his website, where you can also explore Eckell’s unceasing fascination with abandoned locations and objects. He’s currently raising money over on Indiegogo to print a 96-page book complete with 50 photos and accompanied by facts about each plane and the story of the survivors. (via laughing squid)
The BioniCopter is the latest robotic marvel from German technology firm Festo, a company known for the creation of numerous devices that mimic wildlife including birds, jellyfish and penguins. Meant to mimic the motions of a dragonfly the BioniCopter is capable of flying in all directions including backward, and can also hover indefinitely in the same spot. Via Festo:
In addition to control of the shared flapping frequency and twisting of the individual wings, each of the four wings also features an amplitude controller. The tilt of the wings determines the direction of thrust. Amplitude control allows the intensity of the thrust to be regulated. When combined, the remote-controlled dragonfly can assume almost any position in space. [... ] This unique way of flying is made possible by the lightweight construction and the integration of functions: components such as sensors, actuators and mechanical components as well as open- and closed-loop control systems are installed in a very tight space and adapted to one another. With the remote-controlled dragonfly, Festo demonstrates wireless real-time communication, a continuous exchange of information, as well as the ability to combine different sensor evaluations and identify complex events and critical states.
While many other remote-controlled dragonflies exist, many of which are available commercially as toys, the BioniCopter is the first device that can mimic the function of a plane, a helicopter, and a glider all in the same device. Learn more at Festo. (via rhumboogie)
Shot just outside the San Diego Internation Airport on Black Friday this remarkable time-lapse captures every landing over a five hour period from 10:30am through 3pm. The video is of course a composite, photographer and film professor Cy Kuckenbaker shot the individual planes against a clear blue sky and then used a process called chroma key (ie. green screen) to make the sky transparent and layer the planes on top a separate video of clouds.
I honestly have no idea where or when I first saw this film, but it’s stuck with me for over a year, and unable to find it again after searching the past few days I turned to Jason Sondi over at Vimeo. Armed with my vague description, and despite never having seen it himself, he found it in about 10 seconds.
Everything is Incredible is a short documentary by Tyler Bastian, Trevor Hill and Tim Skousen about a man named Agustín from Siguatepeque, Honduras who was struck with polio at a young age. His body ravaged from disease, he was left unable to walk and spent most of his life working as a shoemaker in what is described as near-poverty. Possibly plagued by childhood dreams of flight, in 1958 he embarked on his life’s work: the construction of a crude, custom-designed helicopter made completely from trash with the exception of a few pieces of rebar purchased from a hardware store. Even the chains he uses to power the propeller were forged by hand. The filmmakers do a wonderful job interviewing local residents and family for their reactions that vary from hope to despair. I find this video to be both very beautiful and very sad as it discusses what is gained and what is sacrificed through the act of devotion and creation, yet I’m left feeling a profound sense of love for Agustín, which is perhaps why it’s stuck with me for so long. Definitely worth 10 minutes of your time. Thanks Jason.
Update: In response to recent attention the filmmakers have launched an Indiegogo campaign to raise enough funds help Agustín with living expenses by purchasing the helicopter and his home. He will of course retain both through the end of his life, but with the funds raised from the campaign the helicopter itself would be preserved in his memory. Go donate, I did.