Airbus is putting spacious sleeping pods in airplane cargo holds

April 11, 2018 by  
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Finally, airlines have found a way to give you more space to stretch out on flights, but there’s one catch: you have to travel in the cargo hold. Airbus and Zodiac Aerospace are teaming up to create modular sleeping compartments with all the luxuries of old-time train travel. By 2020, planes will be able to swap out the cargo area for luxury sleeper pods during long-haul flights, giving passengers a chance to arrive at their destination without feeling like they’ve been crowbarred into a sardine can. The idea isn’t as far-fetched as it may seem. Right now, some planes have accommodations for the crew tucked down in the cargo hold. This idea just builds on that. We don’t have a ton of detail yet on what the pods will look like, but Airbus says that airlines will be able to swap them in and out without disrupting operations. The pods won’t be limited to sleeping areas, either. They can also be modified to be used as boardrooms, children’s areas, a medical bay or a lounge. Related: Airbus’ flying electric taxi is on track to soar next year Airlines operating the Airbus A330 will be able to swap cargo space for sleeping pods by 2020, and the system will be expanded to the Airbus A350 XWB in the future. “We have already received very positive feedback from several airlines on our first mock-ups. We are pleased to partner with Zodiac Aerospace on this project which will introduce a new passenger experience and add value for airlines,” said Airbus. + Airbus + Zodiac Aerospace Via New Atlas Images via Airbus

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Airbus is putting spacious sleeping pods in airplane cargo holds

Piuarch kicks off Milan Design Week with a beautiful urban light installation

April 11, 2018 by  
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Milan-based architecture firm Piuarch has created an amazing light installation for this year’s Milan Design Week . Named AgrAir, the project takes the form of an open-air pavilion with transparent, prism-shaped inflatables that sway in the air. Underneath these lights, the public can enjoy pedestrian walkways lined with herbs and flowers. Piuarch developed the installation to transform unused urban spaces into vibrant social areas. For cities that want to breathe new life into decaying areas, AgrAir provides a pleasant outdoor space. The project includes various light-filled “lanterns” that illuminate the mini-botanical gardens lining the walkways. The landscaping, designed by Cornelius Gavril , will include flowers, bushes and herbs. Related: Piuarch’s FlyingGarden Installation for Milan Features Mossy Japanese Kokedamas The prism-shaped lanterns, which are made out of ultra-soft recyclable film , emit a soft light to create a soothing atmosphere. The lights are supported by acrylic glass rods installed at various heights, evoking the image of trees in a forest. According to the designers, “This ethereal composition is a metaphor of a forest, but also of the city itself, an expression of its identity, versatility, luminosity and lightness.” After its time at the Milan Design Festival, which runs from April 17-22, the installation will move to the architects’ rooftop garden in their Milan office. + Piuarch Via v2com

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Piuarch kicks off Milan Design Week with a beautiful urban light installation

Airbus, Siemens, Rolls-Royce partner to build a hybrid-electric plane

December 5, 2017 by  
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Hybrid-electric commercial planes could be a reality if Airbus , Rolls-Royce , and Siemens are successful. The three companies recently teamed up to work on the E-Fan X technology demonstrator that could hit the skies in around three years. Siemens, Airbus, and Rolls-Royce announced their collaboration recently at the Royal Aeronautical Society in London. They’ll come together to create what they call a near-term flight demonstrator that could fly in 2020. Out of four gas turbine engines on the aircraft, one will be replaced with a two-megawatt electric motor , and they’ll work towards switching out a second. Related: Airbus’ flying electric taxi is on track to soar next year Each company has a role to play: Airbus is in charge of overall integration and control architecture for the batteries and hybrid-electric propulsion system. Rolls-Royce is in charge of the two-megawatt generator, power electronics, and turbo-shaft engine. And Siemens will provide the two-megawatt electric motors and a power control unit – and an inverter, power distribution system, and DC/DC converter. According to an Airbus press release on the project, “The E-Fan X demonstrator will explore the challenges of high-power propulsion systems, such as thermal effects, electric thrust management, altitude and dynamic effects on electric systems and electromagnetic compatibility issues. The objective is to push and mature the technology, performance, safety, and reliability enabling quick progress on the hybrid-electric technology.” The companies said some of the major challenges facing the aviation sector are lowering dependence on fossil fuels and boosting efficiency. They’re working to meet the European Commission’s Flightpath 2050 Vision for Aviation, which entails a 75 percent and 90 percent reduction of carbon dioxide and nitrogen oxide , respectively, as well as slashing noise by 65 percent. Airbus said existing technologies cannot achieve these targets, so the companies are pursuing alternatives like electrification. The statement said, “Electric and hybrid-electric propulsion are seen today as among the most promising technologies for addressing these challenges.” Via Airbus Images via Airbus

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Airbus, Siemens, Rolls-Royce partner to build a hybrid-electric plane

Aviation’s evolution: Fuel cells, 3D-printed planes and beyond

March 28, 2017 by  
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Companies such as Airbus, Boeing and easyJet rethink air travel’s environmental impacts.

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Airbus to build flying autonomous taxis that soar over traffic

August 19, 2016 by  
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If you’ve ever found yourself stuck in traffic, wishing you could just fly above the chaos, you might soon get your wish. Aeronautics giant Airbus has announced a new plan, dubbed “ Project Vahana ,” that would create a fleet of on-demand autonomous drones to carry passengers through the skies. And if that doesn’t sound crazy enough, the company says it could begin testing as soon as 2017. Much like Uber , passengers would use an app to book passage on the craft, and then travel to a local helipad. There they would board a CityAirbus drone along with other travelers, and be “whisked away to their destination.” Not only would this service be faster than a regular taxi due to its ability to avoid traffic, Airbus is planning to keep the price in the same range as a taxi ride, too. Any luggage would be carried by a separate service. While Airbus doesn’t anticipate problems with taking to the skies with current technology, training these taxis to be autonomous is going to be a challenge . We still haven’t perfected self-driving cars – how likely is it that we’ll have what are essentially self-driving helicopters available anytime soon? Related: AeroMobil unveils futuristic flying car, plans to launch by 2017 Don’t expect to see any large passenger drones in your city’s sky in the near future. Right now, Airbus has set its sights on a drove delivery system , which will be tested in Singapore next year. If the delivery drones work well, the company hopes they could help ease potential customers into the idea of traveling by drone in the future. + Project Vahana Via Autoblog

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World’s leading sea ice expert warns the "Arctic death spiral" will make global warming even worse

August 19, 2016 by  
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The terrifyingly ominous phrase “Arctic death spiral” refers to a chart that measures the continual melt laying waste to the ice in the Arctic Circle over the last 30 years. Climate scientists have issued repeated warnings that the Arctic death spiral is the Earth’s “canary in a coalmine,” and that greenhouse gas emissions must be curbed in order to fend off certain destruction. As time passes and global temperatures continue to rise, many conservationists are arguing that the point of no return is just ahead. In an op-ed for the Guardian , environment editor John Vidal discusses the new book by Peter Wadhams, the Cambridge professor who has devoted his life to the study of icy environs, and why it’s time to start listening to the warnings. Wadhams, former director of the Scott Polar Research Institute, wrote that the North Pole could be free from ice in just a few decades, rather than the popular prediction of the end of the century. For the Guardian, Vidal points to Wadhams’ new book “A Farewell to Ice,” to be released Sept. 1, as a daring but worthwhile position on the topic of climate change. While most estimates suggest Arctic ice is being lost at a rate of 13 percent each year, Wadhams says, soon the summer ice will melt as well, causing a dangerous trickle-down effect. Related: New NASA data confirms July 2016 was the hottest month on record Many scientists have drawn clear connections between Arctic conditions and the effects of climate change elsewhere on the planet, further illustrating why we should pay attention to Arctic ice melt. Wadhams’ book explains that ice-free Septembers in the Arctic will enable more methane to be released into the atmosphere, and when the ice-free period of the year lengthens to four or five months, the additional greenhouse gas emissions will force the planet over its tipping point. For those who haven’t been studying Arctic ice, a book by the world’s foremost sea ice expert may help. After the concept of the Arctic death spiral emerged, scientists from many agencies have been working to better understand the relationships between Arctic events and the health of the rest of the world. The 2013 documentary “Arctic Death Spiral and the Methane Time Bomb,” which is available for streaming here , offers a startling look at where unchecked global warming will lead. Via The Guardian Images via Andy Lee Robinson/Haveland and NOAA

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Historic Belgian farmhouse is renovated into a modern solar-powered home

August 19, 2016 by  
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The architects preserved the brick from the original farmhouse, where it can be seen in both the facade and interior, however the two stepped additions are clad in timber for a contemporary touch. “Old and new work remain visible,” said architect Tom Vanhee, according to Dezeen. “The new volumes are clad in wood, and the old brick exterior can be seen inside the entrance.” The original building and the extensions are united under a pre-weathered zinc roof. The original brick structure comprises the main living spaces, including an open-plan living room, kitchen, and dining area in a spacious double-height room, as well as four bedrooms and bathrooms on the upper level. The smaller timber-clad additions house the entryway, hallways, storage, utility spaces, and a garage. White walls and surfaces dominate the minimally but stylishly decorated interior and are broken up by remnants of salvaged brick and timber beams. Large windows punctuate all three interconnected structures, filling the home with natural light and framing views of the surrounding countryside. In addition to expanding the building footprint and updating the appearance, the architects added energy-efficient features. The air-source heat pump was installed to warm water and power underfloor heating . Solar energy satisfies the bulk of the home’s electricity needs. The windows and insulation are constructed for airtightness. + Atelier Tom Vanhee Via Dezeen Images via Atelier Tom Vanhee

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Historic Belgian farmhouse is renovated into a modern solar-powered home

This super-efficient new airplane eliminates jet lag

March 23, 2016 by  
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Airbus starts 3D-printing airplane parts in collaboration with Autodesk, APWorks and The Living

January 15, 2016 by  
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Sculptural new UC Berkeley museum and film archive opens this month

January 15, 2016 by  
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