A little Kiwi ingenuity

…can go a long way…

(c) NZ Herald 2010

For decades, futurists have been predicting the advent of practical exoskeleton systems as being ‘just around the corner’; I remember reading about them in Look and Learn and TV Action in the early 70s…back when tilt-rotors and space stations were ‘newly-emerging’ technologies as well…well, a couple of enterprising Kiwis have advanced the cause quite dramatically as covered in Friday’s Herald…while there is clearly a lot of development life left in the design and the price will need to come down (running around US$130k at the moment), this seems to be a major breakthrough which obvious benefits for those with critical mobility illnesses and/or injuries. Down the track we may see spin-off designs heading off down the path of the Aliens’ PowerLoader…for more info check out the Rex Bionics site and this Gizmodo item


Extremely Short Take-Off and Landing (XSTOL)

Pacific Aerospace has a long history of practical solutions to light air transport problems, especially those with s blend of flexible configuration, large/heavy loads and short strips…the P-750 XSTOL is its latest creation, a ten-seater (when configured for passengers) that can:

  • Take off and landing in less than 800 ft (244m), even when it is hot and high.
  • Operate off semi-prepared airstrips in all types of terrain.
  • Carry a load of more than 4,000 lb even in hot and high conditions.

Is this the sort of thing that might be quite useful hopping in and out of short unprepared strips i.e. fields, paddocks, roads, etc, in support of land forces, manoeuvring or static, supporting air and reconstruction efforts, especially for those forces and nations that might not have ready access to helicopter support…

I also wonder how much of that 4000lb payload might be converted to light ballistic armour around the engine, pilot and other critical systems for a potential return to the (still valid) 1960s concept of the COIN support aircraft..?

More than meets the eye

And these guys seem to be quietly going from strength to strength too…Hawkeye UAS

UAS - more than just an airframe

And now for something completely different…

Not Kiwi…just cool…

475 Coke cans flying in formation in a 1/18 scale Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird…for more info and a great ‘how-to’ tutorial, read on…

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