Link & Fly from Akka Technologies is a new concept that could make future air travel a little more modular.
According to a report from Bloomberg, the French company is pitching Boeing on a system in which the wings detach from the fuselage. According to the company, by separating the cargo box and the wings, airports could improve boarding and deplaning.
Company CEO Maurice Ricci says it will be the next big disruption, after electric and autonomous cars.
In the concept, passengers would board the pods at a train station by having their retinas scanned. And it would be interesting to see if/how Link & Fly could tie into a hyperloop system.
Designed to carry 162 passengers, cargo, or customizable VIP pods, freighter versions could fly autonomously.
Bioengineers 3D-Print a Heart
Bioengineers from Harvard University have made a working model of a left heart ventricle, and unlike previous work with engineered tissue, the little piece of my heart beat for months in the lab.
The heart was made with a nanofiber scaffold seeded with human heart cells. The scaffold was built using pull spinning, and it works as a template that tells the cells where to go. According to the researchers, it could be used in drug testing, and to develop treatments for patients with heart conditions, like an arrhythmia.
The researchers have been working on the project for ten years, hoping to one day build a whole, working heart. The idea is to build human heart model with your own stem cells to mirror the features as well as the diseases that your doctors are trying to treat.
With this little ventricle, scientists hit it with a drug like adrenaline measure the increase heart rate, and they even poked holes in it to mimic a heart attack, a little heart attack in a petri dish.
Maybe one day, the homegrown hearts could be implantable.
Flying Car Looks Like a Delorean
Urban Aeronautics is an Israel-based company that designed the CityHawk electric vertical-take-off-and-landing aircraft (eVTOL). This week, the company announced that it is taking it's flying car into full-scale development, with flights for the Fancraft coming as early as 2021.
The Urban Aeronautics twine engine aircraft can hold up to five passengers and a pilot and travel at speeds up to 168 mph. With a range of 93 miles and a max payload of 1,670 pounds, CityHawk could be used for a fleet of air taxis, emergency services, or as an executive aircraft.
The first flights will be as a hybrid aircraft, but the company has plans to convert it to run on hydrogen fuel cells. According to the company, it can't use batteries, because right now, batteries are too heavy, and have a limited life cycle. The plan is to switch to hydrogen sometime in mid-2022.
The design holds other advantages over other flying cars and even other VTOLs currently in development. Mainly, it only requires about 1/4 of the footprint that a helicopter needs to land, and it is extremely quiet, about the same as a car passing by. The test vehicle has successfully completed more than 250 test flights, but wonder if they’re still tweaking the design. Because from the side, it really looks like another groundbreaking design. You know, one that only broke the ground when it fell on its face.