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Unmanned Aerial Vehicles Up, Pilots Down

In the near future it's likely that airplane pilots will not actually venture into the air. Most 'pilots' will instead 'fly' Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) from ground-based virtual cockpits. This trend is already evident in the military, but it is poised to extend to and transform all branches of piloted aerospace vehicles.

Flying Car Contenders

Combining a car and an airplane into a single vehicle has proved to be an elusive dream. The convenience of a so-called flying car goes unquestioned, but the technical challenges are immense. It seems that the flying car is eternally 5-10 years away from reality. Each of the latest crop of would-be flying car manufacturers thinks that they have the necessary secret sauce to bring the flying car to life.

Physics Phun

Can physics be fun? It can be if it's Phun you're using. Phun is a 2D real-time physics sandbox developed by Emil Ernerfeldt at VRLab, Umea University.

Computer-Aided Engineering Industry Observers

Are you interested in staying up to date with the latest Computer-Aided Engineering (CAE) news in fields such as Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD)? Then consider signing up with some of the leading CAE and CFD industry observers.

James Bond Submarine Car

Inspired by the (fictional - yes, it was a scaled model) underwater Lotus Espirit that James Bond drove in the movie "The Spy Who Loved Me," Frank Rinderknecht of Rinspeed commissioned ESORO to build the sQuba, a concept car for the Geneva Motor Show. What's so special about the sQuba? It can really 'fly' underwater.

Car Design and CFD

I've noticed a flurry of announcements that cite the use of Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) in the design of new cars for public roads and race tracks. While none of these announcements say that CFD was responsible for the design of the whole car, equally they don't say, with much clarity, what exactly did CFD contribute?

Build Your Own Paper Rocket

"What's the fastest way to become a commercial space millionaire? Start as a commercial space billionaire." So goes the joke in the space industry, and some billionaires are putting this theory to the test, as I covered in "Just For Fun: The New Space Race." But if you are missing the billions and just want some inexpensive rocket fun, then consider a more earth-bound air-powered paper rocket.

The Linux Desktop and Computer-Aided Engineering

Is the Linux desktop ready for Computer-Aided Engineering (CAE)? Or, more aptly, is CAE ready for the Linux desktop?

Virtual Wind Turbine Breaks Betz' Law

Given the technological sophistication of today's wind turbines, it's quite humbling to think that their theoretical maximum efficiency was derived by wind turbine pioneer Albert Betz in 1920. Betz' Law, as it is now known, is a relatively simple proof that the maximum efficiency of a wind turbine, irrespective of its design, cannot exceed 59%. Still, some believe laws are there to be broken - at least in the virtual simulation world.

Future of Commercial CFD

Having covered the Origins of Commercial CFD and the Evolution of Commercial CFD it seems only fitting that I stick my neck out and provide predictions on the future of CFD. Let's start by extrapolating from recent events and use the analogous CAD market as a reference.

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