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Terrafugia Transition flying car garage stock press 1024

The Terrafugia Transition has been in development since 2006 and flying since 2009, but it's only just last month that a street-legal version of the $279,000 winged auto made it into the sky. Following approval by the US National Highway Traffic Safety Adminstration (NHTSA) last June, which allowed it to drive, the company's "Production Prototype" completed its first flight at Plattsburgh International Airport on March 23rd. The craft flew eight minutes and reached an altitude of 1,400 feet as part of the first of six phases of test flights — the firm still needs to show the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) that the plane is safe in the sky. It's not easy to get a flying car off the ground, but getting it approved by regulatory...

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An anonymous reader writes "IEEE reports that Google's autonomous cars have logged more than 190,000 miles driving in all kinds of traffic, and the company is also testing a fleet of self-driving golf carts on its campus. In a recent talk, Sebastian Thrun and Chris Urmson of Google gave details of the project and showed videos of the robot cars driving themselves and even doing some stunts. The goal is that the technology will help reduce congestion, fuel waste, and accidents."

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TORNADO TRASH
TORNADO TRASH: Debbie Hakkers looked for her belongings in her tornado-ravaged house in Goderich, Ontario, Monday. A powerful tornado swept through the Canadian province Sunday, killing at least one person and destroying structures. (Frank Gunn/The Canadian Press via Associated Press)

FUEL FLOWS
FUEL FLOWS: A man filled a container with fuel from a bullet-riddled NATO oil tanker in Kolpur, Pakistan, Monday. Gunmen on motorbikes set ablaze at least 19 oil tankers carrying fuel for U.S.-led NATO forces in neighboring Afghanistan, officials said. (Banaras Khan/Agence France-Presse/Getty Images)

FACING A FIRING SQUAD
FACING A FIRING SQUAD: Somali government forces shot at two former soldiers in Mogadishu, Somalia, Monday. A military court ordered the execution of Abdullahi Jinow Guure, left, and Abdi Sankus Abdi, right, who were found guilty of killing another solider and a civilian. (Omar Faruk/Reuters)

V FOR VICTORY
V FOR VICTORY: People celebrated Sunday in Benghazi, Libya, after learning that Col. Moammar Gadhafi’s son and one-time heir apparent, Seif al-Islam, was captured. Rebels seized control of much of the capital of Tripoli, facing little resistance. (European Pressphoto Agency)

GROUP HUDDLE
GROUP HUDDLE: Youths stretched their hands out to reach and break an earthenware pot filled with yogurt as part of Janamashtami celebrations in Mumbai Monday. Janamashtami marks the birth of Hindu god Krishna. (Rafiq Maqbool/Associated Press)

REACHING TOWARD A RELIC
REACHING TOWARD A RELIC: Kashmiri Muslims looked up as a priest, unseen, displayed a relic believed to be hair from the Prophet Muhammad’s beard during the holy month of Ramadan at the Hazratbal Shrine in Srinagar, India, Monday. (Mukhtar Khan/Associated Press)

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mcsgsym:

hawelka:

kirinfish:

life:

October, 1934: The vast and intricate framework of zeppelin model LZ 129, under construction at Friedrichshafen, Germany. With a gas capacity of 7,070,000 cubic feet, and christened “Hindenburg,” she became the largest — and ultimately, for all the wrong reasons, the most famous — airship the world has ever seen.

Blimps and Other Awesome Airships

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The Lun

The Lun ekranoplan weighs 380 tons, has a 148-foot wingspan and can launch six anti-ship missiles from flight. Or rather, it could, before it was retired to a forlorn pier in southern Russia.

The dilapidated plane is the offspring of an even larger prototype ship which freaked out the CIA so much back in the 1960s that they developed an unmanned drone to spy on it, an alleged program detailed in the new book AREA 51: An Uncensored History of America’s Top Secret Military Base.

Deployed much later in 1987, this more contemporary behemoth, called the Lun, was an improvement over the previous model. It remained in service until the 1990s, when it was mothballed by the Russian military. The once-fearsome Lun will likely never fly again and is now little more than a chunk of aerodynamic scrap metal.

Alternately described as an amphibious aircraft or a flying boat, the plane is a feat of engineering that has been reduced to a footnote in aviation history. Read on for a look inside this aging relic and the ambitious program that spawned it.

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All photos: Igor Kolokov

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