Burt Rutan + Paul Allen’s 385-Foot-Wide Strato­launch Airplane

On the runway of the Mojave Air & Space Port, the Strato­launch airplane sits waiting for its first flight later this year. To date, there’s been no aircraft bigger—or as ambitious. The wingspan of the Catamaran-style plane stretches 385 feet—a distance longer than a football field. Six engines power the beast, as well. Designed by aviation mastermind Burt Rutan, and funded by Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen, the Strato­launch will …

Supersonic Travel May Return by 2023

The last Concorde may have completed travel in 2003 but that doesn’t mean supersonic travel came to an end entirely. Three aviation start-ups are hoping to bring Mach speed back by 2023—and plan to tackle the faults of the previous airplane. First, not all companies are planning to reach Mach 2 (as the Concorde did) but max out at Mach 1.1 to 1.8. Further, they’ll …

Dubai’s Electric Autonomous Volocopter Coming in 2017

Between recognizing Dubai as a pioneer of urban innovation and understanding that the city is an ideal “extreme climate” testing ground for their autonomous electric multicopters, Germany’s Volocopter will be launching a five-year-long test program there—starting in the fourth quarter of 2017. The made-in-Germany air taxis feature eighteen rotors and a fully redundant power train. Quiet and emission-free flying, the vehicles are deemed safe thanks …