Science Sunday 06-25-17

Paris Air Show

This year’s International Paris Air Show at Le Bourget Airport finishes today, after one week of spectacular surprises.

Perhaps the standout of many competitors is Aeromobil’s Flying Car.  The Aeromobil has foldable wings when used as a car, and retractable wheels when used as a plane.

With a maximum takeoff mass of 960 kg (about 4300 lbs.), and a wingspan of 8.8 m  (about 29 ft), the Aeromobil has a maximum ground speed of about 100 mph, and a maximum air speed of 224 mph.  Orders are being taken now, for delivery in 2020.  The anticipated price range is a mere 1.35 to 1.68 million dollars.  Here is a nice video of the prototype:


Drone Taxi

Not shown at the Paris Air Show is Airbus’ anticipated entry into the drone taxi aerial sector.  Called the Vahana, and designed by Airbus’ silicon valley outpost A Cubed, The Vahana is expected to ferry its single occupant like a drone at takeoff and landing, but fly like a plane between those two points in the journey.  Wired has a nice article on the Vahana here.


Moth Eyes and Smart Phones

Research has been going on for some time into the structure of moths’ eyes, which do not significantly reflect light at night, thereby protecting the moths from natural predators.  It seems that moths have dimples in their outer eyes’ surfaces, about 100 nanometers wide, that temporarily trap light that would otherwise be reflected.

Now Dr. Shin-Tson and his team from the University of Central Florida have used nanotechnology to develop a thin antireflective film that can be placed over a smartphone screen to reduce  glare by nearly 95% when viewing the phone screen in sunlight.

This film is also scratch resistant and self cleaning, added pluses.

The technology is described in latest issue of the journal Optica.

The video above is a few years old, but shows how scientists have been working on exploiting the secret of moths’ eyes to improve efficiency in solar panels.


Extra Virgin Olive Oil


Recent research indicates that extra virgin olive oil, a key ingredient in the so-called Mediterranean diet, significantly reduces the buildup of amyloid-beta plaques and neurofibrillary tangles in the brains of mice bred to develop Alzheimer’s disease.


Landsat Explorer

Landsat Explorer

Want to explore how your neighborhood, your state, or someplace else in the world has changed over time?  Well now you can, courtesy of Landsat, Amazon Web Services and ESRI.

Click here to go to the new Landsat Explorer app.  It’s like Google Earth, but with Landsat data added.


Author: Bob Mahoney

Physics teacher

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