Rolls-Royce electric airplane smashes record, hits 387.4 mph


Just two months after its maiden flight, Rolls-Royce’s “Spirit of Innovation” has hit a top speed of 387.4 mph, tentatively smashing the speed record for electric airplanes, Gizmodo has reported. It also claimed the top speed of 345.4 MPH over a 3 kilometer (1.86 mile) course and lowest time to a 3,000 meter (9,843 feet) altitude (202 seconds). The records have yet to be certified, but if the 345.5 mph speed stands, it would beat the current record of 213 mph — held by a Siemens-powered Extra 330LE — by an impressive 132 mph. 

Rolls-Royce (the aviation, not the car company), conducted the tests on November 16. To have the records certified, it’s submitting the trials to the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale (FAI), the body in charge of world aviation records. If confirmed, the speeds would be pretty impressive considering that the plane only made its maiden flight in September — suggesting that with more time, it could go even faster.

The Spirit of Innovation is an old-school “tail-dragger” airplane (steering at the rear) with the canopy pushed way back, and looks as fast as it goes. It’s powered by a 400 kW (535 HP), 750 volt motor. Rolls-Royce said it uses the “most power-dense propulsion battery pack ever assembled in aerospace,” with 6,480 cells

As Engadget detailed in an explainer, electric airplanes aren’t practical since current batteries are 50 times less energy dense than jet fuel. However, they do hold some promise for very short trips, like a 30 minute jaunt between Vancouver and Victoria in Canada. And unlike non-turbocharged ICE engines, electric motors retain full power as an airplane climbs, making them ideal for time-to-altitude record attempts — as the Spirit of Innovation has just shown. 

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Rolls-Royce electric airplane smashes record, hits 387.4 mph

https://www.engadget.com/rolls-royces-all-electric-airplane-hits-a-record-3874-mph-top-speed-082803118.html


Just two months after its maiden flight, Rolls-Royce’s “Spirit of Innovation” has hit a top speed of 387.4 mph, tentatively smashing the speed record for electric airplanes, Gizmodo has reported. It also claimed the top speed of 345.4 MPH over a 3 kilometer (1.86 mile) course and lowest time to a 3,000 meter (9,843 feet) altitude (202 seconds). The records have yet to be certified, but if the 345.5 mph speed stands, it would beat the current record of 213 mph — held by a Siemens-powered Extra 330LE — by an impressive 132 mph. 

Rolls-Royce (the aviation, not the car company), conducted the tests on November 16. To have the records certified, it’s submitting the trials to the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale (FAI), the body in charge of world aviation records. If confirmed, the speeds would be pretty impressive considering that the plane only made its maiden flight in September — suggesting that with more time, it could go even faster.

The Spirit of Innovation is an old-school “tail-dragger” airplane (steering at the rear) with the canopy pushed way back, and looks as fast as it goes. It’s powered by a 400 kW (535 HP), 750 volt motor. Rolls-Royce said it uses the “most power-dense propulsion battery pack ever assembled in aerospace,” with 6,480 cells

As Engadget detailed in an explainer, electric airplanes aren’t practical since current batteries are 50 times less energy dense than jet fuel. However, they do hold some promise for very short trips, like a 30 minute jaunt between Vancouver and Victoria in Canada. And unlike non-turbocharged ICE engines, electric motors retain full power as an airplane climbs, making them ideal for time-to-altitude record attempts — as the Spirit of Innovation has just shown. 

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November 22, 2021 at 10:16AM

A Fully 3D Version Is Hiding Within 2D Metroid Dread

https://kotaku.com/a-fully-3d-version-is-hiding-within-2d-metroid-dread-1848075329


Screenshot: Nintendo / Shesez / Kotaku

Smart games use smart short-cuts to fool our eyes. Hidden assets. Camera tricks. On-the-fly rendering. Yes, every video game is an exercise in perception, and Nintendo’s Metroid Dread is no exception.

A new video in the fascinating Boundary Break series, made by the YouTuber Shesez, has pulled back the curtain on Dread. It shows a whole lot that you can’t see in the main game, including the upsetting revelation that EMMIs can essentially teleport (sometimes).

Metroid Dread, developed by Mercury Steam and released last month for the Nintendo Switch, is the first mainline 2D Metroid game in nearly two decades, and is somewhat of a return to form: Save for a handful of moments where you fire high-yield weapons in 2.5D perspective, the bulk of the game plays out as a side-scrolling platformer. But thanks to a camera tool created by Postposterous, another YouTuber, Shesez was able to pause the game and swivel the camera around its rendered space. The results are fascinating, though by rights we have to do one of these:

Warning: Spoilers for Metroid Dread.

First and foremost: The EMMIs. In addition to their Superman-like suite of abilities—they’re invincible, can move at supersonic speeds, can kill you in one hit, and always seem to know exactly where you are—they can apparently teleport. During the cutscene that introduces the first EMMI, you see it ominously creep into your field of view. But zoom out, as Shesez does in the video, and you’ll see that it’s hiding off-screen before zapping into view. The yellow one, which you meet later on, does the same thing.

Going in the exact opposite direction is the Zero Suit, the base layer Samus has famously sported for many games (including an alternative version of her character in Super Smash Bros.). In Metroid Dread, you only see Zero Suit Samus during the (many, many…many) moments you die. Per Shesez’s video, Samus’ model is obscured by a bloom effect the instant you die, effectively preventing you from seeing the whole thing. But rather than this being a trick to hide imperfections, the renderer Finalizer has a complete version, and it proves to be incredibly detailed:

G/O Media may get a commission

Shesez’s video reveals plenty of other tricks. For instance:

  • Samus’ fully powered omega cannon, which shows up as an orb, is actually just a flat circle.
  • During that fight against the first boss, the moment where you view things from first-person isn’t technically first-person; rather, the devs at Mercury Steam simply put the camera in front of Samus’ character model, then slapped a heads-up display over the frame.
  • When a robot chozo soldier stabs Quiet Robe in the back, the two models aren’t anywhere close to each other. (Hey, we warned you about spoilers!)

If you’re a fan of the game, it’s definitely worth taking the 20 minutes to watch.

 

via Kotaku https://kotaku.com

November 17, 2021 at 11:33AM

A Fully 3D Version Is Hiding Within 2D Metroid Dread


Screenshot: Nintendo / Shesez / Kotaku

Smart games use smart short-cuts to fool our eyes. Hidden assets. Camera tricks. On-the-fly rendering. Yes, every video game is an exercise in perception, and Nintendo’s Metroid Dread is no exception.

A new video in the fascinating Boundary Break series, made by the YouTuber Shesez, has pulled back the curtain on Dread. It shows a whole lot that you can’t see in the main game, including the upsetting revelation that EMMIs can essentially teleport (sometimes).

Metroid Dread, developed by Mercury Steam and released last month for the Nintendo Switch, is the first mainline 2D Metroid game in nearly two decades, and is somewhat of a return to form: Save for a handful of moments where you fire high-yield weapons in 2.5D perspective, the bulk of the game plays out as a side-scrolling platformer. But thanks to a camera tool created by Postposterous, another YouTuber, Shesez was able to pause the game and swivel the camera around its rendered space. The results are fascinating, though by rights we have to do one of these:

Warning: Spoilers for Metroid Dread.

First and foremost: The EMMIs. In addition to their Superman-like suite of abilities—they’re invincible, can move at supersonic speeds, can kill you in one hit, and always seem to know exactly where you are—they can apparently teleport. During the cutscene that introduces the first EMMI, you see it ominously creep into your field of view. But zoom out, as Shesez does in the video, and you’ll see that it’s hiding off-screen before zapping into view. The yellow one, which you meet later on, does the same thing.

Going in the exact opposite direction is the Zero Suit, the base layer Samus has famously sported for many games (including an alternative version of her character in Super Smash Bros.). In Metroid Dread, you only see Zero Suit Samus during the (many, many…many) moments you die. Per Shesez’s video, Samus’ model is obscured by a bloom effect the instant you die, effectively preventing you from seeing the whole thing. But rather than this being a trick to hide imperfections, the renderer Finalizer has a complete version, and it proves to be incredibly detailed:

G/O Media may get a commission

Shesez’s video reveals plenty of other tricks. For instance:

  • Samus’ fully powered omega cannon, which shows up as an orb, is actually just a flat circle.
  • During that fight against the first boss, the moment where you view things from first-person isn’t technically first-person; rather, the devs at Mercury Steam simply put the camera in front of Samus’ character model, then slapped a heads-up display over the frame.
  • When a robot chozo soldier stabs Quiet Robe in the back, the two models aren’t anywhere close to each other. (Hey, we warned you about spoilers!)

If you’re a fan of the game, it’s definitely worth taking the 20 minutes to watch.

 

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The US Space Force Wants to Clean Up Junk in Orbit

https://www.wired.com/story/the-us-space-force-wants-to-clean-up-junk-in-orbit/


Early Monday morning, a field of debris hurtled at some 17,000 miles per hour through the part of space where a derelict Russian satellite, Cosmos 1408, once orbited. Later that day, US State Department officials claimed that the 1,500-plus bits of flotsam originated from a Russian test of an anti-satellite missile. The risks of so much floating junk immediately became apparent: The fragments flew dangerously close to the International Space Station, forcing the crew to take shelter in the least vulnerable parts of the spacecraft.

The situation could’ve played out like the scene in the 2013 movie Gravity, in which an astronaut, played by Sandra Bullock, flees the ISS as it’s destroyed by a massive clump of orbiting debris. The real shower of shrapnel missed the ISS, but it continued to make close passes every 90 minutes or so. Some of it will likely remain in orbit for decades. Russian officials, who on Tuesday confirmed the weapons test, claim the fragments aren’t a hazard for space activity.

US officials think otherwise. “The debris created by Russia’s [anti-satellite test] will continue to pose a threat to activities in outer space for years to come, putting satellites and space missions at risk, as well as forcing more collision avoidance maneuvers,” stated General James Dickinson, head of the US Space Command, in a press release on Monday. “Space activities underpin our way of life and this kind of behavior is simply irresponsible.”

The Pentagon currently tracks 27,000 pieces of debris in orbit, which include everything from dead spacecraft and used-up rocket boosters to the detritus left behind from satellite-destroying missile tests like this one, which have also previously been conducted by China, the US, and India. Just one week ago, the ISS had to swerve slightly to dodge a close pass by a piece of debris from a Chinese 2007 anti-satellite test. Millions of untrackable fragments of trash smaller than 10 centimeters across orbit as well, adding to the risks. Finding ways to address this growing halo of space junk, before some orbits, relied upon by satellite companies and space agencies, become so polluted that they’re no longer usable, has now become a major goal of the US government as well as international institutions.

Managing worsening space traffic, and avoiding making more junk, have long been high priorities for NASA and the United Nations. But so far, their efforts mostly focus on prevention and don’t deal with what’s already out there. To actively tackle the problem, today the Space Force’s technology arm, known as SpaceWERX, will begin recruiting the private sector to develop proposals for actually removing debris via a new program called Orbital Prime. SpaceWERX will initially award dozens of contracts worth $250,000 each, likely starting early next year, to companies that have the ability to whisk trash out of harm’s way, as well as to perform other duties like refueling and repairing orbiting spacecraft to prevent them from becoming derelict.

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November 17, 2021 at 06:12AM