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Engineering Newswire: Experimental electric plane takes first flight

Fri, 05/02/2014 - 7:13am
Eric Sorensen, Coordinator of Multimedia Development

Today on Engineering Newswire, we're giving ourselves tattoos with 3D printers, rescuing a 36-year-old satellite, and flying an experimental electric aircraft. This episode features:

3D-printed flesh art: As 3D printing is taking over the world, it seems to be weaseling its way into several new and uncharted industries. Thanks to a group of French design students, they're emerging in the tattoo business. After a careful redesign to keep the client's skin as taught as possible, the team managed to create a small circle design on a brave volunteer's flesh.

Satellite reboot project: A recent crowdfunding project launched by the hackers behind the Lunar Orbiter Image Recovery Project, is attempting to recover the International Sun-Earth Explorer, or ISEE-3 probe, which was launched in 1978 to study the interaction between the Earth's magnetic field and the solar wind. If successful ISEE-3 will spend its retirement as a platform for citizen science, with smartphone apps—and a twitter feed—giving students direct access to the instruments onboard the ageing spacecraft.

Experimental electric e-fan exemplifies E-Aircraft Day: The electric E-Fan experimental aircraft performed its first successful public flight last week and served as the highlight of Airbus Group's - that's the old EADS - E-Aircraft Day in France. An electrical energy management system, or e-FADEC, is integrated into the aircraft, and automatically handles all electrical features, simplifying system monitoring and control.

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