A few years ago, it was even odds on the wildly different bets Boeing and Airbus were making with their next generation planes. Airbus would go with the ungainly and unimaginably huge A380 while Boeing wagered on the more modest 787 Dreamliner. Even though the A380 has flown successfully and the first 787 has not made it out of the hanger door yet, it's safe to say the former has a wide lead in this big stakes race and has all but won round one. I say round one because a race like this take decades to unfold.
Last week, Boeing announced orders had passed the 500 mark to 514 with to Japan Airlines Corp. signing up for five 787-8s. Several other planes were ordered by unidentified customers, Boeing said in the April 3 announcement. At its quarterly update reviewing the 787's progress on March 19, orders stood at just below 500, according to Mike Bair, Boeing vice president and general manager. The blog post I did on the quarterly review - the first for new plane in Boeing's history - has set records for Design at Large Engineering with 3,000 page views last time I checked a week ago. The entire Design News staff is working with Boeing to review the myriad innovations and systems that make up the 787, which is slated to roll out on 7/8/07 (get it?) and fly for the first time in August.
During a teardown of the iPad Air and Microsoft Surface Pro 3 at the Medical Design & Manufacturing Show in Schaumburg, Ill., an engineer showed this "inflammatory" video about the dangers of maliciously mishandling lithium-ion batteries.
Science fiction author Isaac Asimov may have the best rules for effective brainstorming and creativity. His never-before-published essay, "On Creativity," recently made it to the Web pages of MIT Technology Review.
Much has been made over the potentially dangerous flammability of lithium-ion batteries after major companies like Boeing, Sony, and Tesla have grappled with well-publicized battery fires. Researchers at Stanford University may have come up with a solution to this problem with a smart sensor for lithium-ion batteries that provides a warning if the battery is about to overheat or catch fire.
In this new Design News feature, "How it Works," we’re starting off by examining the inner workings of the electronic cigarette. While e-cigarettes seemed like a gimmick just two or three years ago, they’re catching fire -- so to speak. Sales topped $1 billion last year and are set to hit $10 billion by 2017. Cigarette companies are fighting back by buying up e-cigarette manufacturers.
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