Burt Rutan, founder of California’s Scaled Composites, was the very first Design News Engineer of the Year in 1988 and one of the most admired engineers in America. His engineering team has designed, tested, and flown a whole series of leading edge aircraft, ranging from the Voyager – the first plane to fly around the world without refueling – to SpaceShipOne, the first privately funded manned aircraft to fly into space. In this interview with Contributing Editor Larry Maloney, Rutan tells what is needed to spur innovation in aerospace.
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.
Microchip recently released the 3D TouchPad, the first USB PC Peripheral device that couples 2D multi-touch input with 3D air gesture technology. The company seeks the help of developers to further enhance the capabilities of the technology.
To give engineers a better idea of the range of resins and polymers available as alternatives to other materials, this Technology Roundup presents several articles on engineering plastics that can do the job.
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