The U.S. Air Force Looks To Advanced Manufacturing To Keep Existing Aircraft Flying And Develop Next-Gen Capabilities

What if there were Olympic events that weren’t physical, but were focused instead on completely geeking out on super-cool breakthrough technologies for real-world aerospace and defense challenges? Even better, what if they offered prize money totaling nearly a million dollars?

Now there are just such events, thanks to the U.S. Air Force’s Rapid Sustainment Office (RSO). In fact, participants in five such Olympic “sports” (or Technical Challenges, as the RSO calls them) have already been competing over the past few months. Those competitions will culminate when the winners are announced during next week’s four-day Advanced Manufacturing Olympics. This virtual conference runs from October 20-23, and features technology demonstrations, expert speakers from both industry and the military, virtual networking opportunities, and the awarding of prized for those Technical Challenges mentioned above.

“RSO is working to revolutionize sustainment, while building an agile supply chain for the future,” said Nathan Parker, Deputy Program Executive Officer at the RSO. “Originally, we were planning to hold this inaugural event outside Salt Lake City, Utah. But then Covid hit, so we’ve taken the whole thing virtual.”

Event speakers will include military officials such as Barbara M. Barrett, Secretary of the Air Force; General Charles Q. Brown, Jr., Chief of Staff of the Air Force; and General John W. Raymond, Chief of Space Operations of the U.S. Space Force. Other speakers featured are Sebastian Thrun, founder of Google X; Dr. Mae Jemison, NASA astronaut; and Brad Kesolowski, NASCAR Cup Series driver and founder of Kesolowski Advanced Manufacturing.

The five Technical Challenges began with an

Prime Day Deal: Apple MacBook Air $150 off

When you buy through our links, we may earn money from our affiliate partners. Learn more.

Macbook Air



Hollis Johnson/Business Insider


  • Apple’s latest MacBook Air that launched in March 2020 is down $150, with prices starting at $850 for Amazon Prime Day 2020. 
  • You get the full $150 discount on the two available models at checkout. 
  • The base 256GB model with a dual-core processor typically retails for $1,000, and the 512GB model with a faster quad-core processor usually goes for $1,300.
  • Getting $150 off on a MacBook Air is a good deal by Apple device standards, and it’s the best we’ve seen for these laptops on Amazon so far. 
  • The MacBook Air is an ultra-slim and portable laptop that’s also the most affordable in Apple’s laptop lineup, and it’s the best MacBook for the vast majority of people who need laptops.

Apple’s latest MacBook Air that launched in March 2020 is $150 off for an early Amazon Prime Day 2020 treat. This discount is a good deal by Apple device standards.

That brings the typical $1,000 price of the base MacBook Air with 256GB of storage, 8GB of RAM, and a 10th-gen Intel Core i3 dual-core processor down to $850. 

The pricier model with a 10th-gen Intel Core i5 quad-core processor, 512GB of storage, and 8GB of RAM is also getting a $150 discount, bringing its usual $1,300 price down to $1,150. These are the best prices we’ve seen for Apple’s 2020 MacBook Air.

The Core i3 model is incredibly affordable for an Apple laptop, and it’ll work just fine for the majority of people who mostly use a web browser for light and basic tasks. Still, the base MacBook Air’s Core i3’s dual-core chip is under-powered by today’s standards, especially for a laptop that costs more than $800 with a deal. 

Apple may reveal iPad Air shipment date during ‘iPhone 12’ event

Apple may use Tuesday’s “Hi, Speed” event to tell potential buyers of the new iPad Air when they can purchase the tablet, weeks after the company launched the model during its “Time Flies” event.

During the first “Time Flies” special event on September 15, Apple introduced a redesigned iPad Air, but aside from telling customers it would be available sometime in October, an exact date wasn’t offered during the presentation. With the second Apple event looming, it is suggested Apple may advise of when the tablet will actually go on sale.

According to serial leaker Jon Prosser on Twitter, Apple “will give you the launch date of iPad Air during the October 13th event.” Given the lack of date from Apple itself for its release, it seems plausible a public event will include an update on shipment dates.

While even at this stage it is unclear when the tablet will go on sale, other reports suggest it could take place soon. One report from October 9 claimed shipments of new Apple products that included the iPad Air were arriving at Apple stores, but were marked for opening at a later date.

The iPad Air 4 was upgraded to an iPad Pro-like design, with a 10.9-inch Liquid Retina Display, an edge-to-edge design, and USB-C. The Home button’s removal meant Touch ID has migrated to the power button, with the tablet powered by the A14 Bionic processor.

When it ships, the new iPad Air will cost $599 and $749 for the 64GB and 256GB Wi-FI models, $729 and $879 for the respective cellular versions.

Source Article

US Air Force sends software updates to one of its oldest aircraft midair

WASHINGTON — For the first time, the U.S. Air Force updated the software code on one of its aircraft while it was in flight, the service announced Oct. 7.

And there’s a surprise twist: The aircraft involved wasn’t the “flying computer” F-35, the mysterious B-21 bomber still under development, or any of the Air Force’s newest and most high-tech jets. Instead, the service tested the technology aboard the U-2 spy plane, one of the oldest and most iconic aircraft in the Air Force’s inventory.

On Sept. 22, the U-2 Federal Laboratory successfully updated the software of a U-2 from the 9th Reconnaissance Wing, which was engaged in a training flight near Beale Air Force Base, California, the Air Force said in a news release.

To push the software code from the developer on the ground to the U-2 in flight, the Air Force used Kubernetes, a containerized system that allows users to automate the deployment and management of software applications. The technology was originally created by Google and is currently maintained by the Cloud Native Computing Foundation.

For the demonstration, the U-2 lab employed Kubernetes to “run advanced machine-learning algorithms” to the four flight-certified computers onboard the U-2, modifying the software without negatively affecting the aircraft’s flight or mission systems, the service said.

“The successful combination of the U-2′s legacy computer system with the modern Kubernetes software was a critical milestone for the development of software containerization on existing Air Force weapon systems,” said Nicolas Chaillan, the Air Force’s chief software officer.

During a Sept. 15 interview with C4ISRNET, Chaillan hinted that the service would soon be able to update the software of flying aircraft, calling the capability a “gamechanger” and describing the challenges involved with ensuring the aircraft could be updated without posing a safety risk.

“We need to

Can this Irish gadget clear the air of Covid?

Are we all tired of talking about coronavirus yet? It has been the topic of conversation for most of 2020 – and rightly so, given the situation in recent months. And it seems like we will be talking about it for some months to come. We are staring down the barrel of increased restrictions, and facing a winter where Covid will be an ever-present threat.

While we wait, we can keep doing as advised: wash our hands, wear a mask, limit our contacts and hope that we don’t get a call from the HSE to say we have been in close contact with a confirmed case.

But what about the times when we can’t keep our distance? Or where ventilation is poor? Air quality is an issue when it comes to the transmission of Covid-19.

There are a number of options out there to try to disinfect the air, but not everything is suitable for continuous use around more vulnerable people. That is where Irish company Novaerus has stepped in, with the Protect 200.

The device claims to not only clean the air of harmful bacteria and pathogens such as viruses, mould spores or other volatile organic compounds, it kills them. And, as an added bonus, it also works on odours.

The Protect 200 keeps things simple. There are no apps to monitor, no remote controls, or displays to show you how the device is cleaning the air. You simply flip the switch on, and let it do its thing.

So what exactly is its “thing”?

Novaerus calls it NanoStrike technology, which makes it sound a bit sci-fi. But what it means is that it uses plasma technology to kill viruses and pathogens in the air. The air in the room is pulled into the machine, over plasma coils that