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China’s Comac to Challenge Boeing and Airbus

The company’s C919 airliner is slated to begin flight tests soon

3 min read
China’s Comac to Challenge Boeing and Airbus
Illustration: Elias Stein

The C919, China’s answer to the Airbus A320 and Boeing 737, is slated to have its first test flight somtime in 2016. Built by the Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China (Comac), the twin-engine airliner had its celebratory rollout in November of 2015 in Shanghai. But even if the upcoming flight-testing goes well, don’t expect to fly on a C919 right away. Indeed, if you live in Europe or the United States, don’t expect to even see one at your local airport.

Although the C919 is a homegrown Chinese creation, the aircraft isn’t completely Chinese. Comac uses many of the same U.S. and European components as Boeing and Airbus do in their 737 and A320 airliners, including Honeywell’s flight-control system, Parker Aerospace’s hydraulic equipment, and Liebherr’s landing gear. But like Boeing and Airbus, Comac has the responsibility of ensuring that all those systems—and many more—work together smoothly. And that’s not an easy task: Problems with systems integration contributed to the lengthy delays with China’s ARJ21, a regional jet that first went into development in 2002 and will go into widespread commercial service only in 2016—eight years later than originally planned.

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The EV Transition Explained: Charger Infrastructure

How many, where, and who pays?

7 min read
Illuminated electric vehicle charging stations at night in Monterey Park, California.

Electric vehicle charging stations in Monterey Park, California.

FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP/Getty Images

The ability to conveniently charge an EV away from home is a top concern for many EV owners. A 2022 survey of EV owners by Forbes indicates that 62 percent of respondents are so anxious about their EV range that travel plans have been affected. While “range anxiety” may be overblown, the need for an extensive and reliable external charging infrastructure is not.

Infrastructure terminology can itself be confusing. For clarity, bear in mind that a charging station is a specific physical location which has one or more charging posts. A charging post itself may have one or more ports, where each port can charge a single EV. Each post may have multiple types of service connectors to support different EV charging connector standards. And a port may supply varying power levels.

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Video Friday: Humanoid Soccer

Your weekly selection of awesome robot videos

4 min read
Humans and human-size humanoid robots stand together on an indoor soccer field at the beginning of a game

Video Friday is your weekly selection of awesome robotics videos, collected by your friends at IEEE Spectrum robotics. We also post a weekly calendar of upcoming robotics events for the next few months. Please send us your events for inclusion.

CoRL 2022: 14–18 December 2022, AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND
ICRA 2023: 29 May–2 June 2023, LONDON

Enjoy today’s videos!

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FAST Labs’ Cutting-Edge R&D Gets Ideas to the Field Faster

BAE Systems’ FAST Labs engineers turn breakthrough innovations into real-life impact

1 min read

FAST Labs is an R&D organization where research teams can invent and see their work come to life.

BAE Systems

This is a sponsored article brought to you by BAE Systems.

No one sets out to put together half a puzzle. Similarly, researchers and engineers in the defense industry want to see the whole picture – seeing their innovations make it into the hands of warfighters and commercial customers.

That desire is fueling growth at BAE Systems’ FAST Labs research and development (R&D) organization.

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