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Will the Flying-V be the shape of passenger travel in the future?

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Will the Flying-V be the shape of passenger travel in the future? | Thaiger

Since the first Boeing 707 (Dash 80) had its test flight in 1955, and earlier the UK’s De Havilland Comet in 1949, not much has changed in the way of passenger jet configuration – long, thin fuselage, wings, jet engines hanging underneath, with a big tail and rudder.

Since then it’s been a gradual evolution of the same theme (we’ve left out the entire Concorde era for now), with engines becoming lighter, larger and more powerful, and components increasingly light and composite. But, from the outside, same same (the service inside certainly hasn’t improved).

But now, out of left-field, researchers have conducted a successful maiden flight of the Flying-V, a new and fuel efficient passenger plane concept, that may one day carry us aloft inside its wings.

The project was announced last year in a partnership with Dutch carrier KLM. After a period of extensive wind tunnel testing and a series of ground tests in the Netherlands, it was time to perform the first flight and obtain an impression of the flight characteristics of the V-shaped jet.

The Flying-V design puts us all, along with the cargo and the fuel tanks, in the actual wings. It’s been estimated that the plane’s radical aerodynamic shape would cut fuel consumption by 20% compared to today’s leading edge economic versions, like the Airbus A350 and Boeing 787 Dreamliner series of passenger aircraft.

Last week a 3 metre scale model took to the skies in a successful test of the concept. It flew and at least proved the concept, although it was just the very start of what would be a long, long process to get an actual full size version into the sky, tested, approved and then, (the hard part) sold to airlines.

The Flying V has been developed by researchers at Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands working with airline KLM. The Dutch carrier has agreed to fund development of the new V-shaped aircraft. A team of researchers and engineers tested the aircraft at a guarded airbase in Germany, where they worked Airbus engineers to test takeoffs, flight characteristics, approaches, and landing.

Roelof Vos, assistant professor at the aerospace engineering faculty of Delft’s University of Technology, says their biggest worry was the actual ‘rotation’ or moment the aircraft takes off.

“One of our worries was that the aircraft might have some difficulty lifting-off, since previous calculations had shown that ‘rotation’ could be an issue. The team optimised the scaled flight model to prevent the issue but the proof of the pudding is in the eating. You need to fly to know for sure.

Remotely controlling the aircraft, researchers managed take off at a speed of 80 kmh, while the aircraft’s flight speeds, angles and thrust were as planned.

They also noted, in the very first real-life test with the scale model, that the current design allows for too much “Dutch roll” which can cause a rough landing. The team say they will now conduct more tests on the model, and hope to provide the Flying-V with sustainable propulsion. They say the design lends itself to carrying liquid hydrogen instead of ‘av gas’ kerosene.

So take a seat, stow your tray table and come on the first test flight of the Flying-V concept aircraft.

Will the Flying-V be the shape of passenger travel in the future? | News by Thaiger Will the Flying-V be the shape of passenger travel in the future? | News by Thaiger

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First Thai-made satellite to launch in 2023

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First Thai-made satellite to launch in 2023 | Thaiger
PHOTO: "Wait, you're telling me Koh Phangan has a 'Full ME Party'?!"

The first Thai-manufactured satellite, named the TSC-Pathfinder and designed to survey Earth’s natural resources, is planned to be launched in 2023. The launch is part of a schedule by the Ministry of Higher Education Science Research and Innovation’s developing space technology programme to launch 5 small satellites between 2021 and 2027. Space engineering development and application, research and development, and educational and industrial support will be the focus of their new programme. The TSC Pathfinder’s project manager reported that a minimum of 15 staff members on the project would be trained in China within the next year about the construction and engineering of satellites.

While Thailand did officially launch a satellite last year, it was manufactured in the Netherlands and launched in French Guiana. The Thai-made satellite is the first thing in space made in Thailand, aside from some trees on the International Space Station.

It’s exciting to see Thailand enter the space race, although some people are critical, asking if the big price tag on a project like this will actually benefit Thailand and its citizens. Many people have posted publicly on social media pointing out that, while the government spends heavily on advanced space technology, many Thai people are struggling with poverty.

MHESI Minister Anek Laothamatas believes that developing space technology would definitely be beneficial for future investors because of the expansion of advanced technology into everyday life for so many people. He believes that while the launch of these satellites is just establishing of the basic infrastructure needed to develop the technology further, the field will actually create a lot of jobs and stimulate the economy in the long run.

“The space technology business will be able to create start-up businesses related to space technology and in doing so elevate the country’s economy.”

The MHESI have planned five satellite launches between now and 2027:

  • The TSC-Pathfinder, launching in 2023 to survey natural resources
  • The TSC-1, launching in 2025 to survey the Earth
  • The TSC-PFT1, launch date TBD to probe dual-system technology
  • The TSC-PFT2, launch date TBD to analyze a system of sending and receiving signals in a low-frequency-X band
  • The TSC-2, launching by 2027, to use the developments of the third and fourth satellites in order to reach the Moon’s orbit

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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The challenges for the digital nomad in Thailand | VIDEO

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The challenges for the digital nomad in Thailand | VIDEO | Thaiger

Ah yes, the challenges of being a digital nomad in Thailand. What is a digital nomad? People who can do their job anywhere in the world with just a laptop, tablet and wi fi (preferably free wi fi). Thailand has the scenery, wi fi access, speed and lots and lots of coffee shops (with excellent coffee these days).

But there are also lots of challenges that make Thailand not quite the perfect haven for the digital nomad. Kay from Hey Big Mango checks out the challenges faced by digital nomads in today’s program.

Some more information about the Smart Visa and digital nomads HERE.

Here’s a link to more of Kay’s content.

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Personal Data Protection Act might be delayed to give businesses more time to prepare

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Personal Data Protection Act might be delayed to give businesses more time to prepare | Thaiger
Photo by Tech Daily for Unsplash

The launch of Thailand’s Personal Data Protection Act, set to go into effect in June, might be delayed to allow small and medium-sized more time to prepare for the new regulations.

The new Digital Economy and Society Minister Chaiwut Thanakhamanusorn says that if the public has negative views about the new legislation, then the ministry might discuss whether to defer or amend the act.

Rumours that the PDPA will be postponed until the end of this year seen more likely as members of the Personal Data Protection Committee have yet to be appointed. This committee is necessary to approve any follow-up legislation.

Several associations are requesting the deferral and enforcement, saying that they lack the readiness to comply with the new regulations, in particular associations in the travel and automotive fields. They fear that nefarious people may exploit loopholes in the law to abuse businesses to benefit themselves personally. The legitimate fear of abuse have led to the drafting of supplemental legislation addressing complaints, consent procedures, and expert panels, but will require approval by the short-staffed committee.

The Personal Data Protection Act was originally published in May of 2019 but immediately deferred for one year allowing a grace period for members to comply. In May 2020 the cabinet agreed to another postponement in enforcing most of the sections of the PDPA to give the public and private enterprises affected time to comply and rework internally, and also to reduce costs during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Meanwhile, the Digital Economy and Society Minister has pledged to assign priority to 5G, a national digital ID, fake news suppression, and a government cloud. They have set goals to address a 5-point plan that they will focus on:

  • First, the ministry will concentrate on helping people gain access to innovation and technology.
  • Second, they will strive to manifest an ecosystem that will be more amiable to a digital economy in the future.
  • Third, the ministry will pursue digital infrastructure development including the 5G rollout and “smart cities”. 500 million baht has already been earmarked by the government for 5G projects in various fields including education, farming, and manufacturing.
  • Fourth, the ministry plans to build people’s trust in the digital ecosystem especially for cybersecurity and electronic transactions. They aim to develop a legal framework and how to enforce it.
  • Finally, plans are underway to protect people from abuse on the internet especially on social media.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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