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Mon, Aug 02, 2010

NASA/NIA 'Aviation Unleashed' To Imagine The Future Of Flying

Conference Set For October In VA

About 50 years ago, TV animators created a vision of life almost 50 years from now. They predicted in 2062 people would be flying to work and using robots for housework. How close are we to that fictional world of the Jetsons and what are the possibilities - at least for aviation and related fields?

Futurists, visionaries, entrepreneurs and technologists will explore those questions at "Aviation Unleashed," a three-day forum sponsored by NASA's Langley Research Center and National Institute of Aerospace or NIA, both in Hampton, Va. The conference will be held at the Hampton Convention Center, in Hampton, VA., Oct. 18-20.

"The goal of Aviation Unleashed is to spark conversation and collaboration about what's possible in aviation, given changes in society and advancements in technology," said David Hinton, deputy director of Langley's Aeronautics Research Directorate. "We have invited experts from private industry, government agencies and universities to share their visions of the future so we can work together to transform our aviation system to accommodate new flying vehicles, manned and unmanned."

Some of the speakers expected to share ideas at the October conference include Peter Norvig, director of research at Google; futurist John Petersen, founder of the Arlington Institute; forecasting expert Marvin Cetron, president of Forecasting International; Neil Gershenfeld, director of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Center for Bits and Atoms; and visionary Dennis Bushnell, chief scientist at NASA Langley.

During Aviation Unleashed participants are expected to learn more about how video and tele-technology may shape travel and how advanced aircraft, made of new materials, propelled by innovative engines, some remotely piloted, will give people and goods efficient on-demand mobility - opening up new markets and missions. They'll also get the chance to hear various future scenarios and how those scenarios could impact current aviation development.

The final day of the forum technology experts will lead breakout sessions so participants can envision what aviation could become and how technologies being created today will be able to lead to a revolution in access to the skies for civil, defense and security missions.

"This is an exciting opportunity for interested minds to listen and engage in the discussions about where the aviation industry is going and how we might get there," said Calvin Lowe, vice president of research and program development at NIA.

FMI: http://www.NIAnet.org/Aviation-Unleashed.aspx

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