monster machines

Monster Machines: OSIRIS-REx Wants To Lasso An Asteroid To Explain Life On Earth

NASA has a plan to better explore how our own local star system — and life within it — got started. It wants to intercept, study and sample a passing asteroid. The only thing more impressive than this mission’s astronomical level of precision is how the space agency somehow shoehorned “Origins Spectral Interpretation Resource Identification Security Regolith Explorer” into a functional acronym.


Monster Machines: This Indigenous Iranian UAV Is The Poor Man's Predator Drone

Iran’s previous attempts at creating an indigenous UAV fleet have been rather, well, comical. However, with recent sightings of a this medium-altitude, long-endurance flyer in the skies over Damascus, Iran’s drone program may have finally reached the big time.


Monster Machines: This 130km/h Badger Fits In The Belly Of An Osprey

US ground forces are about to get an awesome new whip from Boeing’s Phantom Works: a petite combat support vehicle combining power, speed and all-terrain traction to deliver soldiers to just about anywhere on Earth — without all the hiking.


Monster Machines: This Special Ops Missile Prioritises Precision

Despite their generally overwhelming combat prowess, many large US naval vessels remain vulnerable to small, fast-moving speedboats. But with the latest iteration of Raytheon’s multi-role precision missile, that won’t be a problem for much longer.


Monster Machines: Every US Military Helicopter Could Soon Be A Drone

The MQ-8 Fire Scout might be the US military’s marquee pilotless helicopter, but it’s not the only one. A pair of R/C Kaman K-Max K-1200 choppers have proven their value resupplying forward operating bases in Afghanistan and, now, the DoD is developing a system to turn any helicopter into a remotely operated whirly bird.


Monster Machines: How Armour Is Evolving To Beat Tank-Smashing RPGs

Like the AK-47, the Soviet RPG-7 rocket propelled grenade has become one of the most widely-distributed infantry weapons on Earth, used by everyone from E8 nations to guerrilla insurgency groups in every major conflict since Vietnam. But their ubiquitousness nature has kicked off a global race focused on how to beat them.


Monster Machines: This Weed-Seeking Airport Tractor Spells Death For Dandelions

Weeds growing up through the cracks in airport tarmacs aren’t just unsightly, they can create traction hazards for landing aircraft. But rather than rely on a squad of human herbicide applicators, one French airport is leaving the job to a single computerised spraying system. They call it “The Weedseeker”.


Monster Machines: This Doomsday Plane Is Putin's Personal Escape Pod

America isn’t the only superpower with a “Doomsday Plane” for its head of state. When Russian President Vladimir Putin needs to escape danger, he hops aboard this top-secret flying communications center.


Monster Machines: GE's Wind Turbine Tester Puts Gigantic Drivetrains Through Hell

Modern multi-megawatt wind turbines are downright gargantuan, standing more than 200m tall with 80m blades spinning 300km/h at the tip. To make sure that these monolithic machines are up for 20 years of energy production, GE has created a tortuous test bed capable of sucking 20 years of life from a turbine in a matter of months.


Monster Machines: Amphibious Tank Killer Gets New Pop-Up Missile Launcher

The US Marine Corps is a fast-moving, flexible, forward-operating force geared to take and hold territory quickly and efficiently. This flexibility is exemplified in the US Marine Corps’ favourite armoured troop carrier: the eight-wheeled, tank-hunting LAV-AT. The only thing it can’t do is fly.