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The Boeing Maritime Surveillance Aircraft demonstrator.

Boeing test-flies another maritime surveillance aircraft

It's not just the P-8A Poseidon that's keeping Boeing busy. The defense giant also has plans to put some of that technology into a modified Challenger business jet.

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A few days back came word of a new contender for the title of <a href="http://news.cnet.com/8301-17852_3-57619774-71/the-worlds-largest-aircraft-can-fly-for-three-weeks-its-not-cute/">world's largest aircraft</a>, and it's equal parts awesome and ominous. The HAV 304 Airlander is no ordinary flying machine. This futuristic craft is 300 feet long, doesn't need a runway, and backers say it could carry up to 50 tons of freight 1,500 miles at 100 miles an hour, not to mention stay aloft for days and days at a time.
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It's not quite a Star Destroyer, but there's something creepy about the way Hybrid Air Vehicles' <a href="http://vimeo.com/86716764" >technical director, Mike Durham, states</a>, "You can put 7 or 8 tons of surveillance equipment on board." On the cheerier side, the HAV 304 Airlander is also green, efficient, and a hybrid.
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Read on for a look at some notable aircraft past and present -- both fixed-wing planes and lighter-than-air machines  -- built on the premise that bigger is better.</p>

Supersized aircraft: Behemoths of the sky (pictures)

Take a look at some of the most monstrous aircraft ever to take to the skies -- or at least hope to.

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Boeing to sell self-destructing smartphones

Don't try tampering with Boeing's new "Black" phone, cover your webcam to avoid government spies, and meet the Moov fitness coaching tracker.

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Don't try tampering with Boeing's new "Black" phone, cover your webcam to avoid government spies, and meet the Moov fitness coaching tracker.

Boeing to sell self-destructing smartphones

Don't try tampering with Boeing's new "Black" phone, cover your webcam to avoid government spies, and meet the Moov fitness coaching tracker.

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Darth Vader himself would approve of the <a href="http://news.cnet.com/8301-17938_105-57617974-1/star-wars-sled-strikes-back-at-at-races-in-cardboard-classic/" >giant AT-AT sled</a> that raced against 50 other entries in the <a href="http://www.lcc.edu/radio/events/cardboardclassic/" >8th Annual Cardboard Classic</a> last weekend in Lansing, Mich.

Pictures of the Week (slideshow)

Sledding in an AT-AT, a giant Little Tikes car, and peanut butter jellyfish are just a few of our favorite pictures of the week.

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Since 2008, Luca Iaconi-Stewart has been working on a scale-model of a Boeing 777-300ER. Made out of manila folders. Though he took two years off during that time to go to college, the now 22-year-old has otherwise spent almost all his time on the project, which is finally nearing completion.
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Measuring in at 48-inches by 48-inches by 12-inches, this would never be mistaken for a real plane. But take one look at the paper 777 and you can't help but be blown away by his craftsmanship.

The coolest (and most realistic) paper airplane ever (pictures)

Luca Iaconi-Stewart's Boeing 777-300ER is made entirely from manila folders. He's been working on it since 2008, and now it's almost finished.

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The heart of any military is always its soldiers, sailors, aviators, and myriad support troops. But to get their jobs done, they need aircraft, ships, ground transport, radio systems, and weaponry -- and all of those things need to keep pace with advances in technology. Here are some of the things that the Pentagon has at the tip of its technology spear for 2014.
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We're especially keen on seeing what the Defense Department can deliver in the category of directed-energy weapons -- a rather bland and bureaucratic term for that staple of sci-fi cinema, ray guns. For all the money that the military-industrial complex has thrown at the problem, we're still a long way off from phasers and photon torpedoes, but ever so slowly, we do see small gains  -- or at least flashy demonstrations. One such moment in the coming year should materialize from the <a href="http://news.cnet.com/8301-11386_3-57578559-76/u.s-navy-sees-shipboard-laser-weapon-coming-soon/">US Navy's Laser Weapon System</a>, or LAWS, a solid-state system that will be installed on the USS Ponce, a former amphibious transport ship that the Navy has <a href="http://www.navy.mil/submit/display.asp?story_id=69395">reclassified</a> as its first Afloat Forward Staging Base (Interim), for deployment to the Persian Gulf "in fiscal year 2014" -- that is, by October 1.
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The Laser Weapon System (LaWS), a technology demonstrator, in a temporary installation aboard the guided-missile destroyer USS Dewey (DDG 105), from July 2012.</p>

2014's military tech: lasers, drones, and more (pictures)

The Pentagon will be busy on all fronts with newfangled technology, from directed-energy weapons to autonomous aircraft and from 3D printing to cyberdefense.

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CNET's Tech Turkeys of 2013 (pictures)

A compilation of the worst, most embarrassing gaffes in technology this year. Gobble gobble.

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United Arab Emirates' Air Force Aerobatic Team, Al-Fursan, performs with an Emirates Airline's Airbus A380 at the Dubai Airshow on November 18, 2013, in Dubai. Emirates Airline's appetite for aircraft purchases will not cease, the airline's president Tim Clark told AFP a day after the Dubai-based carrier ordered 200 planes from Boeing and Airbus. AFP PHOTO/KARIM SAHIB        (Photo credit should read KARIM SAHIB/AFP/Getty Images)

Sky-high purchases, performances at the Dubai Airshow (pictures)

The Middle East air show got off to a good start for Boeing, which says it scored at least 367 aircraft orders in deals expected to be worth more than $130 billion.

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Cue up Wagner's "Ride of the Valkyries" -- the next wave of helicopter designs are on their way.
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But don't hit play just yet. For the most part, those futuristic choppers are still months and years away from anything but the drawing board. Still, the Pentagon's plans are being set in motion, and now's as good a time as any to do some gazing at the far horizon.
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There are several different projects we'll be looking at in this slideshow. A key one is the Future Vertical Lift (FVL) initiative, and its precursor, the Joint Multi-Role (JMR) Technology Demonstrator program, both led by the US Army but intended to produce rotary-winged flying machines for use across all the military branches. Just this week, the Army's Aviation and Missile Research, Development and Engineering Center issued awards to four companies under the JMR TD program to get them started on refining initial designs over the next nine months, with a hoped-for first flight of demonstrator aircraft late in the Pentagon's fiscal 2017. 
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One of the participants in the JMR TD initiative is this helicopter design, a joint concept put forward by a <a href="http://boeing.mediaroom.com/2013-02-28-Sikorsky-Boeing-Propose-X2-Technology-Helicopter-Design-for-US-Armys-Joint-Multi-Role-Future-Vertical-Lift-Requirements">Sikorsky-Boeing tag team</a>. It's based on Sikorsky's X2 technology, which in 2010 propelled a demonstrator helicopter to 250 knots in flight -- roughly twice the average cruise speed of conventional helicopters.

Helicopters of the future: A brief history (pictures)

From the near-term Future Vertical Lift program to the seriously futuristic Aviation 2050 Vision, the Army has a lot riding on rotorcraft yet to come.

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After two decades, the US Air Force has reached the saturation point with its big C-17 Globemaster aircraft.
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C-17 builder Boeing earlier this month delivered its <a href="http://boeing.mediaroom.com/Boeing-Fulfills-US-Air-Force-C-17-Production-Contract-with-223rd-Delivery">223rd and final Globemaster</a> to the Air Force -- that's it in the photo above, rolling out onto the flight line at the aerospace giant's facility in Long Beach, Calif.  Still, the fleet of capacious cargo carriers likely has many years ahead of it in continuing to support missions both martial and humanitarian.
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And while Boeing has completed its contractual obligations to the Air Force, it isn't quite done building C-17 aircraft. It still has 22 more Globemasters to put together for other customers around the world. But then that's it (save, of course, for years of support and modernization yet to come). Boeing said this week that it will finally <a href="http://boeing.mediaroom.com/2013-09-18-Boeing-to-Complete-Production-of-C-17-Globemaster-III-in-2015">cease C-17 production in 2015</a>.

One last C-17 for the Air Force (pictures)

Boeing has delivered its 223rd and final Globemaster airlifter to its biggest client. And soon enough, it'll stop making them altogether.

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The first 787-9 Dreamliner takes off over a Paine Field crowd of people gathered in Everett, Wash., to see the new airplane make its first flight.

Boeing's 787-9 Dreamliner makes its first flight (pictures)

The new, longer Dreamliner can carry 40 more passengers than the first member of the 787 family. It took off Tuesday from Paine Field in Everett, Wash.

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