We've posted on The Register's cool APM-powered spaceplane project before, but here's a great update on the latest progress from the DIY 3D printing blog:
Low Orbit Helium Assisted Navigator's (LOHAN) Vulture 2 rocket powered spaceplane is near space aircraft lifted by helium balloon into high atmosphere. After release this 3d printed GPS guided spaceplane flies and lands powered by rocket engine to predesignated spot. Now, how cool is that?
Project and spaceplane presentation:
Prototype test flight:
LOHAN Vulture 2 coverage: http://www.theregister.co.uk/Wrap/lohan/
LOHAN Flickr photo stream: http://www.flickr.com/photos/registerparis/
LOHAN Vulture 2 mission summary:
They explored SLS 3d printing as production method and they made a video with SULSA from Suothampton University:
Here is first post on Southampton Uni 3d printed SULSA airplane:
Also, do keep in mind students who developed and successfully tested 3d printed metal rocket engine:
Future of space exploration is DIY and 3d printed.