Cool video shows fighter jet takeoff from a completely new perspective

Here's awesome footage from underneath a MiG-29 showing the fighter jet taking off from an aircraft carrier. The view is insane, you see the jets fire up and watch the world turn blurry as the MiG launches itself into the air. There's a surprising, almost sort of peaceful awesomeness when it starts flying and leaves… » 3/10/15 11:25am 3/10/15 11:25am

The Crash of Delta 1086 Is Exactly Why Airlines Cancel Flights for Snow

We've all moaned and groaned over flights cancelled due to weather. It's maddening to miss your connection (or even your whole trip) because of bad weather, but incidents like today's crash of Delta 1086 in a snowy New York City are exactly why they make that tough call that can affect millions of travelers. » 3/05/15 4:43pm 3/05/15 4:43pm

A fascinating view into the US Air Force boneyards

You can zoom in this 48-megapixel image of the USAF boneyard in Tucson, Arizona—stitched from Bing Maps satellite images—and try to identify all those airplanes. Or you can watch this USAF documentary on how the US stockpiles thousands of planes in deserts around the country to keep the active fleet flying.* » 2/26/15 1:53pm 2/26/15 1:53pm

The story of the ultrasecret A-12 Oxcart—father of the SR-71 Blackbird

It may look like the SR-71 Blackbird, but this sleek flying beast is not the most famous supersonic spy plane ever created but its father, the A-12 Oxcart. In some ways, it was a better machine than the famous Blackbird. This is its history. » 2/05/15 5:17pm 2/05/15 5:17pm

The thrill of flying the SR-71 Blackbird

I can tell you about the SR-71 Blackbird's titanium frame, its Pratt&Whitney J58-P4 engines, or its genesis. But that's not important. What really matters is the thrill of flying it in an extremely dangerous mission, as remembered by this pilot.—JD » 4/04/14 5:00pm 4/04/14 5:00pm

These videos of airplanes launching from aircraft carriers are badass

Once again, the French Navy shows they make the best airplane videos there are. This one shows the flight deck operations onboard the nuclear-powered aircraft carrier Charles DeGaulle. Although I would have preferred no soundtrack, it helps that, instead of using dubstep, they slapped in AC/DC's Thunderstruck. » 1/07/15 10:48am 1/07/15 10:48am

Absolutely Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Airplane Controls

All of them? If you're talking about a commercial airliner, then there's hundreds and hundreds. There are big, fat manuals describing what they all do. But, since you asked, buckle up. » 1/07/15 4:10pm 1/07/15 4:10pm

Watch a Boeing 747 Jumbo Jet land without one of its landing gears

How Long Will I Be Stuck in This Airport? A Thanksgiving Travel Forecast

If you're one of the tens of thousands of people who are trapped in one of the United States' many fine airports on this Thanksgiving Eve, you may find yourself wondering when the hell you're going to get out of here and on to your destination. Here's a quick forecast for your (eventual) departure. » 11/26/14 2:41pm 11/26/14 2:41pm

JetBlue Seats Are About to Get Even More Cramped

It's a dark day for personal space bubbles everywhere: JetBlue is about to cram 15 more seats into its Airbus A320. What's more, after being one of the only remaining major airline holdouts, it's also finally caving in and tacking on baggage fees. Delightful. » 11/19/14 10:21am 11/19/14 10:21am

Bell's Newest Tiltrotor Could Finally Improve on the Osprey's Feathers

The V-22 Osprey's mechanical and aeronautical shortcomings have been well-documented. That's why, for its third-generation tiltrotor, Bell has taken a good hard look at the ill-fated aircraft (one it helped design) and built the plane-copter hybrid it should have back in 1983. » 10/20/14 11:40am 10/20/14 11:40am

Why the Human Body Can't Handle Heavy Acceleration

Our bodies are surprisingly resilient in many situations, but rapid acceleration is not one of them. While the human body can withstand any constant speed—be it 20 miles per hour or 20 billion miles per hour—we can only change that rate of travel relatively slowly. Speed up or slow down too quickly and it's lights… » 10/01/14 2:20pm 10/01/14 2:20pm

Passenger Shaming: Airplane Travelers Who Are Completely Disgusting

A delightfully disgusting website seeks to expose the savage behavior of human beings on airplanes. And it is truly, truly something to behold. » 9/18/14 1:30pm 9/18/14 1:30pm

Cheap Airplane Seats Shouldn't Recline at All

Yesterday, we shared the amusing case of the cross-country trip that was diverted when two passengers got in a battle over a reclining seat. But the real villain here isn't our travel-addled selves. It's that we still let airplane seats recline at all. » 8/26/14 12:18pm 8/26/14 12:18pm

Sorry, But the FAA Has Decided Your 'Uber for Planes' Idea Can't Fly

The Federal Aviation Authority has shoved your Uber for planes idea back into the hangar. Yesterday, it ruled that it has banned pilots from "publicly offering seats on their planes in exchange for gas money," reports TechCrunch. That puts startups like AirPooler and FlyteNow in a legal bind since they were offering… » 8/16/14 5:00pm 8/16/14 5:00pm

The Supersonic Nazi Rocket Concept Designed to Bomb Any City in 1 Hour

When WWII ended, American engineers examined a trove of Nazi concepts for rocket-powered weapons and airplanes. One of the most terrifying was Eugen Sänger's antipodal bomber, a manned supersonic plane designed to reach any city on Earth in one hour. Thank heavens it never worked. » 8/09/14 3:00pm 8/09/14 3:00pm

Researcher Can Hack Airplanes Through In-Flight Entertainment Systems

If you're about to get on an airplane, you might want to wait until you land before you read this post. Because cyber security whiz Ruben Santamarta says he has devised a method that can give hackers access to a passenger jet's satellite communications equipment through the passenger Wi-Fi and in-flight entertainment… » 8/04/14 12:32pm 8/04/14 12:32pm

Why Can't We Protect Commercial Planes From Attacks?

Last week's downing of Malaysian Airlines Flight 17 over the disputed territory of Eastern Ukraine has set off worldwide outcries against the conflict, and calls to better defend commercial airlines from missile attack. But is it even possible to defend civilian jets against military-grade weapons? » 7/24/14 12:08pm 7/24/14 12:08pm

The Fighter Jet We Could Have Built Instead of the F-35

The mid-1990s found the U.S. military in need of a low-cost, supersonic stealth fighter jet that all three armed services branches could field. Easy, right? The subsequent—and highly contentious—design competition between Boeing and Lockheed saw the winner take home a $200 billion defense contract, which in turn… » 7/18/14 12:40pm 7/18/14 12:40pm

This Weird Morphing Skin Could Make Future Vehicles Super Aerodynamic

This strangely alive-looking blob isn't a prop from a sci-fi movie. It's a smorph, a morphing material that could make the cars, trains and airplanes of tomorrow extremely aerodynamic, using the same trick that helps golf balls fly faster and straighter. » 6/28/14 4:00pm 6/28/14 4:00pm