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 12:16pm Yesterday 12:16pm

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 3:53pm 10/01/14 3:53pm

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… » 8/17/14 1:29pm 8/17/14 1:29pm

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 5:17pm 8/09/14 5:17pm

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 12:58pm 8/04/14 12:58pm

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 12:52pm 7/24/14 12:52pm

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 2:11pm 7/18/14 2:11pm

The designer of the F-16 explains why the F-35 is such a crappy plane

According to the Pierre Sprey, co-designer of the F-16, the F35 is a turkey. Inherently, a terrible airplane. An airplane built for a dumb idea. A kludge that will fail time and time again. Just impossibly hopeless. And judging from the bajillion times the F-35 fleet has been grounded, well, he's probably not wrong.… » 6/17/14 7:39am 6/17/14 7:39am

The Three Biggest Airlines Just Made Carry-On Sizes Even Smaller

It's a tale as old as time: Traveler meets luggage. Traveler falls in love. Traveler buys luggage. Traveler causes a scene as flight attendant forces traveler to pay $75 for improperly-sized baggage. And if you've secretly been holding out hope that we might one day be able to put this bit of passenger pageantry… » 6/12/14 5:40pm 6/12/14 5:40pm

Why It's Taking Satellites So Long to Find Malaysia Airlines Flight 370

Today, we're hearing yet another report about a satellite that has spotted "potential objects," which might be floating wreckage from the vanished Malaysia Airlines Flight 370. Today, those images come from France. Yesterday, the images came from China. Last week it was an Australian bird making discoveries. » 3/23/14 3:25pm 3/23/14 3:25pm

The 500 MPH Superplane That Bugatti Had to Hide From the Nazis

This is the Bugatti Model 100P: A 900 HP, 500 MPH, race plane imagined by none other than legendary automotive designer Ettore Bugatti, so technologically advanced that it could have single-handedly dominated the skies of WWII for Germany, had the Nazis ever gotten their hands on it. But after more than seven decades… » 3/10/14 11:59am 3/10/14 11:59am