Meet The Ilyushin IL-102, The Most Gorgeously Ugly Combat Jet Ever

When we talk about combat aircraft that are so ugly they are brutishly beautiful, aircraft like the A-10, B-52 and the Mi-24 come to mind. Yet an obscure Russian close air support aircraft that lost a competition to the now notorious Sukhoi Su-25 may take the trophy for the must gorgeously ugly combat jet of all time. » 7/11/14 1:50pm 7/11/14 1:50pm

The Same Man Invented Autopilot And The Mile High Club 100 Years Ago

On this date (June 18th) in 1914, autopilot was demonstrated for the first time on an aircraft, becoming one of the most important innovations to the cockpit in history. Its inventor, is also known for founding a "club" that many have aspired to join over the past century, as well. » 6/18/14 9:08pm 6/18/14 9:08pm

Before Going To Space, Astronauts Had to Survive the Desert

No one knew if the first attempts at getting humans into space would crash catastrophically. Before any astronaut could leave the planet, NASA tested their capacity to survive a crash landing in a hostile environment by abandoning them in the desert with only a re-entry pod and parachute for company. » 5/18/14 11:22am 5/18/14 11:22am

Airbus Marks 40 Years Of Service For Its Game-Changing A300

This week, Airbus is celebrating the fortieth anniversary of its A300's entry into service. The A300B was the first commercial airliner produced by Airbus — a joint venture between France and Germany. It first flew on September 28, 1972, and Air France took delivery of the first production plane on May 10, 1974,… » 5/13/14 8:48pm 5/13/14 8:48pm

Grand Canyon Plane Crash Site Is Now A National Landmark

The National Park Service has designated the site of a devastating 1956 plane crash as a National Historic Landmark. On June 30th of that year, a Trans World Airlines (TWA) Lockheed Super Constellation and a United Airlines DC-7 collided at 21,000 feet over the Grand Canyon. It was the deadliest civilian air crash to… » 4/27/14 10:29pm 4/27/14 10:29pm

The Simple Metal Mechanism That Changed the Global Economy Forever

Have you ever heard of a twistlock? Unless you're a stevedore, probably not. Yet this little mechanism is what makes it possible to stack shipping containers onto cargo ships larger than city blocks—enabling a global trade network that brought most of your belongings to your doorstep. And we have a relatively… » 2/26/14 10:38am 2/26/14 10:38am

Beautiful New Website Explores 100 Years of Grand Central's History

New York's Grand Central Terminal is one of the country's largest and busiest public transit structures, and now it has a new website that honors its outsize legacy. Based on the Grand by Design exhibition that was on display at the station last year, the website includes historical documents, videos, stories, and… » 2/16/14 3:42pm 2/16/14 3:42pm

Witness The Awesome Power Of A World War II Sea Mine

There's a famous scene from the movie Hot Fuzz where the characters fear that an old sea mine will detonate, so they run about 20 feet and jump over a low wall. Lucky for them, it doesn't explode, but after seeing this World War II sea mine explode on the beaches of Katwijk Aan Zee, Netherlands, I think they'd be… » 2/01/14 11:03am 2/01/14 11:03am