Transportation

Many of us take public transportation or fly in airplanes on a regular basis, but have you ever wondered how all of these things work? This collection of transportation articles help explain how people get from place to place.

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After all, airports are kind of like mini cities, even if those running the "cities" prefer that no one actually takes up residence there.

By Janet Bednarek

Before Yeager did it, people thought it was impossible to break the sound barrier in flight. But he proved them wrong, even flying the plane while nursing two cracked ribs.

By Nathan Chandler

You've heard all about the exploits of Amelia Earhart, but do you know the story of Bessie Coleman, the first Black American woman to receive a pilot's license?

By Tara Yarlagadda

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The words aren't arbitrary, so why do pilots and sailors call out 'Mayday!' rather than something else?

By Nathan Chandler

Without the system that pumps unused air from an aircraft's engines into the cabin, passengers and crew would be unable to breathe at 30,000 feet. But how does that system work?

By Patrick J. Kiger

Airlines are flying planes with no passengers, due in part to the worldwide outbreak of coronavirus, but also for economic reasons that have nothing to do with disease.

By Laurie L. Dove

Electric-propelled boats, which are much quieter and more environmentally friendly than gas-powered motorboats, are finally beginning to hit the waves and find their market.

By Patrick J. Kiger

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Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport was just named world's busiest airport for the 21st time. So how has a city in the Deep South reigned king for decades?

By John Donovan

The Dorasan train station was built near the DMZ to connect North and South Korea. But the only people using this fully functional station are some tourists.

By Dave Roos

Measuring how fast an aircraft travels depends on whether you factor in the speed of the wind behind it.

By Patrick J. Kiger

Magnetic levitation trains, aka maglev trains, can travel much faster than even bullet trains, with less environmental impact. But they're very expensive to build. So, what's the future of maglev trains?

By Kevin Bonsor & Nathan Chandler

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Although it doesn't happen often, large passenger jets crash for many reasons, from mechanical failure to pilot error.

By Patrick J. Kiger

A Boston-based company plans to manufacture a supersonic business jet that will replace windows with video screens.

By Patrick J. Kiger

Cleaning an airliner for the next flight is a complex undertaking that must be carried out rapidly. And it's even more important now during the coronavirus pandemic.

By Patrick J. Kiger

A blanket and pillow can transform a long, uncomfortable flight into a sleepfest, but not all airlines still hand them out. When they do, are they clean and safe to use?

By Patrick J. Kiger

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The Boeing 737 first flew into the world a half century ago. Here's the scoop on Boeing's fastest-selling airplane.

By Patrick J. Kiger

Your pilot apologizes for your plane leaving late but then assures you she can make up the lost time in the sky. Is she pressing extra-hard on the accelerator or what?

By Nathan Chandler

Ever sat on an airplane and wondered how your laptop works at 30,000 feet?

By Patrick J. Kiger

The Dubai police force got the world's first legal personal drone. Are these flying motorbikes coming to streets near you?

By Cherise Threewitt

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With 36,000 workers, it has its own fire department, banks, day care facilities, medical clinic and water treatment plant.

By Patrick J. Kiger

Airlines keep cramming in more and more seats, making flying nearly unbearable for some. But does that also make it unsafe?

By Dave Roos

You better know the rules before you get out and fly your drone or you could end up violating FAA regulations.

By Kristen Hall-Geisler

HowStuffWorks explains how physics helps animals get airborne.

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Pilots on international flights use Aviation English, a stripped-down, specialized version of the language, to communicate with air traffic controllers.

By Patrick J. Kiger

Commercial flight is extremely safe. But could it be even safer if airplanes had shoulder harnesses instead of lap belts?

By John Donovan