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.

Learn More

Air travel is far more than getting from point A to point B safely. How much do you know about the million little details that go into flying on airplanes?

By Alia Hoyt

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

By Patrick J. Kiger

HowStuffWorks explains how physics helps animals get airborne.

Advertisement

Since 1948, more than 100 aircraft have gone missing while aloft and never been found. How is this possible? We'll look at some of these unsolved mysteries, as well as other bizarre airline mishaps.

By Patrick J. Kiger

Steampunk enthusiasts imagine an alternate version of history, where the dress code demands petticoats and suit vests and airships are the most romantic forms of all transportation.

By Alexander Davies

Flight has been a human dream for centuries. It wasn't until the dawn of the 20th century that man was finally able to leave the ground. This gallery highlights some of the milestones in aviation.

By Rick Mayda

Since prehistoric times, people have wanted to take to the skies. Trouble is, humans weren't meant to fly. Of course, that didn't stop some determined souls from trying.

By John Fuller

Advertisement

Your luggage gets "mishandled" by an airline and favorite pieces of your wardrobe, souvenirs and toiletries disappear into a black abyss. Or do they? Actually, your wardrobe is hanging out in Scottsboro, Ala., and it has some interesting company.

By Sarah Dowdey

You know those loaders used in construction and landscaping that dig up and pick up EVERYTHING? Learn how these incredible machines work!

By Karim Nice

If a device has a motor, engine or spring, it probably has gears! But what do gears do, exactly, and how do they do it?

By Karim Nice & Kristen Hall-Geisler

The first commercial jetliners had square windows. So why did engineers change the design to the rounded windows we know today?

By Sharise Cunningham

Advertisement

For some in-flight routines and procedures, autopilots are even better than a pair of human hands. They don't just make flights smoother -- they make them safer and more efficient.

By William Harris

Oil tankers carry massive amounts of oil, gasoline and other petroleum products between ports. However, crewmembers must guard against explosions, pirates and more.

By Akweli Parker

Length, height and wingspan are all popular ways to rank an aircraft, but truly giant planes are often judged by their maximum takeoff weight. Which plane outlifts them all?

By Julia Layton

When a military aircraft is in trouble, the pilot may have to eject to save his life. Find out how this crucial escape system separates pilot from plane.

By Kevin Bonsor

Advertisement

Hydraulic cranes perform seemingly impossible tasks, lifting 70-ton objects with absolute ease. See the simple design behind the Herculean results.

By Kevin Bonsor

We see them all the time, but do you ever think about everything these machines do? A fire engine is a combination personnel carrier, tool box and water tanker. Learn all about this amazing 3-in-1 machine.

By Kevin Bonsor

You probably ride escalators all the time, but do you know how they move, and flatten, and keep the handrail in synch with the steps? Find out exactly what is going on inside an escalator.

By Tom Harris

In action movies, elevators regularly plummet to the basement, landing in a spectacular ball of fire. Is this possible? There are some sophisticated engineering techniques at work behind every elevator ride you take.

By Tom Harris

Advertisement

A radial engine has a unique setup that makes it ideal for certain applications. Find out what makes radial engines different, how they operate and where they're used.

By Marshall Brain

Ball bearings can be found in a wide variety of machines and gadgets. If you take a look at one of them you may notice how perfectly smooth they feel and appear. How do they get like that? Find out how ball bearings are created in this article.

You see gears in just about anything that has spinning parts — car engines, transmissions, electric toothbrushes... Learn what these gears are doing and get to the bottom of the "gear ratio" concept!

By Marshall Brain

You see backhoe-loaders on nearly every construction site around town. Learn how these amazing machines work and what they are able to do.

By Marshall Brain & Tom Harris

Advertisement

You've waited in line, and now it's time to board the roller coaster for the thrill ride of your life. If you're lucky enough to get to pick your seat, which car should you choose for the best ride experience?

Higher, farther, faster: NASA's X-43A plane is destined to set new speed records. What sets the X-43A apart from other rocket-powered aircraft is that it is powered by a scramjet engine. Learn all about it.

By Kevin Bonsor & Sascha Bos