Modern

Ever wondered how an ejection seat works, or how to ride a hot air balloon? This section explores modern jet mechanics and aircraft operations and components.

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What's the Difference Between Airspeed and Ground Speed?

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

5 Reasons Commercial Airplanes Crash

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

How Airlines Clean Planes So Quickly

Cleaning an airliner for the next flight is a complex undertaking that must be carried out rapidly.

How Sanitary Are Airline Blankets and Pillows?

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?

Fast Facts on the Grounded Boeing 737 MAX 8

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

How Do Pilots Make Up Time in the Air?

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?

How Do Airplanes Get Inflight WiFi and Live TV?

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

The Hoverbike: The Future of Flight?

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

Boeing's Everett Facility Is the Largest Building on Earth

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

Will the FAA Ever Regulate Legroom on Commercial Planes?

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

Got a Drone? Learn the Laws Before You Take Flight

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

HowStuffWorks Illustrated: How Physics Helps Animals Fly

HowStuffWorks explains how physics helps animals get airborne.

'Tree-niner-fife': The Global Language of Pilots

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

If Cars Have Shoulder Seat Belts, Why Not Airplanes?

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

State-issued IDs May No Longer Be Enough to Board U.S. Flights

Your license is good enough for you to drive, but is it good enough to get you on a plane?

Atlanta's Airport Disaster Sounds Aviation Alarm Bell

What does Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport's massive power failure tell us about U.S. infrastructure and vulnerability?

Will Drones Replace News Helicopters?

Camera-equipped commercial drones are cheaper and require less training. Is it time to say goodbye to your local eye-in-the-sky traffic reports?

Flying, On-demand Taxis Are Taking Off

And in less than a decade they could save you from being stuck in heavy traffic.

When Your Face Is Your Boarding Pass

It's happened to all of us. You're at the front of the line, about to board, when you realize you can't find your paper boarding pass. Or it won't pull up on your phone. Facial recognition technology could change that — and help with security, too.

How Do Airline Pilots Know Turbulence Is Coming Up?

Predicting turbulence isn't an exact science, but airline pilots use a variety of tools both high-tech and low before asking you to buckle up.

A First for Airports: Flapping Robo-falcon to Scare Away Birds

A drone bird's the word at Canada's Edmonton International Airport.

Drones May One Day Help Honeybees Pollinate

Honeybees could get help pollinating crops in the future from an unlikely source: drones.

Yes, Airlines Are Shrinking Space Between Your Face and the Next Seat Up

It used to be that air travelers complained about not having enough legroom. But with airlines jamming more seats into planes, there’s less room for their heads, too.

Supersonic Travel Could Be Coming Back

And it could be even faster and quieter than all you jet-setters are used to.

10,854 Cases of People on Planes Acting Like Humongous Jerks

A new airline industry analysis confirms incidents of air rage have increased by 16 percent in a single year.


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