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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It can definitely be done — we saw Capt. Sully Sullenberger successfully land an Airbus A320 without any engines, in the Hudson River no less. But just how far a plane can fly without its engines depends on a few different factors.

By Mark Mancini

Investigations into unruly-passenger incidents by the FAA have soared 168 percent through June over 2020's numbers. What's going on in the unfriendly skies? And what is the TSA doing to protect flight crews?

By John Donovan

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

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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

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

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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

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

By Patrick J. Kiger

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

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

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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

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

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

By Cherise Threewitt

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

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HowStuffWorks explains how physics helps animals get airborne.

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

The Department of Homeland Security announced it is extending the REAL ID full enforcement date by 19 months to allow states time to get up and fully operational after the COVID-19 pandemic shut down many licensing offices.

By Cherise Threewitt

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

By John Donovan

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?

By Patrick J. Kiger