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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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

It happens. And when it does, the consequences can include not only red-faced pilots, but also inconvenienced passengers, endangered planes, damaged airfields and maybe some free peanuts for everyone involved.

By Nicholas Gerbis

Up in the sky! It's a bird! It's a plane! It's a ... drone? Turns out, drones are doing all kinds of harmless -- and even heroic -- things all the time. Find out how drones are changing the way we farm, fight fires and make movies.

By Nathan Chandler

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In the world of flight, it's a fine line between flying high and falling fast. Can you name 10 of the innovations that keep planes and their passengers airborne?

By William Harris

Would you risk the mother of all jet lag if you could cross the U.S. in less time than it takes to pass through airport security? After all, your time is precious, and haven't supersonic and hypersonic technologies been around for decades now?

By Nicholas Gerbis

The airline industry is one of the largest contributors to global carbon emissions, but it's possible to fly and do minimal damage to the environment.

By Alexander Davies

Discovery Channel deliberately crash-landed a Boeing 727 passenger jet in a remote and uninhabited Mexican desert as part of a scientific experiment for a new documentary. Plane crashes terrify people -- but what do the statistics show?

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In fall 2011, 240 passengers climbed aboard the Boeing 787 Dreamliner to get up close and personal with the long-awaited, much-discussed aircraft. In 2013, the Federal Aviation Administration grounded U.S.-registered Dreamliners. What happened?

By John Perritano & Vicki M. Giuggio

Not your "typical" Honda: This one features fully-adjustable leather seats, power window shades and a private bathroom with a black marble sink -- oh, and don't forget its over-the-wing engines, too.

By Christopher Neiger

More than 100 years ago the Wright brothers made their historic first flight in Kitty Hawk, N.C. Even after all these years, their creation still boggles the mind: How can something so heavy take to the air?

By Marshall Brain, Robert Lamb & Brian Adkins

Why would a pilot ever want to eject an airplane's fuel intentionally? And why would it happen during a flight? Although it sounds alarming, a fuel dump is a safe procedure.

By Jane McGrath

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It's hard to look up in the sky on a clear day and not see a "cloud" trailing from an airplane. They're called contrails, though some refer to them as "chemtrails" and have odd explanations for their existence.

By Jane McGrath & John Perritano

Private pilots have the luxury of being able to pick up and go, soaring over the gridlocked streets below. But earning this privilege is no simple matter -- it takes hours of work and thousands of dollars in lessons and practice. How is it done?

By Jessika Toothman

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

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

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The end of the 20th century and the beginning of the 21st brought a wave of new space missions and increasingly powerful military jets. Learn about the most recent developments in aviation history.

By the Editors of Publications International, Ltd.

After the end of the Cold War, aviation saw developments like the Space Shuttles and the incredible air power of the United States during the Persian Gulf War. Learn more about the history of flight in the 1980s and 1990s.

By the Editors of Publications International, Ltd.

What's that up in the sky? Is it a small plane? It might be FusionMan, a guy who built his own set of personal wings. In May 2008, he clocked speeds of 186 mph.

By John Fuller

Aviation after the Cold War featured both the Challenger accident and the triumph of U.S. air forces in the Gulf War. Read about flight after the Cold War.

By the Editors of Publications International, Ltd.

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Rising airfare, lost luggage, packed flights and long delays have become hallmarks of air travel. But why were more than 100,000 passengers stranded in cities around the U.S. for three days?

By Josh Clark

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

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

In November 2006, the Silent Aircraft Initiative introduced its answer to aircraft noise and air pollution: a proof-of-concept model called SAX-40.

By Julia Layton

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New York Yankees starting pitcher Cory Lidle and his flight instructor, Tyler Stanger, died when Lidle's Cirrus SR20 hit a building in New York City in 2006.

By Julia Layton

Air taxis could make a trip to the beach or a visit with friends and relatives go from taking six hours on the highway to a quick, no-hassles plane ride. Find out how the air-taxi system will operate.

By Carolyn Snare