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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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Why doesn't the exhaust in a jet engine come out the front?

When an explosion occurs, the air rapidly expands around the ignition source. Why is it that in a jet engine the expanding gas doesn't force its way through the front of the engine? Find out the answer to this and other jet-related questions.

How much fuel does an international plane use for a trip?

How much fuel does an international plane use for a trip?

Why do those long, white clouds form behind jets flying high overhead?

Contrails are those long white clouds that form in the wake of an airplane flying at altitude. What causes these contrails and what are they made of? Learn the answer to this question in this article from HowStuffWorks.

When an aerobatic plane flies upside down, how does the fuel get to the engine?

I would like to know how airplanes can fly upside down and do loops. How does the fuel get to the engine if the plane is upside down?

How does an oxygen canister on an airplane work? How can heat generate oxygen?

How does an oxygen canister on an airplane or spacecraft work? The ValueJet crash in 1996 was attributed to oxygen canisters that created a fire. And there was a fire on the MIR space station caused by an oxygen canister. How can a fire CREATE oxygen?

Do commercial jets have locks on the doors and ignition keys?

Do commercial jets have locks on the doors and ignition keys? If not, what keeps someone from stealing them?

How does the toilet in a commercial airliner work?

When flushing the toilet in a passenger airplane, I'm amazed by the huge noise it makes -- like a powerful vacuum cleaner. Can you explain what makes this noise?

How Helicopters Work

The marvel we know as the helicopter began as a Chinese top consisting of a shaft -- a stick -- adorned with feathers on one end. They now buzz around the skies providing emergency medical assistance and your daily traffic report. Are you ready to meet the most versatile flying machines in existence today?

How Gas Turbine Engines Work

Ever wonder what's happening inside that huge jet engine as you're cruising along at 30,000 feet? Jets, helicopters and even some power plants use a class of engine called gas turbines, which produce their own pressurized gas to spin a turbine and create power.

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