Flight

Flight is truly one of the most amazing engineering feats man has achieved. This collection of flight articles will show you some of the coolest aircraft ever created.


The only passenger plane that flies faster than the speed of sound, and can get from New York to London in less than four hours, is calling it quits. Learn how this amazing plane works.

Airline pilots have an amazing job with huge responsibilities. Learn what it's like to be a pilot and what it takes to make it in this highly competitive profession.

How do you start a gas turbine engine? What is the mechanism to begin the rotation of the large fan blades?

Afterburners allow a jet plane to take off from a short runway, such as the deck of an aircraft carrier. What, exactly, is an afterburner and how do they work? Learn the answer to this question in this article from HowStuffWorks.

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.

A pressurized airplane cabin is important because the air pressure at altitude is much lower than the air pressure at sea level. Just how does a pressurized airplane cabin work, though? Learn more about pressurized cabins in this article.

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

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.

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 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? If not, what keeps someone from stealing them?

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?

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?

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.