Transportation

Many of us take public transportation or fly in airplanes on a regular basis, but have you ever wondered how all of these things work? This collection of transportation articles help explain how people get from place to place.

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They're the stuff of headlines, often characterized as evil in the sky. But how do unmanned aerial vehicles actually get off the ground and flying?

By Nathan Chandler

Going through airport security is the worst part of flying for most people. Now you may be asked to turn your cell phone on in the security line. Why do you have to do that? And does it really keep us safe?

By Beth Brindle

Imagine whipping through the sky at thousands of miles per hour. This special type of jet engine can do exactly that.

By Nicholas Gerbis

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Writing a legible message on paper requires a steady hand; writing one in the sky requires a steady everything.

By Julia Layton

Why do we still lock away critical data on a box that can go down with the plane? It may be time to think differently about the black box and its contents.

By Nicholas Gerbis

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

Ready for a fifth mode of transportation? Elon Musk is. He's sketched out a proposal for a nearly supersonic transportation system that could shoot you from San Francisco to Los Angeles faster than you can watch an episode of "Game of Thrones."

By John Perritano

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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

One of the key pieces of infrastructure that we could really use in the U.S. is a high speed, efficient, and effective train system.

By Derek Markham, Planet Green

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

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In January 2004, the citizens of Milan, Italy, were preparing for a strike that would shut down all public transportation. Since an estimated 28 percent of greater Milan’s 3 million populace relied heavily on public transit, the strike meant gridlock for most of the city.

By Jonathan Atteberry

Steampunk enthusiasts imagine an alternate version of history, where the dress code demands petticoats and suit vests and airships are the most romantic forms of all transportation.

By Alexander Davies

What is the future of supersonic flight? Learn more about the future of supersonic flight in this article.

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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Few are unfamiliar with the mixer trucks that transport concrete from the factory to the construction site. How do they keep that stuff from hardening while they move?

By Eric Baxter

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

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Antique steam shovels can still be found rusting away at old mining sites or painstakingly restored and on display in museums the world over. How much do you know about these mammoth-sized digging tools?

By Akweli Parker

Forklifts are a necessary tool in most warehouses, shipping depots and manufacturing facilities. In fact, without forklifts, we wouldn't be able to move manufactured goods nearly as efficiently as we do today.

By Christopher Neiger

Believe it or not, the marvel we know as the helicopter began as a Chinese top consisting of a shaft — a stick — adorned with feathers on one end.

By Tom Harris & Talon Homer

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