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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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Ryan NYP Spirit of St. Louis

The Ryan NYP monoplane, Spirit of St. Louis, is inextricably linked with American aviator Charles Lindbergh. In 1927, the 25-year-old flier made the first nonstop solo flight across the Atlantic. Read more specifications for the Spirit of St. Louis.

Piper J-3 Cub

The timeless Piper J-3 Cub was easy to fly and well suited to a variety of tasks. Because the Cub was economically priced, it helped democratize civil aviation. Learn the story and specifications for this classic, straight-forward aviation workhorse.

Beech Staggerwing

The Beech Staggerwing was an amazing leap forward on the date of its first flight, November 4, 1932. Learn how the reverse stagger of its wings, its clean fillets, and its retractable landing gear made this Depression-era gamble into a success.

Lockheed Vega

The Lockheed Vega, which first flew on July 4, 1927, at the crest of the Lindbergh euphoria, was an all-wood, high-cantilever monoplane with a beautiful streamlined monocoque fuselage. Check out this beautiful, record-setting classic airplane.

Boeing 747

The gigantic, ubiquitous Boeing 747 transport symbolizes the most important aspects of progress in civil aviation: the democratization and globalization of travel. Read about the challenges and successes that Boeing had with their new 747 airplane.

Hawker Hart

The Hawker Hart was one of the great classic aircraft of the Golden Age. The plane was deployed throughout the British empire, serving in India and the Middle East well into World War II. Learn the details about the clean-lined, speedy Hawker Hart.

Granville Brothers Gee Bee Super Sportster R-1

The Gee Bee Super Sportster R-1 classic airplane was designed by the Granville Brothers, who became some of the most famous names in aviation during the Golden Age of Flight. Learn about the records and ignominy of the speedy Super Sportster R-1.

Martin Model 130 China Clipper

The Martin Model 130 China Clippers were four-engine, all-metal flying boats that used an innovative air-filled sponson for stability on the water. Learn more about these noisy planes that 1930s passengers nevertheless considered quite luxurious.

Classic Airplanes

Every one of these classic airplanes was the product of loving care of an intelligent design team doing the best work of their era. Learn how aviation evolved and find links to classic airplane profiles, from the early years through today's jet age.

The Wright Flyers: 1903, 1905, and 1908

The Wright Flyers established Orville and Wilbur Wright as aviation leaders. Sadly, the majority, especially in Europe, thought them liars. The insulted brothers stopped flying from 1905-08. Read about the story of the Wrights and their aircraft.

Bleriot XI

The Bleriot XI monoplane was the culmination of five years of hard work by Louis Bleriot. The success of the Bleriot XI spelled trouble as pilots tried more and more daring maneuvers. Learn how these rash desires led pilots to abuse the Bleriot XI.

Curtiss Golden Flyer

The first Curtiss aircraft was the Golden Flyer. The golden tint of the varnish on the fabric covering of the Golden Flyer's wings and tail inspired the name. Read about this classic early plane, and the Curtiss rivalry with the Wright brothers.

Where does your unclaimed luggage end up?

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.

How Autopilot Works

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.

What's the Silent Aircraft Initiative

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

What may have caused Cory Lidles plane crash?

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.

What's the Segway recall about?

Segway Inc. announced on Thursday that it's recalling all of the scooters it has sold since the Segway went on the market in 2002.

How the Switchblade Plane Will Work

Aircraft that can alter their wing configurations in mid-flight have been in development since World War II. Now technology has finally caught up with the concept, and Northrop Grumman is in the process of building an unmanned shape-shifting plane: the Switchblade. Learn about variable-wing geometry.

ATV Factory Tour

What does it take to build an ATV? We visited the Suzuki Manufacturing of America Corporation ATV factory in Rome, Georgia, to find out.

How the Aeroscraft Will Work

The Aeroscraft is a heavier-than-air vehicle currently in development for use in the near future. Learn how the Aeroscraft flies and what it will be able to do.

How Air Taxis Will Work

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.

How Personal Air Vehicles Work

Move over Orville and Wilbur, there’s a new flying machine in town! And this time it’s made for personal use. Imagine a flying version of the Segway and you’re on the right track . . . Check out the Springtail EFV-4B, not yet available but perhaps just around the corner . . .

How the Airbus A380 Works

It's the largest passenger jet ever built -- so huge that airports have to be redesigned to accommodate it. Find out just how big the A380 is and what this type of craft means for the future of air travel.

How Radial Engines Work

A radial engine has a unique setup that makes it ideal for certain applications. Find out what makes radial engines different, how they operate and where they're used.

How Elevators Work

In action movies, elevators regularly plummet to the basement, landing in a spectacular ball of fire. Is this possible? There are some sophisticated engineering techniques at work behind every elevator ride you take.

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