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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Can you explain pressurized airplane cabins?

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?

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?

What is a tank engine, as in Thomas the Tank Engine?

Thomas the Tank Engine is a merchandising phenomenon that includes small wooden train sets, video tapes, books, clothing, an official Web site and tons of fan sites. But wait, what exactly is a "tank engine" anyway?

How do the engines breathe in diesel submarines?

How do the engines breathe in diesel submarines? Don't internal combustion engines need a lot of oxygen to run? Where would all of this oxygen come from when the sub is underwater?

What force causes a 3-pole motor to spin one way and not the other?

There is a force that causes a 3-pole motor to spin in one direction and not the other. What exactly is this force and how does it prevent the motor from spinning in another direction. Find out the answer to this question in this article from HowStuffWorks.

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 does a hydraulic ram pump work?

When I was a kid, my Aunt had constantly flowing water from a natural spring down the hill. She said the water was pumped uphill using a hydraulic ram. This device ran constantly and didn't need any electricity! What is a hydraulic ram and how does i

How are people able to breathe inside a submarine?

How are people able to breathe inside a submarine? What do they do to keep the air breathable?

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 Hydraulic Machines Work

Ever gaze in wonder at the huge cranes, bulldozers, backhoes, loaders, shovels and fork lifts on a construction site? Find out all about hydraulic machines, from backyard log splitters to big construction equipment.

Inside a Competition Tractor

Tractor pulls are popular displays of raw horsepower.The trucks used in these competitions use engines that are capable of producing thousands of horsepower.

How a Block and Tackle Works

A fascinating article that describes how a block and tackle (as well as levers and gears) works!

How Steam Engines Work

Steam engines powered all early locomotives, steam boats and factories -- they fueled the Industrial Revolution. Learn how the steam engine produces power!

How Tower Cranes Work

Tower cranes rise 150 feet in the air and lift up to 19 tons. Plus, they actually build themselves! They're simply amazing. Learn how these structures accomplish such feats.

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.

How Two-stroke Engines Work

A car engine uses a four-stroke cycle -- how can two strokes accomplish the same tasks? Learn all about the two-stroke engine, where it's used and how it compares to a four-stroke.

How Van de Graaff Generators Work

Were these things invented to make your hair stand on end? Find out how Van de Graaff generators create static electricity and why they were invented in the first place.


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