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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How Bearings Work

Bearings are the invisible heroes inside many mechanical devices. Learn about all different kinds of bearings, including 5-foot ball bearings that keep buildings on solid footing.

How Submarines Work

Not so long ago, the world's naval forces worked entirely above water. But all that changed with the addition of the submarine to the standard naval arsenal.

How Becoming an Airline Pilot 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 torpedo engines work under water?

Since a torpedo cannot have an air-breathing engine like a boat, how is it propelled through the water?

How do they start jet engines on airplanes?

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

How does an afterburner work?

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.

How does a catapult work?

It doesn't seem like twisted rope and wooden gears or levers would be able to produce the force and speed needed to launch heavy loads a great distance.

How does a water-cooled air conditioner work?

Water-cooled air conditioners work in a different way than standard air conditioners that chill the air with a compressor. If water-cooler air conditioners don't use a compressor, then how do they cool the air? Find out the answer in this article.

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.

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!


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