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.
Hot air balloons are about as simple as flying can get -- no engine, no moving parts really, and very little the pilot can do to control the vehicle. Find out what it's like to fly a hot air balloon!
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.
You see gears in just about anything that has spinning parts -- car engines, transmissions, VCRs... Learn what these gears are doing and get to the bottom of the "gear ratio" concept!
Gears are a fundamental part of just about any mechanical object -- if it has a motor, engine or spring, it probably has gears! But what do they do, exactly, and how do they do it?
Ball bearings can be found in a wide variety of machines and gadgets. If you take a look at one of them you may notice how perfectly smooth they feel and appear. How do they get like that? Find out how ball bearings are created in this article.
Right around the fall months you may have heard the phrase 'punkin chunkin.' Have you ever wondered what exactly that is, or how the machines that launch pumpkins 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.
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.
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.
Since a torpedo cannot have an air-breathing engine like a boat, how is it propelled through the water?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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? 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?
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? 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?
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
5 Facts About the Wild West's Deadly 'Doc' Holliday
May 28, 2020