aeroplanes

Northrop Once Built Planes That Were Just Giant Wings

After World War II, the future of commercial air travel was supposed to be fantastic. There were promises that planes like Northrop Grumman’s flying wing would become the norm for civilian flying. These promises were often made to Baby Boomers — young, impressionable kids of the 1950s and ’60s — like in this cutaway drawing by L. Ashwell Wood for the comic book Eagle.


The New Striker II Is The World's Most Advanced Fighter Pilot Helmet

Having great reaction speeds is one thing, but for a fighter pilot to be performing at their best these days they need the most advanced equipment available to them. And when it comes to helmets, they don’t come any more advanced than BAE’s Striker II.


Watch A Boeing 787 Dreamliner Pull Some Crazy Stunts

There are certain things we all look for in a huge passenger jet: safety, stability, comfort… but what about some insane acrobatics? Well, you’ll be pleased to see that the Boeing 787 Dreamliner can certainly provide the latter.


Airbus: Who Needs Real Seats When You Can Straddle Bike Saddles?

Today in Questionable Airbus Patents, it’s not the pilot being displaced; it’s our sweet, precious legroom. And about three-quarters of the seats themselves. We just hope you’re not a fan of personal space, because otherwise — it’s going to be a long flight.


The UK Is Getting A Spaceport Too

The UK may have a spaceport within four years — and it will probably be in the northern reaches of Scotland. The plan to have a UK spaceport up and running by 2018 is expected to be announced by the government’s science minister this week, with six potential sites — four of which are in rural Scotland, where it won’t matter so much if spaceplanes crash back to earth — on the shortlist.


How To Get The Best Sleep Of Your Life On An Aeroplane

Navigating your way through clueless tourists, customs officers and disinterested ticket counter clerks is only half the battle. Once you make it to your seat, you’ve still got an entire flight to endure. Your best aeroplane strategy is almost always to sleep through the entire ordeal, but how does one sleep effectively while fully clothed, sitting up, in the middle seat? It’s surprisingly easy with a bit of planning.


Apparently, The US Navy Got Itself Some Cool Alien Spaceships

The Northrop Grumman X-47B carrier-launched drone really feels like the future of aviation in this image taken on board the USS Harry Truman. And, while it looks like some alien spaceship from a sci-fi show, these beasts will completely replace those F-18s in a couple of decades.


Fly From Tokyo To San Fran In 83 Seconds And Watch The Sun Chase Venus

When you find yourself on an overnight flight, you’re not going to skip the opportunity to snap a few pictures of the sun emerging from the horizon. Sadly, the tiny windows of a commercial airliner are usually insufficient to capture such views in all their glory. The cockpit however? Yeah, that’s going to give you a result like the clip here, which takes us through an accelerated journey between Tokyo and San Francisco.


Aeroplanes Of The Future: Mid-Air 3D Printing, Real-Life Transformers

BAE Systems has thrown a few wild ideas out there today, revealing what it thinks, hopes or possibly just imagines cutting-edge military aeroplanes may be like in the year 2040. One of BAE’s bizarre imagination exercises is an on-board 3D printer knocks out a quick UAV to deploy for investigation purposes.


Watch A Pair Of F-18s Refuel In Mid-Air Near The RAAF Base In Tindal, NT

Flying a fighter jet has to be one of the few activities that triggers both excitement and terror. I’m sure a trained pilot experiences the former more than the latter, but I can only imagine the nerves needed to successfully dock with a tanker craft in mid-air. If you’re curious as to how such a manoeuvre is conducted, here’s a clip showing two F/A-18s hooking up with a KC-130, near the Royal Australian Air Force base in Tindal, Northern Territory.