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NASA Continues Crashing Aeroplanes For Science

NASA doesn’t just crash rockets — sometimes, it crashes cheaper aircraft too. This week, it’s the turn of a Cessna 172, being gratuitously destroyed to help improve aeroplane’s black boxes.


Even Cleaning The V-22 Osprey Looks Cool

Here’s a really great shot of a US marine cleaning the tilt rotors of a MV-22B Osprey. Seeing the rotors this close and seeing the marine get dwarfed by them and then not being able to see the rest of the aircraft makes it seem as if the rotors are connected to a monster of a machine. The Osprey is so damn cool.


Musician Collapses Wearing All His Clothes To Beat Budget Airline Fees

Musician James McElvar used a sitcom-style idea to beat easyJet’s baggage restrictions, taking all of his clothes out of his bag and wearing them to avoid a fee to check his case — only to collapse on the flight from heat exhaustion.


A Sunset And Wet Runway Sure Make An Aeroplane Look Pretty

Briefly: We’re suckers for pretty aircraft and beautifully lit photography — like this shot of a Utah Air National Guard KC-135R Stratotanker as it casts its reflection on a recently watered flight line at sunset.


Watch A MiG-23 Fighter Jet Fly Insanely Close To The Ground

Video: If you were standing up straight, your head would be clipped off from this low pass from a fighter jet. That’s how close this Libyan MiG-23 is flying to the ground. The flyby is terrifyingly low and ridiculously fast and it is completely wild, especially considering how Libya only has a smattering of these jets and is in total chaos right now. So yeah. It’s crazy.


Watch An F-16 Shoot Down A Drone In The Air

Video: Here’s a video showing an F-16 shooting down a drone in the air and popping off flares in a live fire exercise. One day, the drones will probably start fighting back as revenge for all these training exercises but until that day comes, let us enjoy the amazing powerful flying machines controlled by humans that allows this to happen.


MiG-29 Flies Impossibly Close To An Aeroplane's Open Rear Door

Video: This is just plain cool. Imagine opening the rear door of a paratrooper plane and seeing a MiG-29 right in front of you, dancing in the air mere feet away from the aircraft’s opening. This stunt was obviously planned for the photographs, but it’s not unlike opening your house’s front door and seeing a giant grizzly bear waiting to come in.


Landing A Lockheed U-2 Isn't For The Faint-Hearted

Briefly: It’s easy to forget just how shallow some aeroplanes are. In this image, you’re looking at a US Air Force Lockheed U-2 reconnaissance aircraft as it flies above Royal Air Force Fairford in England earlier this month. As the Air Force points out, the long wings and shallow body mean U-2 pilots have a very small margin for error when it comes to landing without causing damage to the aircraft.


Watch An F-35 Fighter Jet Take Off From A Ski Jump

Here’s the first time an F-35B has taken off from a ski jump. The little boost not only looks cool, like a stunt ramp, but helps the fighter jet take off with a more upward flight path. These type of ski ramps are actually installed on aircraft carriers so it’s important for the, um, troubled (cursed?) aircraft to nail it lest it take a dive into the ocean.


Is Aircraft Cabin Air Toxic?

Following the death of commercial airline pilot Richard Westgate, an inquest was launched into the cause of his death. Westgate had previously claimed that his health problems were caused by exposure to on board toxic chemicals and a subsequent coroner’s report raised concerns with the pilot’s employers, British Airways, and the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), regarding the health effect of aircraft cabin air on aircraft occupants. Both organisations have responded to the report and stress that they take the matter of cabin air quality very seriously but that scientific evidence had not established a risk to ill-health. The investigation is ongoing and the inquest has not yet been heard.


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