planes

Hobby Drones Derailed Firefighters' Attempt To Put Out A Wildfire

Drought-stricken California has seen a wildfire rage on this week, but when planes carrying flame retardant attempted to contain the fire Wednesday, someone’s hobby drone hovering over the scene got in the way.


Tiny Electric Backup Engine For Planes Kicks In When All Else Fails

A commercial airliner with multiple engines can limp to a runway if one of them fails. But a small plane, driven by just a single propeller, is in more serious trouble when its engine stops. So researchers have created a tiny electric backup that kicks in during an emergency, ensuring the craft can safely get to the ground.


These Fuel Cell Trolleys Can Power An Old Plane's In-Flight Electronics

Believe it or not, that modern-looking tin can in the sky you’re flying — with its touchscreen TVs at every seat — most likely took flight for the first time decades ago. All of those fancy electronics are upgrades sucking on outdated power systems. That’s why these trolley carts were created to deliver a different kind of juice.


See The First Female F-35 Pilot Begin Her Training

Lt Col Christine Mau, 33rd Operations Group deputy commander, just completed a training flight as the first female F-35 pilot in the US. Here are photos of her in an F-35A, a fifth-generation single-seat fighter.


What Happens When A Flock Of Birds Hits An Aeroplane Head On

You should have seen the other guy, said the plane. The plane, a Boeing 738 operated by Turkish Airlines, was landing at Nevşehir-Capadoccia airport when it got its nose punched in by a flock of birds. The birds, judging from the marks and cracks and colour of said punched in plane nose, presumably suffered a worse fate.


The FAA Is Switching To Satellites For Air Traffic Control

As unnerving as it is to hear, air traffic control has always been pretty piecemeal. Relying on a combination of instrumentation — namely, radar, radios, and GPS — as well as good old-fashioned eyeballs, pilots do a pretty good job navigating the sky. But they’re about to get a lot better with a new satellite-based system.


Bats Fly By Touch Using Sophisticated Sensors In Their Wings

As if bats weren’t badass enough, we now know that their wings are loaded with ultra-sensitive sensors that help the bats manoeuvre like airborne ninjas. This could lead to aircraft design that might reduce turbulence, improve flight control, and generally be a lot less clumsy.


Morphing Wings Will Turn Planes Into Fuel-Saving Shape-Shifters

Flying’s great — you can be whisked across timezones in a matter of hours — but it’s not so great for your wallet or the atmosphere. NASA’s new wing design that adjusts its flaps mid-flight could be the fix.


Aeroplane Cabins Could Be 100X Quieter With These Rubber Mufflers

The dull throbbing hum that accompanies you on your jet-setting adventures might be quieted in the near future. Scientists from MIT and North Carolina State University collaborated on a thin rubber membrane that can be installed throughout the body of a plane like acoustical tiles, essentially sound-proofing the interior.


How IKEA Could Change Jet Cockpit Design

Spending the day at IKEA is a fun treat in the best of times, a relationship-destroying nightmare in the worst. For one Airbus designer though, following the yellow arrows around the bins of votive candles and wall hooks was a breakthrough moment.