Last month, as a record-breaking heat wave swept through the southwest United States, dozens of flights were cancelled when the blisteringly hot conditions made it hard for jets to take off. New research suggests this wasn't a one-off event, and that global warming could make it increasingly difficult for planes around the world to take off in the coming decades.
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Lost in a thunderstorm over southeastern Australia, Captain R.D. Parmentier and his crew were desperately trying to find a place to land the big DC2 airliner. They were just a few hundred kilometres from the finish of an epic 18,000km race from London to Melbourne and the storm had rendered their communications equipment useless.
Video: That's a bit of a tumble, ain't it? Watch as this crew member gets blown away on the flight deck after the EA-6B Prowler took off. It's pretty scary, especially since he gets blown pretty damn close to the jet blast defector (and that he's on an aircraft carrier), but he manages to regain his bearings and even give a little celebration after getting tossed the hell around.
Video: The Libyan Air Force sure loves pulling wild stunts from inside its MiG fighter jets. This time we get to see the perspective of an insane low pass — and the plane flies so low that you'd think it was trying to land and touch down on the ground — from inside the cockpit. It's a crazy new angle to the madness of flybys like these.
Satellites and autonomous drones have reduced our need for cutting-edge spy planes and stealth fighters. So Lockheed's famed Skunk Works, creators of the SR-71 Blackbird, have now built a unique robot called the Spider that can crawl over the surface of blimps to find and fix tiny pinhole leaks.
Video: The US Air Force's B-52 Bomber has been around since the 1950s and can hold up to 31,750kg of weapons. It's a legendary beast that stretches 47.5m long, has a wingspan of 56m, and hits 12m tall. Known as the BUFF (that's for Big Ugly Fat Fucker), it can hold nine weapons on each wing and 27 more inside the weapons bay. More devastatingly, it can also hold eight nukes inside.
Video: The best part about flying on an aeroplane is that moment during the final approach: you look outside your aeroplane window and see the city where you're about to land from way up above, and comment on why so many people have pools in their backyards and see how big the freeways are and delight at all the parks and so forth. It's so fun! There's so much to see! But the last thing I'd expect to see during that moment is another plane landing at the same time as my plane on the runway right next to mine.
Image Cache: Australia has 12 C-130J Hercules turboprop medium-duty tactical airlift aircraft in its fleet, operated out of RAAF Base Richmond. The C-130J can carry 20 tonnes of cargo or 120 passengers, but it can also move when it needs to — as this video demonstrates.
Video: Here's a British Airways Airbus A380 attempting to land at the Vancouver airport. You can see the world's largest passenger aeroplane make its final approach and come so, so close to the ground — but then decide to abort and make a go-around instead. It's incredibly impressive to see such a big plane make a manoeuvre like this.
Earlier this year, DARPA unveiled its latest concept design for a new vertical take-off and landing craft. Now, a working scale prototype has already made its first successful flight.
Video: There really should be more flying boats around these days. They're comically large and equipped with so many engines, and their ability to take off and land on water is just so cool. From floating around to flying in no time! Here's a collection of the biggest flying boats ever made. Some of these were the largest aircraft flown during the first half of the 20th century.