Tagged With airplanes

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Video: Peter Sripol is a talented engineer with an obsession for building RC planes using unorthodox materials. Instead of balsa wood, he's built working aircraft using LEGO, and even Kentucky Fried Chicken buckets. But his masterpiece is successfully turning a tortilla into the world's first edible aircraft.

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While scouring large swaths of land for prey, predators such as hawks and eagles will often take advantage of rising thermals to stay airborne and glide for extended periods with minimal effort. Humans have copied this approach which allows sailplanes to fly without a motor, but Microsoft is now teaching an AI how to pilot an autonomous plane powered by this natural phenomenon.

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Earlier in the year, Qantas asked the public to help it name its new 787-9 Dreamliners. After receiving over 60,000 suggestions, Qantas settled on eight iconic names — Waltzing Matilda, Boomerang, Dreamtime, The Great Barrier Reef, Uluru, Skippy and Quokka.

But are they bloody 'Strayan enough? We have our own ideas.

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The windows in the Boeing 787 Dreamliner are awesome. You can electronically dim them for five different levels of sunlight and visibility. That's so much better than the typical aeroplane window shade option of blinding or blocked out. But the coolest thing about Dreamliner windows are how huge they are, like vertical panoramas of the sky. How come the 787 can support bigger aeroplane windows but other planes can't? It's because the Dreamliner is mostly made of carbon reinforced plastic.

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Video: To my eye, the clouds that aeroplane wings make on takeoff and landing look like a cool force field — a stealth shroud that envelopes the aeroplane as its flying around. Reality is less fun though, because the clouds that are rolling over the wings of the aeroplane are caused by the lift forces that let our planes fly.

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We don't really have in-flight wi-fi in Australia yet, although both Virgin and Qantas are working on it. It's far more common throughout Europe and the US, but a consortium of European companies is taking a different approach to the new network it's building: instead of satellites dozens of kilometres above the Earth bouncing signals from ground stations to planes and back, the European Aviation Network uses 4G LTE beamed directly upwards from mobile phone towers.

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Video: Yowza. Watch this Sukhoi Su-27 make the lowest of low passes at an air base in Ukraine. Like, it flies so impossibly close to the ground that you can see a guy duck and essentially get blown over as the fighter jet flies above his head. The video shows the entire insane approach: The jet flies a few metres over the runway before it peels left and screams right on top of the guy before picking up air again over the cameraman. Bananas.