This Plane Will Circle the World Using Only the Power of the Sun

You've probably heard about the ambitious, almost impossible-sounding project to fly a solar-powered plane around the world without refuelling. But now, about a year before the voyage is scheduled to begin, you get your first look at the plane itself. It's unlike any plane you've seen before. Read More >>

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This Russian Doomsday Plane is President Putin's Personal Escape Pod

America isn't the only superpower with a "Doomsday Plane" for its head of state. When Russian President Vladimir Putin needs to escape danger, he hops aboard this top-secret flying communications centre. Read More >>

Why are Most Planes Painted White?

Here's a difficult question to answer without getting involved in a heated internet argument that eventually spills over into real-world violence -- why are big planes mostly white? Shouldn't Branson's Virgin fleet be red? Is there some sort of law? Does it help with visibility? Read More >>

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How NASA's Supercritical Wings Save Airlines Millions Every Year

Throughout the 1950s and 60s, aviation engineers struggled to overcome an important issue: That planes became increasingly difficult to control, the closer they got to the sound barrier. It wasn't until NASA strapped a pair of custom-made wings onto this fighter that supersonic flight became not just feasible, but downright commonplace. Read More >>

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NASA's Vomit Comet Trains Astronauts in the Ways of Weightlessness

With limited lab space aboard the ISS and skyrocketing launch costs, only the very best extra-terrestrial experiments make it into orbit. To put prospective experiments and astronauts alike through their weightless paces over the last six decades, NASA has relied on a gracefully arcing series of cargo planes called The Vomit Comet. Read More >>

A Boeing Plane Carrying 239 People Has Been Missing Since Friday Night (Update)

Extremely worrying news from Asia this weekend, with a Malaysia Airlines Boeing B777-200 plane from Kuala Lumpur vanishing with 239 people on board on Friday, and almost 48 hours later, there's still no trace. Read More >>

The First Supersonic Private Jet Has Huge Screens Instead of Windows

Windows are kind of a drag for airplanes—literally. They add extra weight, weaken the body, and generally slow down the aircraft; that's why the new Spike S-512 Supersonic Jet won't have any. Instead, passengers get to enjoy their sky-high surroundings on real-time, panoramic video screens. Read More >>

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The Experimental Hypersonic Rocket Plane That Ushered in the Space Age

Chuck Yeager's historic supersonic flight in 1947 set off a firestorm of research into flight beyond the speed of sound. The most ambitious of these projects was the X-15 program, a top secret USAF program that aimed to test the limits of Mach 7. In X-15: The World's Fastest Rocket Plane and the Pilots Who Ushered in the Space Age, John Anderson and Richard Passman recount the death-defying flights of a steel-nerved team of test pilots at the controls of the world's first rocket plane. Read More >>

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Fighter Pilots Couldn't Ask for a Better Wingman Than the Little Buddy

Evading RF (radar frequency) missiles is not unlike running from a bear. You don't have to outrun the threat itself but merely offer up a more tasty morsel instead—be that your podgy mate or, in the case of air combat, a juicy decoy with an enormous radar cross-section. Read More >>

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The US Air Force Prototype Fighter That Was Never Quite Good Enough

Despite the US military's robust budget, not every design makes it onto the battlefield. In fact, only a select number of the very best designs ever actually fly. So what the hell was the USAF thinking choosing the defect-ridden F-22 Raptor over this gorgeous jet? Read More >>

Crazed Ryanair Passengers Loot Drinks Trolley in Fury Over 24-Hour Delay

A nightmare Ryanair flight -- featuring an emergency stopover for medical treatment, a re-route to an alternative airport and a bus journey -- kicked off in terrifying fashion, with furious passengers said to have looted the duty free trolley and abused staff during their delay-hit ordeal. Read More >>

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Watch in Terror as a Plane Crash Lands on a Runway

It's considered among the safest forms of transportation, but the thought of being involved in a plane crash remains one of the most terrifying and common of fears. And, as this startling video shows, those fears aren't without good reason. Read More >>

Think Our Weather is Bad? In Saudi Arabia it's Raining Human Body Parts

So, things are a little wet here in the UK at the moment. But that's nothing. You've heard the expression "raining cats and dogs", right? Well, in Saudi Arabia it's raining human body parts. Read More >>

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China's J-15 Flying Sharks are Actually Russian Knockoffs

No surprise here. Like some of China's other planes, its new J-15 fighter jet is really just a clone of an older Russian design. But can a clone surpass its master copy? China hopes the answer is yes. Read More >>

Passenger Jet Pilot Panicked by UFO Over Heathrow

The pilot of an Airbus A320 was thrown into a panic while flying 20 miles west of Heathrow, telling authorities he saw a metallic "cigar/rugby ball like" object and "was fully expecting to experience some kind of impact with a conflicting aircraft." But nothing happened. So it was probably a goose or kids sending their phone into space on a balloon. [Telegraph] Read More >>

RAF Tornado Jets are Flying With 3D Printed Spare Parts

RAF contractor BAE Systems has revealed that some Tornado jets have been flying with spare parts built using a 3D printer, with layered metallic replacement bits featuring in some test flights last month. Read More >>


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