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Twenty Times a Day

...the Department of Transportation will not keep secret the data we collect on birds striking airplanes. - Ray LaHood, United States Secretary of Transportation
From the dreaded mourning dove to the nefarious Canada goose to the humble armadillo, the FAA's recently released National Wildlife Strike Database ON-LINE contains information on aircraft/wildlife strikes from over 100,000 reported incidents between 1990 and 2008. [more inside]
posted by shoesfullofdust on Apr 24, 2009 - 11 comments

Windshield Imploded, Military Intercept, Cockpit Empty and Dark over Florida Skies

A pilot who apparently faked a distress call and bailed out of his Piper Malibu is now on the run. The pilot and his company, Heritage Wealth Management, were recently sued. Is this another DB Cooper?
posted by exogenous on Jan 12, 2009 - 83 comments

Eclipse Aviation, start to finish.

Eclipse Aviation yesterday told all of its employees to go home and that they would not be paid for their past two weeks of work. [more inside]
posted by backseatpilot on Nov 14, 2008 - 41 comments

Flawlesss Aircraft Emergency Landings (QLYTP)

Flawless Aircraft Emergency Landings (QLYTP). Breatheless reporting aside, it looks like when a pilot can control the landing, these aircraft are tough enough that no one need be hurt. Many more excellent videos in the post-video links, too.
posted by five fresh fish on Oct 21, 2008 - 40 comments

macrovision

The AirTraffic Team at zhaw has posted a video depicting global flight activity over a single day to their site: windows media link / quicktime link. that's all.
posted by krautland on Sep 22, 2008 - 30 comments

Mark Langford's KR2S

I love nicely done home-built aircraft. I discovered Mark Langford's website over a year ago but forgot to bookmark it. Thankfully, I recently found it again. His dedication (obsession?) is obvious. I can't get over how many parts he custom built for his plane. He suffered an engine failure in his Corvair engine at one point, and I loved how he took the engine apart afterward and gave a full rundown about what happened.
posted by eratus on Jun 19, 2008 - 8 comments

Vulture to circle for years

DARPA has announced the contractors for their "Vulture" UAV system. The plan is to build an aircraft that can stay aloft, uninterrupted, for five years. [more inside]
posted by backseatpilot on Apr 30, 2008 - 28 comments

Тхундербирдс являются дороге!

Russian cold war bombers - The Tu 95 Bear and Tu 160 Blackjack, based in central Russia, which resumed long range patrols in August.
posted by Artw on Dec 23, 2007 - 52 comments

Airline Branding Weblog

Airline Branding Weblog. Can you say "Awesome"?
posted by riffola on Oct 19, 2007 - 24 comments

The V-22 Osprey - A Flying Shame

The V-22 Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft is going to combat. The aircraft cannot autorotate to safe landing if it loses power in helicopter mode, and has only a rearward facing gun. previously
posted by exogenous on Sep 27, 2007 - 55 comments

Solar planes making progress

The Zephyr, a solar powered plane, has smashed the record for the longest duration un-manned flight, staying aloft with engines running for 54 hours. This was just a test run at the US military White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico, according to the UK developers, "You ain't seen nothing yet". Meanwhile in Switzerland, development continues on the Solar Impulse, which has a goal of flying around the world, manned(!), by 2010.
posted by stbalbach on Sep 11, 2007 - 11 comments

Unique aircraft testing videos.

Load testing a Boeing 777 wing. To failure! Also, engine testing, and maximum rejected takeoff.
posted by loquacious on Jan 22, 2007 - 26 comments

On a wing and a prayer...

An Israeli military training mission gone bad. A mid-air collision during a simulated dogfight. An A4 Skyhawk goes down, and an F-15 Eagle decides to try and make it the 10 miles back to base. When the pilot lands, he finds out that he has definitively answered the question, Can this aircraft fly on just one wing? [video]
posted by NotMyselfRightNow on Oct 4, 2006 - 28 comments

"We've been hit."

In a corporate jet flying 37,000 feet above the Amazon rainforest, I heard the three words I will never forget: “We’ve been hit.”
posted by NotMyselfRightNow on Oct 3, 2006 - 70 comments

Eject! Eject! Eject!

Eject! Eject! Eject! Whether used in the air, on land, at sea (and under it), or on the way to the Moon, ejection seats and capsules have saved thousands of aviators worldwide. The basic concept was first tested in 1912, developed by the Germans in WWII, and became standard safety equipment in high-speed, high-altitude jet and rocket aircraft. (Although ejection seats were in Gemini spacecraft, they were only in early Space Shuttle flights.) Much happens very quickly during ejection, and harrowing accidents and pilot deaths still occur. The decision not to eject right away may be heroic, but even pilots who wait may live while innocent bystanders^ die. However, the efforts of dedicated researchers and rocket sled testing by seat manufacturers keep adding new members to the unique club of men and women who survive to fly again.
posted by cenoxo on Aug 28, 2006 - 21 comments

Eep

[Newsfilter] Terror plot disrupted. Scotland Yard has arrested about 18 potential terrorists who were planning to blow up UK to USA flights mid-air. The UK threat level is now critical - "an attack is expected imminently". And there's chaos at the airports where hand luggage has been banned from all flights.
posted by featherboa on Aug 10, 2006 - 506 comments

Dellschau + Sonora Aero Club Mysteries

Legend has it that Charles Dellschau (1830-1923) was the draftsman for the secret Sonora Aero Club, a collective of 60 or so mostly German immigrants who reportedly constructed dirigible like aircraft in California in the 1850's. One club member was said to have discovered suppe -- the magic antigravity fuel alleged to have lifted the craft. There were sightings of these 'airships', tenuously linked back to the club, up to the end of the 20th century.
Dellschau, described variously as butcher, inventor, civil war spy, scientist and America's first visionary artist, retired at age 70 in Texas and spent the last 2 decades of his life as a recluse, producing mixed media art works that record the craft and workings of the fabled Sonora Aero Club. They are accompanied by cryptic symbols, newsprint about aircraft and detailed notebooks and were salvaged from the garbage in 1967. His artworks were selling for $15,000 each 5 years ago. A would-be author and long-time sleuth believes he has unlocked the mysteries of Dellschau's cryptic accoutrements and may be publishing a book on the legends this year. via
posted by peacay on Jun 15, 2005 - 11 comments

Derelicts vs. Cannibals

Planes check in but they don’t check out. At boneyards across the country, derelict airliners await cannibalization, destruction, or possible restoration.
posted by breezeway on Mar 30, 2005 - 26 comments

Your favorite cock pit

Wildcats, Falcons, Dragonflies, Dominators, Lancers, Starlifters, Sea Stallions, Shooting Stars, Stilletos (or is it Stilleti?): instrument panels
posted by breezeway on Mar 16, 2005 - 10 comments

Oops

Airrors A collection of (mostly) aircraft-related mishaps. Some look Photoshopped, but I can vouch for others being real. My favorite. Warning: no thumbnails.
posted by joaquim on Feb 14, 2005 - 26 comments

Goodbye to the Turkey

Last operational flight of the F-14s

Speaking of gravity-defying cats... Remember the F-14, Tom Cruise's favorite ride? It's the end of an era for the venerable warbird. The variable-geometry Tomcat was the last carrier aircraft built specifically for fleet defense and long-range interception -- in fact, it grew up with a dedicated weapon system just for the job. Like any cat with nine lives, it showed up doingnew and different things. In its later years it found a new role as a precision-strike aircraft (the "BombCat") and nearly lived to be the bridge to the new F-35 multirole Joint Strike Fighter. Excuse the warmongering. What can I say...I was bored with the lousy NFL early games on TV this afternoon..
posted by alumshubby on Oct 24, 2004 - 9 comments

Two years ago - a tremendous tragedy.

On 1 July 2002 at 21:35:32 hrs a collision between a Tupolev TU154M, which was on a flight from Moscow/Russia to Barcelona/ Spain, and a Boeing B757-200, on a flight from Bergamo/Italy to Brussels/ Belgium, occurred north of the city of Ueberlingen (Lake of Constance). Investigation Report as of May 2004, PDF. Very detailed, intelligibly written.

71 people were killed in one of Europe's worst peacetime air accidents. The report comes the the conclusion that human error was the main cause. The TCAS system (PDF) which should have prevented the collision worked, but the Tupolew crew followed the ATC instructions. It turned out that the air traffic controller missed a key warning on his radar screen in one of a chain of errors. ATCs from nearby airports realized what was going on but weren't able to contact the responsible Skyguide controller because the telephone network did not work: the main telephone line was switched off because of work being done on the telephone network, and the collision warning system was temporarily shut down for maintenance.
The ATC in charge was stabbed to death in February 2004 by a Russian man who lost his wife, son and daughter in the plane crash.
posted by tcp on Jul 1, 2004 - 9 comments

Not quite a flying car, but we're getting there

X-43A Flight. "The unpiloted 12-foot-long X-43A vehicle, part aircraft and part spacecraft, will be dropped from the wing of a B-52 aircraft, lofted to nearly 100,000 feet by a booster rocket and released over the Pacific Ocean to briefly fly under its own power at seven times the speed of sound." Watch (RealPlayer) it live.
posted by cedar on Mar 27, 2004 - 34 comments

Virtual wild blue yonder

Pull up! Pull up! Several detailed Quicktime VR tours of aircraft and spacecraft cockpits, from the National Air & Space Museum. [QTVR plugin required, natch.]
posted by stonerose on Feb 6, 2004 - 6 comments

miniature robotic helicopters, flying insects & micro air vehicles

Pixelito and Proxflyer Micron, both at 6.9 grams, are thought to be the two smallest robotic flying micro-helicopters. These charming prototypes are the precursors of a surveillance technology that ranges from the hobbyist's draganflyer to DARPA's micromechanical flying insect. Learn more about how spy flies will work as we fly into the future.
posted by madamjujujive on Jan 3, 2004 - 6 comments

Aerosite

Aerosite.
posted by hama7 on Dec 29, 2003 - 15 comments

On a wing & a rail - global transportation

Transportation around the world is a huge database of photos focusing on two topics: transportation mode and geography. From bullet trains to dogsleds and camel caravans to tramways, - browse by location or by topic. Also related: One of the best transportation museums in the world is the Verkehrshaus der Schweiz in Lucern, Switzerland. (via booknotes)
posted by madamjujujive on Aug 10, 2003 - 3 comments

Bamboo Dick

One hundred years later, the question remains: Did Pearse fly?
posted by Silune on Mar 31, 2003 - 3 comments

Depleted Uranium (DU) Update

It's not just for bullets anymore! previously discussed on MeFi here, I would like to reconsider "Depleted Uranium" (DU) in terms of its non-military uses. As ballast in the Columbia, the pieces of which were scattered across our country, for instance? Also in the ballast of many commercial airplanes, helicopters and ships. Should we really be using this stuff so lightly? I mean, just because it's twice as heavy as lead does that counterbalance the incredibly damaging long-term (half-life = how many billion years?) effects of DU burning and becoming a wind-borne inhalant? (Gulf Syndrome) To paraphrase Seinfeld, what's the deal with DU?
posted by zekinskia on Feb 12, 2003 - 27 comments

F-22 Raptor

The F-22 Raptor is the next generation fighter for the United States. At nearly 97 million each, it will be deployed in 2004.This site gives a remarkably detailed report regarding its design and function. Including such gems as "first-look, first-shot, first-kill capability" and " Humans are good differentiators, but they are poor integrators."
posted by JohnR on Dec 19, 2002 - 53 comments

the names all sound like superheroes

the names all sound like superheroes skystreak. thunderchief. super sabre. firebee. darkstar. and they fly, some of them faster than the speed of sound, but these "vigilantes" weren't born on the four-color pages of a marvel comic book.

they are nasa research vehicles and this way cool photo gallery stretches back to the days of chuck yeager and the x-1 transonic rocket plane. just a little bit of the right stuff for your thursday morning.
posted by grabbingsand on Jul 11, 2002 - 8 comments

China seeking $1 billion from Israel for aborted aircraft deal

China seeking $1 billion from Israel for aborted aircraft deal How do you say Chutzpah in Chinese? This is just....funny. Do they sue in the People's Republic Court?
posted by ParisParamus on Dec 4, 2001 - 7 comments

Plane crashes in Mexico, killing 19.

Plane crashes in Mexico, killing 19. Despite a few early misleading reports, foul play is NOT suspected.
posted by bargle on Sep 13, 2001 - 2 comments

Never in my country

Never in my country wouldl an airliner be allowed to fly off course. This was posted in a discussion thread I think. There's nothing I can say.
posted by HoldenCaulfield on Sep 12, 2001 - 36 comments

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