Flying around the world on solar power has proven challenging. 2007: "Meanwhile in Switzerland, development continues on the Solar Impulse, which has a goal of flying around the world, manned(!), by 2010." 2010: "The Solar Impulse took flight today... with the goal of flying around the world in 2012." 2015: "The Solar Impulse... is currently in the midst of the longest leg in its pioneering round-the-world journey — China to Hawaii." Today: Watch a live stream of the Hawaii to California flight. Things are going okay so far.
". . .the airplane seat is sort of a planetarium for the Earth,” she says. “It’s a great way to inspire people to learn about the sciences.”Flyover Country is a free app that correlates geo/paleo databases, maps, and other data sources with your phone's GPS to provide information and identification about the landscape below as you fly over it - no wi-fi necessary. [more inside]
Rex Ridenoure's sister, LouAnn, a Southwest flight attendant, was recently diagnosed with terminal cancer. "As he waited to board a Southwest flight to see her, partially fearing he wouldn't make it in time to say goodbye, Ridenoure decided he would somehow turn his cross-country journey into the proper farewell celebration she deserved."
Startup aerospace company Boom is hoping to bring back civilian supersonic transport. Faster and cheaper than the Concorde at $5,000 for Mach 2.2. [more inside]
Flitetest is a project that makes RC flight fun. Their Youtube channel includes 'Crazy Projects' like the Super Circle Plane. [more inside]
Take Flight [New York Times] [Magazine] The year’s best actors lift off in a series of tributes to the ultimate Hollywood magic trick. To watch in virtual reality on your phone, download our app. [more inside]
In a daring attempt to ease cold war tensions, the 19-year-old amateur pilot had flown a single-engine Cessna nearly 550 miles from Helsinki to the center of Moscow—probably the most heavily defended city on the planet—and parked it at the base of St. Basil’s Cathedral, within spitting distance of Lenin’s tomb. Newspapers dubbed the pilot “the new Red Baron” and the “Don Quixote of the skies.” The stunt became one of the most talked-about aviation feats in history. But it was politics, not fame, that motivated Rust.
On September 11, pioneering pilot and aerial cinematographer, occasional cameo actor and air ambulance pilot Alan Purwin was killed in a plane crash in Colombia while working on a movie. The master of the dangerous art of aerial photography is memorialized by[WATCH ME] his friend and frequent collaborator, Michael Bay.
The Solar Impulse, the world's first solar-powered manned long-haul flying machine, is currently in the midst of the longest leg in its pioneering round-the-world journey — China to Hawaii, which at a cruising speed of less than 30mph is anticipated to take most of a week. Follow along with live flight telemetry here. Swiss businessman André Borschberg and Swiss psychiatrist Bertrand Piccard, who both previously participated in the world's first round-the-world balloon voyage, in the Breitling Orbiter 3, are alternating flight legs. Borschberg is at the controls until the aircraft reaches Hawaii.
In Flight [New York Times] [Interactive] En route from London to Tokyo, a pilot’s-eye view of life in the sky.
There is no more water, except for the clouds. In this animated short film, a heroic pilot attempts to change that. [more inside]
While scientists have long known that modern day birds are dinosaurs (a fact that is self-evident if you ever look at a cassowary), it now appears that birds were not the dinosaurs' only attempt at flight. It may have had feathers, but the recently discovered Yi qi ("Strange Wing") had wings like a bat.
Moving to Mars. "The volunteers perched in the lava fields of Mauna Loa on the HI-SEAS (Hawai'i Space Exploration Analog and Simulation) mission are as close as Earthlings will get to Mars in the foreseeable future." [more inside]
Three YT's showing how to fly a P-51C Mustang.
The New York Times is reporting this morning that crash of the Germanwings plane on Tuesday in the French Alps that killed 150 people "most likely happened" because the co-pilot crashed the jet deliberately, [more inside]
One hundred years ago today, on March 3, 1915, a Naval Appropriations Bill was passed through Congress and signed by president Woodrow Wilson. A small rider was attached to the bill and went through the process almost completely unnoticed. That rider legislated the formation of the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics. [more inside]
John Collins, holder of the world record for paper airplane flight distance, shows you how to fold that airplane. Here, he demonstrates the plane to David Rees[previously], along with a few other designs, which he also teaches to you: the Tube, the Boomerang, and the Tumbling Wing. [more inside]
All these grown-up monsters for my grown-up mind, they are there in the nights I wake up terrified and taunted by death. When I feel so small and broken, when despair and terror take me, I have a secret tool, a talisman against the night. I don’t use it too often so that it doesn’t lose its power.[more inside]
Virgin Airlines has released a nearly six-hour video showing what's it like to fly from New York to San Francisco with BLAH airlines, which is fictional, gray, boring, and non-Virgin; all in excruciating detail. (Warnings: SLYT, mannequins, Lynchian, Virgin Pepsi Blue)
what it's like to fly the $23,000 Singapore Airlines Suites Class (includes lots of photos) [more inside]
On Thursday, NASA released the names and designs of three vehicles that could replace the space shuttle as means of sending our astronauts into space. [more inside]
Back in 2012, fashion photographer and filmmaker Milton Tan shot a time lapse film over a six month period, of planes overflying Singapore's Changi Beach on their way to and from Changi airport. After his "The Air Traffic" video went viral, managers at the airport made Tan an offer: six months of access to a restricted runway for a second film: The Air Traffic Two. (Via) [more inside]
The mechanical artwork of metalsmith and jewelry-maker Dukno Yoon simulate the flapping of wings through the simple swish of a finger, or powered by metronome. Artist's Series, youtube
This 3 minute video of Boeing's 787 Dreamliner rehearsing for the 2014 Farnborough airshow is notable for the performance takeoff, sure, but hey check out those slipping turns, and the forward slip to a landing, in a jetliner. Remember the Gimli Glider? [upbeat pseudo-techno music warning]
"Normal return route canceled. Proceed as follows: Strip all company marking, registration numbers and identifiable insignia from exterior surfaces. Proceed westbound soonest your discretion to avoid hostilities and deliver NC18602 to marine terminal La Guardia Field New York. Good luck." [more inside]
Presented for your enjoyment and perusal: the Apollo 11 Flight Plan, and other fun reading material. [more inside]
To commemorate the 300th Anniversary of the original Longitude Prize (won by John Harrison with the invention of a clock that could keep time at sea), UK charity Nesta has launched a new £10million prize to encourage inventors and scientists to find a solution to one of six problems facing the world. [more inside]
Birdly: An Attempt to Fly. "‘Birdly’ is an installation which explores the experience of a bird in flight. It tries to capture the mediated flying experience, with several methods. [...] Visualized through HMD (Oculus Rift) the participant is embedded in a virtual landscape where his body is the body of a Red Kite. The whole scenery is perceived in the first person perspective of a bird. To intensify the embodiment we include additional sonic, olfactoric and wind feedback. Soundwise you perceive only the roaring of the wind and the flaps of the wings." [more inside]
Malaysia Airlines MH370 from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing is missing.
Flight MH370, operated on the B777-200 aircraft, departed Kuala Lumpur at 12.41am on 8 March 2014. MH370 was expected to land in Beijing at 6.30am the same day. The flight was carrying a total number of 227 passengers (including 2 infants), 12 crew members.Rumors that the plane has landed in Nanning, China are debunked. Chinese media had originally reported Vietnamese officials saying they've picked up a signal, but this has also been refuted. There has been no contact nor distress signals, and the case is especially puzzling as the plane lost contact at the safest moment of the flight. [more inside]
How Airbus is Debugging the A350-XWB. Jeff Wise, writing in Bloomberg Business Week, describes the 18-month testing process for the new Airbus A350-XWB passenger jet. One page version (printer format). And a bonus media offering: a somewhat functional online 3D flight simulator. [more inside]
Dennis Hlynsky is a professor of film and animation at RISD whose most recent work, titled Small Brains on Mass, looks at bird behavior, particularly how they interact when flying in groups. To better understand how flying as a flock is achieved, Hlynsky filmed the birds and then stacked the images on the same frame for a set number of frames, the results show each bird’s flight as a trail, but synchronized with the flock. The results are often pure poetry. [more inside]
Luigi Prina: The Ships That Sail Through The Clouds — Italian architect creates beautiful flying air ships.
Several members of the Philadelphia Orchestra were on a flight from Bejing to Macao that got stuck on the tarmac for three hours. With nothing better to do, the musicians resorted to doing what they do best...
[V]Robo Raven[V] is a robot bird. So uncanny a hawk attacked it during testing. Other robot birds include the SmartBird, a flying robotic seagull, and AirPenguins. Robobee is a robot bee.
Prior to their southward migration, the godwits eat up large, until up to 55 per cent of their body weight is fat. They then reduce the size of their gut, kidney and liver by up to 25 per cent to compensate for the added weight. Godwits are amazing migratory shorebirds who travel many thousands of miles at a go. Here's a brief documentary of people studying them (12 minutes on youtube + ad, shows invasive surgery). Here's some science on their flights (creative commons). [more inside]
Come along when Lainey, six years old, goes for her first ever airplane ride in her family's open-cockpit 1946 Champ (SLYT).
Pretty stunning cockpit perspective footage of unmanned aerial vehicles interacting in close quarters, flying with a range of flyers (Echelon FPV). [more inside]
109 years ago today, on December 17th 1903, Orville Wright lay down and flew 120 feet at 10 feet per second on the Wright Flyer. [more inside]
The worlds shortest scheduled airline flight is from Westray Island in the Orkney Islands to the nearby Papa Westray Island. You can watch all two minutes of the flight.
Chilling amateur home video of the Challenger disaster "Obviously a major malfunction." Those words have always haunted me, but to hear them here, echoing across a PA system as shocked onlookers come to terms with what they have just seen, they carry even more power than they did when they were just an anonymous voiceover on a TV shot.
The Space Shuttle Discovery, known for launching the Hubble telescope, as well as being the workhorse of the fleet, made a final flight today. [more inside]