Let’s face it: Soviet jets are ugly, and MiGs are some of the worst offenders. The Vietnam-era MiG-17 and MiG-19 represented a utilitarian tube-with-wings-on-it trend; they were followed by the deadly MiG‑21, a rational sculpture of angles and cone. This one is different. The fluidly beautiful MiG-29 looks like its larger twin-tail contemporary, the slab-sided F-15 Eagle, to the degree that a Bolshoi ballerina resembles a roller derby star. [more inside]
At 6 a.m. on Thanksgiving, James Galdo and his 22-year-old son made their annual trip to a Hess (HES) gas station on New York’s Long Island to buy the oil company’s latest holiday toy truck. It marked the end of an era for Galdo, who owns each retail toy truck Hess has produced since 1964, and the end of an almost 50-year family tradition. Come next year, the ritual of heading to a local Hess station will be replaced with a visit to Hess’s website. Hess’s toy truck business is moving online following the sale last spring of the New York-based energy company’s stations. [more inside]
We’re continually surrounded by masterful works of art that we hardly notice – objects created with fine craftsmanship on par with the work of any famous dead artist. No need to battle tourist crowds at the Louvre. Just crack open your dead cell phone and geek out! [more inside]
In 2006, the United States Air Force declassified part of one of its secret programs: Constant Peg, the 4477th Test and Evaluation Squadron, which flew MiGs. [more inside]
In 1995, the NHL's Winnipeg Jets were officially sold to an investment group in Pheonix, Arizona, despite community outrage and a last minute fan rally. [more inside]
Inside the private jets of African dictators and other heads of state. (Slideshow of photographs by Nick Gleis.)
Remember when air travel was viewed as glamorous and exciting? Of course you don't. So check out this collection of vintage flight attendant photos: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3
This extremely cool video captures the first "Gigantic Jets" (purportedly) ever captured in the U.S. "Think of them as sprites on steroids: Gigantic Jets are lightning-like discharges that spring from the top of thunderstorms, reaching all the way from the thunderhead to the ionosphere 50+ miles overhead. They're enormous and powerful." See also: An article on the subject from 2003, a more technical article from Nature (mirrored) and how to look for yourself.
Jets meet-up suggest that George Bush really does not like black people. A post over at Grabthar's Hammer analyses a recent photo-op of the President with the New York Jets, and figures out that the probability of the black players having been kept out of the immediate vicinity of Dubya (as you can see is the case in the photos supplied on the post) was 0.4%.
The effects of jet contrails on climate. Taking advantage of a unique research opportunity brought about by the Sept. 11 terrorist attack on America, when all commercial air traffic in the country stood still for three days, scientists have uncovered the first clear evidence. Link to British journal Nature article on subject and IPCC article.
Lockheed Martin beat out Boeing for a $200 Billion contract to build the new F-35 fighters jets earlier today. Missile defense, planes that can take off vertically, bombs that fry electronics...military technology is accelerating at a really frightening pace.
Remote control jets (Yahoo news) Is this really a good idea? I've heard similar suggestions for our airways - but the article points out that centralizing air traffic has the potential to put entire fleets of jumbo jets in the hands of terrorists.