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Give me a data plate and I'll build you an airplane.

The Supermarine Spitfire is probably the most iconic of all fighter planes. Watch the re-creation of a crashed Spit left on a French beach after the battle of Dunkirk in 1940 in Guy Martin Builds a Spitfire. [1 hr 12 min YouTube]
posted by pjern on Dec 7, 2014 - 24 comments

The Long Way Home

"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]
posted by jedicus on Jul 13, 2014 - 27 comments

Flew On The Pitch And We're 'Aving A Laugh

Yesterday, during the pre-World Cup friendly between England and Peru being played at Wembley Stadium, there were three goals scored, but the moment that captured the most attention has been this unbelievable, incredible paper airplane toss.
posted by BeerFilter on May 31, 2014 - 24 comments

"It's the lousy drink," he said, summing things up.

On September 20, 1956, just before the bars closed at 3 a.m., a single-engine plane landed on St. Nicholas Avenue near 191st Street in northern Manhattan. Behind the stick was 26-year-old Tommy Fiztpatrick, who pulled off the no-lights, no-radio "feat of aeronautics" while (allegedly) drunk to (allegedly) win a bar bet. Two years later, when a fellow patron called his story into question, Fitzpatrick did it again.
posted by gottabefunky on Dec 4, 2013 - 43 comments

Not much legroom, sadly

At 5 meters long, the Airbus A380 is one of the biggest airplanes of its kind.
posted by Thing on Nov 20, 2013 - 64 comments

A different kind of LSD trip

Early this morning, pilot John Pedersen encountered mechanical difficulties and made an emergency landing on Lake Shore Drive in Chicago [photos]. [more inside]
posted by Westringia F. on Sep 22, 2013 - 49 comments

R/C Carrier Launches R/C Plane

Three years ago, we resolved to fly an R/C airplane from an R/C aircraft carrier [more inside]
posted by Confess, Fletch on Sep 18, 2013 - 40 comments

"Don't mess up"

How airplanes pulling banners take off. (With wonderful MSPaint style illustrations.) Short video showing how it's done. You can hire companies to fly most any banner, of course. The pickup move is risky, so some types of banners can be directly taken off with, because of wheels (that from Wikipedia).
posted by skynxnex on Aug 19, 2013 - 24 comments

Plane crashes while landing at San Francisco International Airport

Asiana Airlines Flight 214 crashed just before noon today while attempting to land at SFO. [more inside]
posted by Red Desk on Jul 6, 2013 - 292 comments

There was applause, but it wasn't for the airline.

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...
posted by schmod on Jun 7, 2013 - 44 comments

Planesploit

Planesploit : this Android app permits you to take control over the commercial jet in which you are a passenger if it is on autopilot.
posted by Chocolate Pickle on Apr 11, 2013 - 74 comments

DIY Drones, or rather, Autonomous Aerial Vehicles

Pretty stunning cockpit perspective footage of unmanned aerial vehicles interacting in close quarters, flying with a range of flyers (Echelon FPV). [more inside]
posted by infinite intimation on Jan 25, 2013 - 20 comments

"The reason they joined the Navy was because Starfleet Command wasn't hiring."

Aircraft Carriers in Space: Naval analyst Chris Weuve talks to Foreign Policy about what Battlestar Galactica gets right about space warfare.
posted by the man of twists and turns on Sep 29, 2012 - 63 comments

Pilot's Timelapse

The working week of a commercial pilot as seen from the cockpit A timelapse video showing takeoffs and landings from the pilot's perspective. Complete with squashed insects on the windscreen.
posted by jontyjago on Sep 18, 2012 - 33 comments

Build your own Gossamer Condor

The first human-powered aircraft to achieve sustained and controlled flight, the Gossamer Condor (6.3 MB PDF), now belongs to the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum (2.2 MB JPG). So you'll need to build your own. (previously)
posted by Egg Shen on Aug 31, 2012 - 10 comments

Rollin' rollin' rollin'...

"This is unprecedented footage of a small airplane crash from inside the cockpit from two different views. Miraculously, everyone survived. The pilot will make a full recovery and the rest of us escaped with superficial injuries and feel very lucky to be alive." (Graphic accident footage, injuries are shown) [more inside]
posted by heyho on Aug 10, 2012 - 79 comments

4.5 Hours and 244 layers later

A 7 minute timelapse video showing how graphic designer Alexander Koshelkov put together this image of a plane crash using photos from other sources. (Action starts around 40 seconds in. via)
posted by jontyjago on Jun 19, 2012 - 46 comments

Nobody else had Denny Fitch, who beat those one-in-a-billion odds.

Denny Fitch, one of 4 pilots who guided United 232 to a controlled crash landing in Sioux City, Iowa after a complete hydraulic fluid loss following an engine failure, has died of cancer. He was interviewed about the landing for Errol Morris' First Person series (YouTube) (previously). Denny's family also documented his journey with his incurable brain tumor on his website and blog.
posted by bluefly on May 13, 2012 - 22 comments

Enterprise Lands at JFK

Front-row window seat to Space Shuttle Enterprise landing at JFK.
posted by brownpau on Apr 27, 2012 - 30 comments

"But, since you asked, buckle up."

Quora: What do all the controls in an airplane cockpit do?
posted by zarq on Mar 15, 2012 - 70 comments

"Ask for forgiveness, not permission."

Tricks for getting your violin on a plane, by Lara St. John.
How about an upright bass? A cello? A guitar? (previously) A trombone? A tuba (and other horns)? What about lutes, a djembe, a hurdy-gurdy, or bagpipes?
(Some general tips. More general tips - part 1, part 2.)
posted by flex on Dec 27, 2011 - 36 comments

Angry Birds With FLIR

"We finally flew our first thermal camera flight yesterday afternoon. About 10 seconds after launch my co pilot looked at the screen and said something like, 'We now have our very own predator drone'" A rice farmer in Louisiana had a real problem, feral pigs were coming out of the woods at night, into the rice fields, tearing up his crops and causing thousands of dollars worth of damage. The only solution is to bring in hunters to shoot the pigs. Hunting feral pigs in waist high rice plants, in the dead of night, is very difficult. You have to be within 10 feet of them to shoot them and it can take hours to stalk them down. So the farmer calls his brother, an Electronic Warfare engineer who flies RC airplanes as a hobby. $5000 worth of electronics, including a $4500 infrared camera, are installed on a $80 model airplane, and the Dehogaflier is born!
posted by smoothvirus on Oct 18, 2011 - 52 comments

Note to self: invest in a deadbolt.

When Brandon left for camp, his last words were, "stay out of my room!" Unfortunately for Brandon, he has the meanest most awesome family in the entire world. [more inside]
posted by phunniemee on Aug 15, 2011 - 577 comments

World's Largest Etch-A-Sketch

Boeing are currently testing the latest version of their venerable Jumbo Jet, the 747-8. Yesterday, in one of the last test flights prior to certification the new 747 flew for 17 hours, a distance of over 11,000 miles. The flight path can be seen here. [more inside]
posted by jontyjago on Aug 3, 2011 - 27 comments

♪ "So kiss me and smile for me. Tell me that you'll wait for me. Hold me like you'll never let me go..." ♫

Inspired by Andrew Sullivan's recent post on views outside airplane windows, BuzzFeed compiled a collection of "100 incredible airplane window views" from Flickr. (bandwidth-heavy single page version.) Click through slideshow at Business Insider.
posted by zarq on May 9, 2011 - 56 comments

What's that, up in the sky?

An Ornithopter Drone That Actually Looks Like a Bird
posted by cthuljew on Mar 25, 2011 - 59 comments

Penguins on a plane

Returning from the 2011 National Science Teachers Association Conference with their cargo of penguins that had been on display in the exhibit hall, SeaWorld animal escorts decided to give their charges some freedom to stretch their legs during Southwest Flight 583 to San Diego. The flightless birds promptly made the most of the situation.
posted by scalefree on Mar 15, 2011 - 72 comments

The World's Shortest Runway

The largest model railway layout in the world, Hamburg's Miniatur Wunderland has been featured here before. Featuring areas modelled on real life attractions, it also is home to the fictional town of Knuffingen where the 200,000 mini-inhabitants are very much looking forward to the opening of their new airport. [more inside]
posted by jontyjago on Feb 12, 2011 - 15 comments

Drone warfare against Pakistan

It may take years, but some researcher will travel to Pakistan’s tribal areas and produce a definitive study on what it’s been like to live amidst an aerial bombardment from American pilotless aircraft. When that account inevitably comes out, it’s likely to find that 2010 — and especially the final quarter of 2010 — marked a turning point in how civilians coped with a drone war that turned relentless. (previously: 1,2)
posted by Joe Beese on Dec 17, 2010 - 151 comments

The Hidden Beauty of Flight

Paths of Flight [more inside]
posted by bwg on Dec 6, 2010 - 13 comments

Invasion of the blue UFOs!

“It’s weird. You only see this type of stuff in movies. Just as long as we're here, I'm sure there are other things somewhere." In the past couple of months, strange blue lights have been appearing over towns across the USA: Anaheim, College Station, and outside of Washington DC. Many UFO buffs and conspiracy theorists believe this to be a part of an alien agenda to force the US Government to disclose alien existence, or perhaps a plot by NASA to overthrow all the world's religions. [more inside]
posted by smoothvirus on Nov 10, 2010 - 52 comments

eject

Pilot ejects an instant before fighterjet crashes [video] (via mr)
posted by kliuless on Oct 18, 2010 - 54 comments

The Letter U, and the Numeral 2

Reconnaissance will outlive the U-2, but there will always be a divot in the hearts of those who have seen the curvature of the earth, the stars seemingly close enough to touch, and known the satisfaction of having completed a mission with the Dragon Lady. Former U-2 pilot and military correspondent Cholene Espinoza writes a lovely adieu to these beautiful, difficult-to-fly aircraft, as well as a requiem for the era of human pilots for surveillance, giving way now to UAVs and other remote-control drones. The U-2 is, amazingly, still in service, but apparently soon to be grounded -- or not -- half-a-century after Francis Gary Powers' little Cold War incident. [Previously]
posted by chavenet on May 12, 2010 - 36 comments

Poland reels

The President of Poland, Lech Kaczyński, his wife and 130 others, including a huge proportion of the elite of Polish politics, have died in a plane crash. [more inside]
posted by Busy Old Fool on Apr 10, 2010 - 155 comments

Let's hope that they have good aim

A runway that intersects with a major road. A short runway that begins and ends with cliffs over the ocean. All in all, the most ridiculous runways you will ever touch down on. [more inside]
posted by emilyd22222 on Feb 22, 2010 - 47 comments

Single-engine plane crash in Austin, Texas

This morning, in Austin, Texas, a Piper Cherokee single-engine plane [was] crashed into an office building partially occupied by the IRS. It appears to be the work of an individual, but the story keeps getting weirder. The suspected person may have also burned his house down this morning.
posted by fiercecupcake on Feb 18, 2010 - 236 comments

Artifact of Early Antarctic Aviation Found

Early in the days of exploration of Antarctica, Australian geologist Douglas Mawson turned down an invitation to join Robert Falcon Scott's Terra Nova Expedition in 1910 (Cool Antarctica previously). Instead, Mawson lead his own expedition, the Australasian Antarctic Expedition (December 1911 to December 1913), an expedition to chart the 2000-mile coastline directly south of Australia, one of the least-visited parts of the continent throughout the early years of Antarctic exploration. The group's efforts and activities are well documented, and many remnants of the expedition remain on Antarctica. The conservation of Mawson's Huts is now an ongoing effort from Association of Australasian Palaeontologists (AAP) Mawson's Huts Foundation. While most efforts were focused on the recovery and treatment of artifacts inside the main hut, the group also searched for the Vickers (Aviation) monoplane that was modified to become an "air tractor", or motorized sledge. The remains of the plane were last seen in 1975. Now the plane has been found, thanks to an exceptionally low tide and a bit of luck. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on Jan 5, 2010 - 11 comments

What an RC plane sees when you shoot fireworks at it.

Planes, fireworks, and....AC/DC! An expensive RC plane and a crapload of fireworks is a great way to spend a late afternoon. (SLGM)
posted by shockingbluamp on Dec 26, 2009 - 24 comments

787 First Flight

After many many delays, Boeing's newest widebody jet, the 787 "Dreamliner", will fly for the first time today. Watch a live webcast starting at 9:40AM PT.
posted by joshwa on Dec 14, 2009 - 59 comments

Kalinin K-7: the giant plane that might have been

The Kalinin K-7 was a giant flying fortress that might have redefined aerial combat in the 1930s. The hugely expensive and trouble-prone prototype was scrapped by Stalin and its designer was later executed. Here are some renderings of the planes that might have been, with spacious lounges, battleship-sized cannons, and the ability to defend us from UFOs.
posted by Joe in Australia on Nov 8, 2009 - 68 comments

non-flight of the unPhoenix

Abandoned PBY-5A Catalina Flying Boat in Saudi Arabia. More images. (via)
posted by Artw on Sep 7, 2009 - 24 comments

Has There Ever Been a Good Air Force One Photo Op?

A Presidential Boeing 747 along with two fighter planes continuously circled jarringly close to the tops of buildings in Lower Manhattan and Jersey City this morning. From the ground it looked as though a plane had been hijacked again, and the Air Force was attempting to force it down. Panic ensued. Another terrorist attack? No, just a top secret photo op. [more inside]
posted by stagewhisper on Apr 27, 2009 - 207 comments

twittering disaster

Mike Wilson, on a continental 737 flight, twittered his plane crash almost as it happened. See his feed starting here.
posted by sdn on Dec 30, 2008 - 61 comments

Girl with No Arms pilots plane

A woman with no arms has conquered flying It's not all sensible, though. As she says at the end, she literally has her life in her "own feet." Flying a plane never looked so comfortable.
posted by jwakawaka on Dec 5, 2008 - 22 comments

Panoramic view of the Airbus A380 cockpit

It's a small cubicle you have toshare, but the view is pretty good.
posted by Brandon Blatcher on Nov 7, 2008 - 42 comments

This is how we roll

This is how we roll in India
This is how we slide in Saudi
This is how we fly in Sweden
Some people are a little bit casual about road safety.
posted by roofus on Jul 14, 2008 - 69 comments

Look Out Below

Airphoto North America ― Jim Wark is an aerial photographer who specializes in capturing unusual landscape and cultural images of North and Central America. The plane used is a small high-wing, bush type (an Aviat Husky) with a large side opening for unobstructed shooting, and with the capability of operating out of small rough areas. A full complement of camping gear and provisions are always on board so that remote sites can be used as operating bases.
posted by netbros on May 12, 2008 - 13 comments

Archangel, the CIA's Supersonic A-12 Reconnaissance Aircraft

Quick, identify this plane. SR-71 Blackbird, right? Wrong. [more inside]
posted by cog_nate on Mar 21, 2008 - 92 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

Nellis AFB Air Show.

Wednesday morning plane pr0n.
posted by saladin on Dec 19, 2007 - 46 comments

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