air travel stories

 
It's been a long time coming, but the U.S. Congress just handed two orders to the Federal Aviation Administration: to upgrade its radar system to GPS and to open up manned airspace to unmanned drones. The latter is causing some concern, but both of these things, if done right, could mean some great things for aviation.
 
Alaska Airlines recently launched 75 passenger flights running on a 20% biofuel blend made with reclaimed cooking oil. Once we learned this fuel blend met aviation and military safety, environmental, and performance standards we breathed a huge sigh of relief. And this, right after some airlines decided to go electric when taxiing.
 
If you've met any steampunk cosplayers in the last five years, odds are good they described themselves as the crew of an airship. They're wrong. The crew of a real airship look a lot like tanned Californians who forgot to borrow shoes other than flip-flops when they raided a flight attendant's closet. There's no brass, no grime and no gears. Instead, it's the best flying experience since the romance of air travel in the 1960s. The Farmer's Airship, operated by Airship Ventures, normally flies a set route from California to Seattle. To the delight of both air and tech enthusiasts nationwide, the zeppelin is currently in the middle of a six month cross-country tour. I had an opportunity to enjoy a flight when it docked in St. Louis. Although the zeppelin itself was a modern technological marvel, the entire experience had a hazy sensation of alternate reality. It was like I'd stepped into a pre-9/11 world of flight.
 
Once you're on a plane, you're limited to what you've brought with you and what the aircraft offers in the way of entertainment. (Well, that and passing out.) Usually you're left to decide between a movie or different music channels. Another option that could be coming up? A book.

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