A new design for air-breathing hypersonic airplanes could mean greatly reduced international flight times.
The de Havilland Comet 1 took off on its first commercial flight from London to Johannesburg on May 2, 1952.
One of the most high profile airlines in the industry has decided to introduce wider seats in a bid to accomodate larger passengers.
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.
Electric planes are a great idea, but they're still a long way off from carrying any serious payloads. In the meantime, one airline wants to make their jets into Prius like hybrids, at least while they're still on the ground.
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.
Last year Airbus teased us with a couple of drawings of its concept plane for 2050, but now the company's added some tasty details of where it sees plane design headed in the future.
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.
Here's a harrowing image: the SkyRider design for new cheapo airplane seats. Clearly designed with cramming as many people as humanly possible onto a plane without much regard for their comfort, it's apparently being looked at by several airlines.