Airlines have taken away everything from snacks to checked bags to legroom, but if the airplane biz can save a little extra money with a fuel-saving nanocoating, there's a slim chance that we might get our peanuts back. Just let a fella dream for a moment, all right?
Why should Lockheed's engineers get their dress-casual business attire wrinkled up by climbing around actual aircraft when they could just do it in virtual reality instead? Lockheed says this system makes them more efficient, but it just looks like one totally awesome video game to me.
It's pretty amazing what kinds of things can get airborne with enough engines, wings, effort, determination or just sheer creativity. The last hundred years or so have provided a treasure trove of absolutely wild designs, and we've dug deep into the archives to come up with 26 of our favorites.
In 2007, DARPA committed to funding the development of a prototype unmanned aircraft called "Blackswift" that would be able to take off from a runway unassisted and be anywhere in the world within a few hours. The program was canceled just a year later, but now, it's back.
In 1910, A mere seven years after the very first powered airplane flight, someone decided that it would be a good idea to try and launch from, and land on, a ship. As crazy as this setup looks, it actually worked.
Flaps are an essential part of an aircraft. They drive its maneuverability, helping it turn and control airspeed. It's impressive then that the "Demon," a British UAV, manages to break all the rules and forgo flaps altogether, getting clearance as the U.K.'s first "flapless" aircraft.
Canadian fighter pilot Captain Brian Bews was in the middle of a practice flight near Lethbridge County Airport in Canada when things went south. As in, straight down.
The gyrocopter, or autogyro, hasn't really gotten much love since World War II. Several nations pressed the aircraft into a naval recon role as it was towable by ships and subs while flying. Now, a company called Gyrojet wants to bring the gyrocopter back.
Having a plane that can fly forever without refueling has long been a dream of military planners, but that dream might soon become reality if the QinetiQ Zephyr solar plane lives up to its billing.
There's a new class of aircraft on the drawing boards, and here's one of the first examples, the EQP2 Excursion. Just big enough for two passengers and their baggage, the Light Sport Aircraft (LSA) class is larger than a microlight but smaller than those flown by private pilots.