The good people over at Rolls-Royce love Lego blocks, too. How do we know? The company's engineers created a half-size replica of its Trent 1000 jet engine that powers the Boeing 787 Dreamliner using 152,455 of the plastic bricks.
Flying aircraft carriers are staples science fiction and steampunk. It's an idea that sounds like it would be completely crazy in reality, but it's not crazy enough to keep the Air Force commissioning a report on the idea from Boeing back in 1973.
Ten years ago, Boeing was trying to figure out whether the next step in air travel was increased speed or increased efficiency. The 787 Dreamliner should clue you in to what the decision was, but the increased speed option is not entirely off the table, and a new patent filed just last month might mean that Boeing's "Sonic Cruiser" is still alive and kicking.
Smartphones are aren't usually the first thing that comes to mind when the name Boeing gets mentioned, but it turns out that the giant aerospace company is preparing to launch an ultra-secure Android based smartphone.
It doesn't have crazy swept wings and it doesn't fly at Mach 7, but this concept aircraft from Boeing is what we'll all probably be stuffed into by 2045. It runs on cryogenic liquified natural gas, and beats the fuel efficiency by the current generation of passenger jets by a whopping 60%.
NASA 911, one of two Boeing 747 jetliners modified to carry the old space shuttle fleet across country, made its last flight on Wednesday, Feb. 8. It flew from NASA's Dryden Flight Research Center at Edwards AFB to Drydens's Aircraft Operations Facility in Palmdale, California.
Air travel nowadays is perhaps best described as dull: it's possible to make it all the way across the country without even knowing what kind of airplane you're on. But airplanes are still these giant, magical machines that allow people to fly, and one of the best places to get in touch with everything that goes into making such things possible is Boeing's stupendously large production plant in Everett, Washington. The Boeing Everett Factory is where 747s, 767s, 777s and the new 787 Dreamliners are all put together. Airplanes are big, and Boeing is building a lot of them all at once, so the company needs a huge building to get it all done in. In fact, "huge" doesn't even begin to cover the size of this place.
That mysterious robotic spaceship that the U.S. Air Force sent into orbit for seven straight months last year may get a bit of an upgrade. Boeing is toying with the idea of expanding the X-37B into the X-37C, which could carry up to six astronauts into space and back. We could be looking at the next generation of space shuttle.
It's unfortunate that forest fires almost never happen on islands in the middle of lakes. If they did, we wouldn't have this problem of having to get lots of water into what's usually the middle of nowhere to put them out. Aircraft specially rigged to do this are expensive (and few), so Boeing wants to just use giant water balloons tossed out of cargo aircraft instead.
We talk a lot about what the future of air travel will look like, but Boeing's long-time-coming 787 Dreamliner is finally ready for its first passengers and will definitely offer travelers a taste of the good life. Our favorite feature: the electronically dimming windows.