Airplanes Look Like Swarming Fireflies In These Mesmerizing Timelapses

We're so used to seeing planes flying overhead, but these timelapse videos track the flight patterns of planes, bringing air traffic to light in trails of busy, beautiful light. They make air travel look positively wondrous. » 3/16/15 3:00pm 3/16/15 3:00pm

This Solar-Powered Plane Is About To Fly Around The World (Very Slowly)

After endless years of planning (and a not-so-successful dry run), the Solar Impulse sun-powered plane is about to take off on its around-the-world voyage — provided it's not too cloudy, of course. » 3/07/15 4:00pm 3/07/15 4:00pm

These videos of airplanes launching from aircraft carriers are badass

Once again, the French Navy shows they make the best airplane videos there are. This one shows the flight deck operations onboard the nuclear-powered aircraft carrier Charles DeGaulle. Although I would have preferred no soundtrack, it helps that, instead of using dubstep, they slapped in AC/DC's Thunderstruck. » 1/07/15 10:48am 1/07/15 10:48am

An Airbus A330 Recently Flew Into A Hailstorm -- And This Is The Result

Earlier this week, an Air Europa Airbus A330 travelling from Madrid to Buenos Aires flew directly into a rather serious hailstorm, receiving serious damage to the nose and both windshields. » 9/12/14 11:40am 9/12/14 11:40am

The Supersonic Nazi Rocket Concept Designed to Bomb Any City in 1 Hour

When WWII ended, American engineers examined a trove of Nazi concepts for rocket-powered weapons and airplanes. One of the most terrifying was Eugen Sänger's antipodal bomber, a manned supersonic plane designed to reach any city on Earth in one hour. Thank heavens it never worked. » 8/09/14 3:00pm 8/09/14 3:00pm

Did Airplanes Evolve the Same Way Birds Did?

A principle that guides the evolution of animals may also apply to airplanes as well. Called "constructal law," it compares the progression of aircraft to birds and other creatures, while also providing guidelines for the development of future planes. » 7/23/14 11:40am 7/23/14 11:40am

This Weird Morphing Skin Could Make Future Vehicles Super Aerodynamic

This strangely alive-looking blob isn't a prop from a sci-fi movie. It's a smorph, a morphing material that could make the cars, trains and airplanes of tomorrow extremely aerodynamic, using the same trick that helps golf balls fly faster and straighter. » 6/28/14 4:00pm 6/28/14 4:00pm

The Stunning Factory Porn Of Aircraft Assembly Lines

Airplanes let us witness the majesty of the world above the clouds, but the places where these vessels are born and serviced have a beauty all their own—efficient, complex, and remarkably clean. » 6/18/14 3:12pm 6/18/14 3:12pm

Behold the Weird Glory of Airplanes Driving on Roads

Though they're typically vehicles of the sky, airplanes sometimes need to be dragged around on Earth, too. These photos capture the odd and often amazing methods that people have been using to drive planes around for over a century. » 5/29/14 3:00pm 5/29/14 3:00pm

The monstrous Sky Whale could be the future of air travel

This concept plane is called the AWWA Sky Whale and it's the brainchild of Spanish designer Oscar Viñals. Should it ever leave the ground, the three-floor aircraft would hold 755 passengers and be powered by four large hybrid engines. » 1/23/14 4:00pm 1/23/14 4:00pm

Multi-Winged Planes Are Aviation History's Most Amazing Failures

Aircraft makers tried a lot of different designs before settling on the two-winged planes and jets we're familiar with today. Inventors toyed with the idea of a multi-winged aircraft — often fashioned from incredibly complicated structures — before discarding it. Here are some of their most amazing failures. » 12/17/13 4:22pm 12/17/13 4:22pm

What International Air Travel Was Like in the 1930s

Today we largely take international air travel for granted. Every major city in the world is little more than a hop, skip, and jump away. But what was it actually like to fly halfway around the world in the 1930s, when the very concept was still novel? Pretty incredible, as it turns out—provided you could afford it. » 11/27/13 3:33pm 11/27/13 3:33pm

Comment of the Day: Fear of Flying Edition

In today's comments, we delved deep into Gotham City's legal system, shared some tips for cooking chicken (with or without salmonella), and tried to scare each other right out of the friendly skies. » 10/08/13 4:40pm 10/08/13 4:40pm

Nuclear-Powered Vehicle Concepts from the Mid-20th Century

One of the promises of the Atomic Age was the notion that, one day, we would all be riding around in nuclear-powered cars, trains, and airplanes. Even if our roads were never filled with nuclear cars, many designers came up with prototypes and concept art for atomic transportation. » 8/17/13 1:00pm 8/17/13 1:00pm

Awe-inspiring homes and buildings made out of old airplanes

If you're going to make a building out of reclaimed materials, then why not pick some previously-used materials that are awesome? Like an entire airplane? Here are some of our favorite homes, restaurants and more that incorporate decommissioned airplanes. » 3/14/13 2:58pm 3/14/13 2:58pm

Watch 90 airplanes take off in 30 seconds at the San Diego Airport

Cy Kuchenbaker has already made a name for himself doing composite videos of 5 hours of airplanes landing at the San Diego airport in 30 seconds. Now he's back with this incredible look at airplanes taking off from the same spot. He's compressed several hours of takeoffs into 30 seconds, so that you can see dozens… » 1/28/13 9:30am 1/28/13 9:30am

The aeronautic feats of a record-holding romance writer

Sometimes contributions to science come from the most unlikely people. One such person was a romance writer who broke two different world records for writing appalling romances, while making a daredevil contribution to the world of early aviation. Get ready for the high-flying life of Barbara Cartland. » 5/24/12 7:00am 5/24/12 7:00am

Hypersonic planes could let us fly across the planet in four hours...in…

Passenger planes capable of hypersonic speeds, or five times the speed of sound, have been a dream of engineers for decades. Now, there's a real plan in place to build one. It's just going to take a long time. » 1/01/12 12:15pm 1/01/12 12:15pm

Silent scenes from the airplane graveyards of the American Southwest

The dry climate of the southwest United States is a popular spot for airplane boneyards. When airlines need to stow away planes or lay them to rest, they will ship planes out to aviation boneyards in states like California and Arizona. And sometimes, photographers brave security patrols and barbed-wire fences to… » 10/23/11 2:00pm 10/23/11 2:00pm