Dramatic Vintage Photos Of Wind Tunnel Tests

Wind tunnel tests are essential in testing how planes will hold up at various wind speeds and during turbulence—and they also make for some striking photos that take us through the history of aviation. » 9/16/14 2:50pm 9/16/14 2:50pm

When Los Angeles Was Test-Bombed, They Decided To Throw A Party

In the early 1900s, airplanes were a novelty and a spectacle, but some people were already thinking of what other uses could be made of them. This is why there were thousands of people in Los Angeles running out into the streets to be "bombed." » 7/30/14 8:40am 7/30/14 8:40am

The Weird Reason Why So Many Turtles Are Delaying Flights at JFK

Remember when dozens of mating turtles shut down a whole runaway at JFK International Airport in 2009? It was only the start of a turtle invasion that has vexed travelers and perplexed biologists for years. But we may have figured out why turtles are all over the tarmac, and it has to do with raccoons. » 7/08/14 1:00am 7/08/14 1:00am

The Many, Many Ways You Can Crash A Plane Without Ever Realizing It

Want to get on an airplane? You might change your mind after reading this. It turns out that hurtling through the air messes with your senses. Sometimes it messes with them so much that you can be crashing without ever knowing anything is wrong. » 6/13/14 8:00am 6/13/14 8:00am

Bad things would happen if a hobbyist's drone were to fly into a jet engine. Though an unlikely occurrence, experts say it could cause a catastrophic failure similar to a BASH (aviation parlance for a Bird Aircraft Strike Hazard). But with drones there could be an added danger of combustion is they're gas-powered. » 5/16/14 9:20am 5/16/14 9:20am

This meticulously crafted 777-replica is made of manila folders

This is genuinely incredible. Luca Iaconi-Stewart may just be the world's greatest paper-airplane-maker. Seriously – this guy's work makes your crease-and-fold creations look like utter child's play. » 1/18/14 10:45am 1/18/14 10:45am

NASA Administrator Charles Bolden has penned a must-read tribute to aviation pioneer Amelia Earhart. Bolden opens his piece with the quote above, noting that Earhart would have made a great astronaut not only "for breaking barriers of possibility in flight, but also for her determination to break barriers of exclusion… » 1/16/14 7:00pm 1/16/14 7:00pm

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

These concrete arrows point the way across America

When United States Post Office planes took to the skies in the 1920s, they had their own version of the roadway's yellow line. A series of giant concrete arrows and gaslight beacons helped point the way from New York to San Francisco. » 11/17/13 2:00pm 11/17/13 2:00pm

A Treasury of Flying Cars, from the Golden Age of Aviation

Every time you get in a traffic jam, you dream of pulling a lever, adding wings to your car, and soaring over the rest of the poor drivers. And then you wonder: Where's my flying car? The truth is, flying cars have existed for decades. You just wouldn't want most of these. » 6/03/13 3:19pm 6/03/13 3:19pm

Stunning photos of plane crashes where everyone aboard survived

Beautiful, frightening, and uplifting all at once, "Happy End" is a photo series that highlights plane crashes with 100% survival rates. » 4/24/13 4:30pm 4/24/13 4:30pm

Surviving a plane crash is more common than you probably realize

Planes are very safe, and chances are you've been told as much. "You're more likely to die on your drive to the airport than you are in the sky," and all that. But do you know why planes are so safe? It's not just because plane crashes are rare (though they most definitely are). It's also because even if you do… » 11/13/12 6:40am 11/13/12 6:40am

The terrifying discovery of the Lawn Dart Effect

Whenever you see the word "aviation," you don't want to see the words "lawn dart" immediately afterwards. They just shouldn't be linked. And yet, due to a quirk of the human brain, they are. The Lawn Dart Effect is the ultimate example of why you shouldn't trust your gut — especially when flying. » 11/08/12 9:00am 11/08/12 9:00am

Scientists explain how to prevent one of the most common airplane…

US Airways flight 1549 was forced to make an emergency landing in the Hudson River because it was disabled after hitting a flock of Canada geese. Bird strikes cost the aviation industry more than $1.2 billion every year, and a large number of those are due to Canada geese. The problem is that birds react to a very… » 7/13/12 6:20am 7/13/12 6:20am

This incredible RC plane isn't a plane at all

The flying machine featured here is called an ornithopter, and its conceptual origins date back at least as far as the late 15th century, when Leonardo Da Vinci first produced drawings of a bird-like machine capable of flight. » 1/27/12 4:09pm 1/27/12 4:09pm

Unmanned Aerial Vehicles: coming soon to a sky near you

The last decade of global conflict has seen the dawning of the age of the robot plane. Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) have been around for decades, but today they're ubiquitous war machines with unmatched endurance and lethal combat capabilities. Find out more about these increasingly high-tech pilotless aircraft. » 1/17/12 2:00pm 1/17/12 2:00pm

Why World War II spy planes used pink camouflage

World War II marked a time of great innovation, which was sometimes practical and sometimes loony. Those two kinds of innovation came together when great military minds decided that to keep an airplane from being spotted, they needed to paint it pink. Find out why a pink aircraft can get lost in the sky. » 1/03/12 12:27pm 1/03/12 12:27pm

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

Allied planes unintentionally changed the weather during World War II

Allied bombing raids during World War II "inadvertently experimented on the weather" in England by creating massive concentrations of artificial clouds as the planes roared off toward continental Europe. » 7/10/11 11:10am 7/10/11 11:10am