AerospaceThe technology and science of commercial and military air and space flight
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Who can forget the immortal question posed by the Mongol General in the 1982 classic Conan the Barbarian? Wait…don’t tell me you’ve forgotten? When the Mongol General bellows “What is best in life?” some (sissy) barbarian offers the following: “The open steppe, fleet horse, falcons at your wrist, and the wind in your hair.” (“The [...]
August 12, 2011 | By Rebecca Maksel
The Army’s CH-47 Chinook helicopter has flown a stunning but standard maneuver—the aft-wheel pinnacle landing—since 1962. In Iraq and Afghanistan, the move has reached its peak. This month as many as 5,000 pairs of boots will leave the ground, with a goal to extract 33,000 by next September. Many will exit the same way they [...]
August 10, 2011 | By Roger Mola
As the crow flies, the Hagerstown Regional Airport (HGR) in Maryland is 64 miles from the much busier runways of Baltimore Washington International (BWI), to its east. How far a drive is it, though? And more importantly, how far is it in political terms? Under the Essential Air Service program enacted in 1978, federal subsidies [...]
August 08, 2011 | By Roger Mola
Yuri Gagarin, incredibly, didn’t carry a camera on the world’s first spaceflight. Neither did Alan Shepard nor Gus Grissom, whose 15-minute suborbital shots followed Gagarin’s April 1961 launch by three weeks and three months, respectively. The American astronauts were photographed during their missions, but only by automated cameras mounted in the Mercury capsule. So it [...]
August 05, 2011 | By Tony Reichhardt
The flood of new data from the Moon continues to enlighten and puzzle lunar scientists. Members of the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera team have noticed an unusual landform on the far side of the Moon that was as unexpected as it might be significant. We’ve known for many years that early in its history, the [...]
August 03, 2011 | By Paul D. Spudis
After investigating a thousand suspects since a person who called himself (or herself) D.B. Cooper skyjacked a Boeing 727 on November 24, 1971, the FBI thought it finally had a “credible” tip. Until last night, that is, when CBS News reported that the Cooper lead had fizzled and the FBI was expected to formally rule [...]
August 02, 2011 | By Roger Mola
Scientists unveiled the first full closeup of the asteroid Vesta today. The picture, stitched together from frames taken by the Dawn spacecraft from a distance of 3,200 miles on July 24, shows mysterious parallel grooves around the asteroid’s middle, which may have formed when Vesta contracted, then expanded after a giant impact early in its [...]
August 01, 2011 | By Tony Reichhardt
An airshow superstar adds firefighting to her repertoire.
August 2011 | By Debbie Gary
How fractional jet owners get out of flying coach.
August 2011 | By David Freed
How an ore-mining town in Sweden sees a new identity over the horizon.
August 2011 | By Andrew Curry
Hint: Plan ahead.
August 2011 | By Mark Huber
George Abbey had more influence on human spaceflight than almost anyone in history, but few outside the field know his name.
August 2011 | By Michael Cassutt
A grad student in Italy salvages Germany's rarest World War I airplane engines.
August 2011 | By Andrew Lawler
In the 1950s, engineers at Cleveland's brand-new supersonic wind tunnel battled shock waves, unstarts, and the local power company.
August 2011 | By Jeremy Davis
Who would think a kite could down a fighter?
August 2011 | By Michael Barton
August 2011 | By J.R. Dailey
Fifty years ago, the Navy ended its lighter-than-air program.
August 2011 | By George C. Larson, Member, NAA
Filming for Cinerama with a fearless flyer.
August 2011 | By James Morrison
Launching two very different capsules—and a space race.
August 2011 | By Rebecca Maksel
August 2011 | By David Freed