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Initial reports from an August 11 test of DARPA’s Falcon HTV-2 hypersonic research vehicle were mixed. The glider launched successfully and separated from its Minotaur IV rocket over the Pacific, but engineers lost contact with the vehicle nine minutes into the flight, and the test ended prematurely with the vehicle self-destructing according to safety procedures. [...]
August 29, 2011 | By Tony Reichhardt
You may have noticed the U.S. flag flying on a federal building today, but chances are it was on the pole yesterday, too. Or perhaps you woke feeling the need for “appropriate exercises to further stimulate interest in aviation,” which many of us consider part of our routine. At least today, though, you’ve got President [...]
August 19, 2011 | By Roger Mola
What ever happened to the YB-49 and the XB-35?
August 16, 2011 | By Rebecca Maksel
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 reported on AOL: “Myrtle Rose, a 75-year-old grandmother of nine and pilot, was intercepted by two F-16 fighter jets over suburban Illinois on Thursday when her small airplane crossed into airspace that had been restricted because of President Obama’s arrival in the Windy City.” A few days later, AvWeb reported that Rose’ first thought upon [...]
August 09, 2011 | By Pat Trenner
Oh, those Horten brothers. Looks like they’re at it again. The aircraft in Captain America: The First Avenger looks suspiciously like a Horten flying wing; did Reimar and Walter team up with the evil Johann Schmidt (aka Red Skull), the head of Nazi Germany’s HYDRA research department? Here’s what we know: The diabolical Schmidt expects [...]
August 09, 2011 | By Rebecca Maksel
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
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
The Battle of Britain in the words of the pilots who won it.
August 01, 2011 | By The Editors
A grad student in Italy salvages Germany's rarest World War I airplane engines.
August 2011 | By Andrew Lawler
Launching two very different capsules—and a space race.
August 2011 | By Rebecca Maksel
A former museum curator of air transport rallies for high-speed rail.
August 2011 | By Pat Trenner
According to some tech-watchers, 3-D printing will be the Next Big Thing. Load a bunch of raw material into your home mini-factory, download a 3-D CAD file, fire up the machine, and voilà, out comes a replacement part for your refrigerator or a copy of your door key (running to the hardware store is so [...]
July 29, 2011 | By Tony Reichhardt
An Air Force KC-135 Stratotanker may haul more than 31,000 gallons to refuel other aircraft, but for long-haul missions, it needs to watch every drop of its own fuel. That’s why, when a KC-135 crew flew from Washington state to Kyrgyzstan over the North Pole last month, the Air Force brass was pumped. It wasn’t [...]
July 28, 2011 | By Roger Mola
The Transportation Security Administration has finally faced the naked truth. After the agency’s advanced imaging technology (AIT) airport scanners stirred controversy by exposing too much of a passenger’s human form, the TSA will switch to new software that makes the images less realistic. Screening agents—who had been isolated in a remote closet to view the [...]
July 25, 2011 | By Roger Mola
Today I read, with some head-scratching, about Burt Rutan’s latest creation, a “roadable aircraft” called Bipod. Flying cars have been built, flown, driven, and failed to sell since dinosaurs roamed the earth, yet here was the monumentally gifted designer and his company, Scaled Composites, introducing a particularly homely vehicle (twin fuselages simply make it twice [...]
July 19, 2011 | By Pat Trenner
Escalating baggage fees. No more in-flight meals. Delayed flights. Loud cell-phone talkers. And let’s not forget the drunks. It may be that intoxicated passengers are the most dangerous of all. AvWeb recently reported that drunk passengers caused the crash of a Cessna 185 in 2010. (“The [Transportation Safety Board] postulates that a rear-seat passenger pushed [...]
July 14, 2011 | By Rebecca Maksel
“The Battle of Midway was probably the most important battle in the Pacific war during World War II,” says Russell Lee, a curator in the aeronautics division at the National Air and Space Museum. “On that day, American carrier forces defeated the Japanese, and stopped permanently their westward expansion.” Prior to the battle, Japan possessed [...]
July 14, 2011 | By Rebecca Maksel
A new book documents the glory of World War II aircraft.
July 13, 2011 | By John R. Bruning