Update (Monday, 5:56 p.m.): The three parts of the answer I was looking for are as follows. 1. It's a Boeing VC-137B. 2. It's located at the Pima Air & Space Museum in Tucson, Arizona. 3. It is a notable plane because it was used to fly the hostages home to the United States from Iran in 1981. And that's why its nickname is "Freedom One." Amazingly, though I got dozens and dozens of responses--by far the most for any Picture of the Day challenge so far--just three people got all three parts … Read more
StealthBomber is a free, 2D arcade game in which you pilot a "stealth bomber" dropping bombs on a steady stream of tanks, trucks, and other vehicles.
You hold your device vertically (portrait, not landscape), with your bomber moving back and forth at the top of the screen and your enemies moving left to right on the bottom of the screen. You move horizontally using a touch-screen slider at the base of the screen (or just touch and drag anywhere to move), and you drop bombs with an adjacent button. A set number of enemies, all with varying speeds … Read more
Researchers at MIT say they have come up with designs for a new generation of commercial aircraft that could use as much as 70 percent less fuel than today's airliners.
As part of a $2.1 million NASA grant, the MIT-led team said that its designs for a so-called "N+3" airplane--meaning three generations beyond today's airplanes--could leverage new technologies like advanced airframe configurations and propulsion systems and could deliver the 70 percent fuel savings by around 2035.
In a release, Ed Greitzer, an aeronautics and astronautics professor at MIT, said that meeting NASA's criteria for new, highly-efficient aircraft designs would require a "radical change" from the current aviation paradigm. That's mainly because airplanes largely have the same design today as they've had for the last 50 years--an "easily recognizable 'tube and wing' structure of an aircraft's wings and fuselage."
But Greitzer's team crafted two designs that could upend the traditional airplane paradigm. One is a 180-passenger D "double bubble" series, which could eventually replace the Boeing 737 that is used for so much domestic travel; and the 350-passenger H "hybrid wing body" series, which could take the place of the popular Boeing 777 used for many international flights. … Read more
When the new kid on the block meets the grizzled old veteran, it can be a beautiful sight to see.
On May 8, in a promotional moment worthy of its setting, Boeing's newest airplane, the 787 Dreamliner, briefly met up in the skies over Washington State's Mount Rainier with the company's first-ever commercial production aircraft, the Model 40.
As seen in the image above, the rendezvous was a serious moment of old meets new. But for Boeing, the chance to put the two planes together in the sky was all about taking a quick moment from months … Read more
Every once in a while, something comes along that makes you wonder why no one thought of it sooner. BAE Systems' "Air Deck" does just that, with a balcony that folds right down off the rear of a private jet. The viewing platform, probably the first in aviation history, takes a mere five minutes to transform the back of the aircraft into either an extended living space or an elevated outdoor viewing deck.
MiniSquadron Special Edition is the free sequel to the hit game Minisquadron, a 2D cartoony airplane dog-fighting game with excellent gameplay and a ton of new content. Just like the original, the control system consists of an onscreen joystick on the left and a fire button on the right. In the game, you'll need to battle through 12 waves of different types of airplanes to complete a round. Completing rounds unlocks new airplanes (there are 50 new planes to unlock), each of which will have unique weapons, varying flying speeds, and other perks that will help you in the … Read more
If you've been following tech news this week, you probably saw the story of how an Apple engineer accidentally left an iPhone 4G behind at a bar. The story has been written about all over the tech sites, so I'll let you read all the details they were able to uncover about the device from the linked story by Erica Ogg. But for a different take on what led up to the iPhone 4G being lost, check out this "shocking" video over at the Buzz Report...It's great having coworkers with a sense of humor.… Read more
A plane designed to fly day and night using solar power has successfully taken its first maiden flight.
The Solar Impulse HB-SIA soared into the air for its first flight early Wednesday from its home in Switzerland. After a smooth takeoff, the plane climbed to an altitude of 1,200 meters (3,937 feet or three-quarters of a mile) and stayed aloft for a total of 87 minutes. Pilot Markus Scherdel used the flight to run the Impulse through different exercises and maneuvers to see how it would handle itself.
As thousands of spectators gazed skyward, Scherdel worked the controls … Read more
A small airplane crashed and killed three Tesla Motors employees in Northern California on Wednesday, the electric car maker's chief executive said.
A Cessna 310 struck an electrical tower after taking off on Wednesday morning, crashed into a residential neighborhood and killed all three people on board, according to local police. Tesla confirmed all had worked at the car company.
Tesla is withholding the employees' names while it works with authorities to notify their families, Chief Executive Elon Musk said.
"Tesla is a small, tightly-knit company, and this is a tragic day for us," Musk said.
Tesla, … Read more
Updated at 4:28 p.m. PST with additional details about the 747-8F.
EVERETT, Wash.--With all the recent hoopla about the first flight of Boeing's 787 Dreamliner, true aviation buffs may be the only ones aware that the most iconic jumbo jet of all time was also preparing for a crucial step forward.
And on Monday, it happened: the 747-8 Freighter, the next generation of Boeing's 40-year-old flagship jet, took off from Paine Field here, the first flight of the cargo version of what will be the longest commercial plane in the company's history, a very important advancement for the venerable 747 program.
The 747-8 is considered an essential airplane for Boeing, even as it proceeds with the 787 Dreamliner, because the former will be the aviation giant's entry in the more energy-efficient roster of planes that airlines and freight carriers are demanding for long-haul flights with high capacity for passengers and cargo. (The passenger version of the plane is set to arrive about a year after the cargo model.)
And while the passenger version of the 747-8 is perhaps sexier than the freighter that took off at 12:39 p.m. PST on Monday, the 747-8F's first flight is vital evidence that the 747 program is alive and well, and ready to move solidly into the 21st century.
Boeing says that the 747-8 will be quieter and far more fuel-efficient than the existing 747-400 series. It is thought that the passenger version will hold as many as 467 passengers, 51 more than on a current 747-400. The freighter version will offer 21 percent more lower-hold revenue cargo volume than the 747-400 and cost about 8 percent less per seat mile to operate, the company says.
A big part of the plane's improved efficiency comes from an innovative wing design which features double-slotted flaps inboard, and single-slotted flaps outboard, fly-by-wire spoilers and outboard ailerons. The plane also features GEnx-2B67 engines, similar to the GEnx engines that will power the 787 Dreamliner. The engine features a high-pressure compressor that is the most efficient and compact GE has yet produced, Boeing says. The result is said to be high fuel efficiency and low noise.
Boeing said the 747-8F will offer the lowest cargo cost-per-mile in the business. It weighs 154 tons, has a range of 4,390 nautical miles, a height of 63 feet, 6 inches, a wing span of 224 feet, 7 inches, and a length of 250 feet, 2 inches. It can reach Mach 0.85
The Monday takeoff was delayed by nearly three hours by low cloud cover, and the flight was scheduled for about four hours in the air, with a series of initial tests intended to demonstrate the plane's airworthiness.
But as Boeing deputy test program manager Brian Johnson said, Monday's flight was much more "a chief pilot time," as it marked the first opportunity for Capt. Mark Feuerstein, the man in that role in the 747 program, to have "four hours in the cockpit to just get comfortable with" the plane. … Read more