aircraft

NASA 911 Boeing 747 space shuttle hauler flies for the last time

NASA 911 Boeing 747 space shuttle hauler flies for the last time

I'm still more than a little sad that NASA retired the space shuttle fleet. The space shuttles were a source of endless wonder for millions of space geeks around the world for decades. One of the coolest things that NASA had to do with the space shuttle was to ferry the spacecraft from the landing site back to the launch site attached to the back of the Boeing 747 jumbo jet.

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Congressional bill aims to speed FAA switch to GPS

Congressional bill aims to speed FAA switch to GPS

It might not be that much longer until you can fly the friendly skies with the comfort of knowing the pilot isn't relying on technology that's several decades old. The US Senate has just passed a bill that will incite the Federal Aviation Administration to swith from antiquated raday systems to advanced GPS infrastructure within four years. The bill authorizes the spending of $63.4 billion to get this done.

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Stop Whining and Turn Off Your Phone

Stop Whining and Turn Off Your Phone

I learned when I was a camp counselor that you should always support the person up front. When they say something wrong, let it slide and fix it later. When they suggest something unpopular, go with it, and if it proves unsuccessful, it's no big deal. I never had a camp director suggest we run naked through a poison ivy patch, or show up to Hershey Park at 4AM so we can get a good parking spot. Usually, things worked out in the end.

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UFO spotted on flatbed was actually a military drone

UFO spotted on flatbed was actually a military drone

Residents in a small community in Cowley County, Kansas got the thrill of the year recently when a flatbed trailer came driving down main street with what appeared to be a saucer shaped craft on the trailer. According to the local sheriff's office, the company that was transporting the craft asked for assistance since they had to move it over the ground.

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Paul Allen to invest millions in new satellite launching space plane

Paul Allen to invest millions in new satellite launching space plane

Billionaire Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen has been teaming up with aircraft pioneer Burt Rutan for a long time in an effort to build a reusable space plane that could make it into orbit and return to earth to be used again. The result of that partnership was SpaceShip One. Rutan also designed SpaceShip Two that is used by Virgin Galactic. Allen and Rutan have another space project that they are set to start work on that will result in a cheap and reusable launch method for satellites.

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American Airlines gets first iPad for cockpit approval by FAA

American Airlines gets first iPad for cockpit approval by FAA

Earlier this year it was announced that the FAA would begin approving the iPad for airline use in cockpits by pilots wishing to use the Apple tablet to navigate with maps - this week American Airlines is the first to be approved to make this situation a reality. This past June the Allied Pilots Association announced that American Airlines was the first to conduct tests of the iPad for all phases of flight as used by the pilots of their planes. The Federal Aviation Administration approved the testing of iPads on American Airlines airplanes with electronic charts this summer, and the final phases appear to have been completed in the weeks leading up to this one.

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Full-Body X-ray scanners banned in Europe airports, TSA comments

Full-Body X-ray scanners banned in Europe airports, TSA comments

Airport security has always been an issue since airlines became widely used, but it was the events of 9/11/01 here in the USA that brought on such measures as the full-body x-ray scanners being called unsafe this week by airport authorities across Europe. I'll try not to get too into the theories on how these devices cause cancer and haven't been tested properly outside what's presented in the facts here, but DO know this: European authorities have just this week decided that these X-ray machines form a risk to passenger's health and safety to the point that they cannot be used. USA's TSA is not pleased.

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United and Continental Airlines to get in-flight WiFi starting mid-2012

United and Continental Airlines to get in-flight WiFi starting mid-2012

If you do much traveling, you'll be glad to know that there will soon be more airlines offering in-flight WiFi, allowing you to enjoy your wireless gadgets in the skies. United Continental Holdings announced today that more than 300 of its United Airlines and Continental Airlines mainline jets will be getting equipped with WiFi starting in mid-2012 with the complete fleet being equipped by 2015.

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University of Minnesota scientists create brain-controlled virtual flight

University of Minnesota scientists create brain-controlled virtual flight

In a move that can only be described by Punjab-esque, your Annie (1982) hero's ability to make aircraft fly with his mind is one step closer to reality now that researchers, led by Dr. Bin He of the University of Minnesota, have created an EEG-based interface that allows users to navigate a virtual helicopter with their mind. The interface is a completely noninvasive brain-computer hookup that allows the user to tell the helicopter where to go by willing it to do so.

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