Travel

Boeing 737 MAX close to returning to service insists company

Boeing 737 MAX close to returning to service insists company

"Don't fix what ain't broke" is not an excuse not to try to innovate but neither is innovation an excuse to break things. That's true for foldable phones and even truer for airplane control systems. Unfortunately, Boeing learned its lessons at the expense of lives but it is persistently clawing at those problems. Now it seems to suggest that it is close to earning its wings back once the 737 MAX clears the last hurdles that the FAA has set up for its re-certification.

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Lilium Jet all-electric five-seater air taxi takes its first flight

Lilium Jet all-electric five-seater air taxi takes its first flight

All the fuss around foldable phones and tablets and even self-driving cars may have taken the attention away from the other holy grail of transportation. Lilium, however, is trying to get the spotlight back on that stage, specifically the vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) stage. Building on the prototype it successfully flew two years ago, the German startup is proudly proclaiming that is has delivered what it promised back then: a five-seater version of its unique air taxi jet.

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Google Trips is a one-stop hub for your vacation plans

Google Trips is a one-stop hub for your vacation plans

Google has brought its simplified travel planning system to the desktop, integrating flights, hotels, and ideas for actives into a single, comprehensive hub. The move combines Google Flights, Hotels, and more into one Google Trips location, that promises to be more useful than a fanny pack for your passport and travelers checks.

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United Airlines uses stickers to cover controversial seatback cameras

United Airlines uses stickers to cover controversial seatback cameras

Earlier this year, United Airlines was one of multiple airline companies that confirmed the infotainment systems installed in its airplanes contain cameras. The company said at the time that the cameras had never been active and that there weren't any plans to use them in the future. In the most recent update, passengers have noted that the webcams are now covered.

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Stratolaunch giant aircraft completes historic first flight

Stratolaunch giant aircraft completes historic first flight

Companies like Elon Musk's SpaceX and Jeff Bezos' Blue Origin dream of making space travel and shipments more economical. While they have mostly focused on reusable rockets, their vehicles are still limited by the same factors as any other rocket has: launching pads. To his two avians with one rock, Stratolaunch Systems Corp. devised a platform that takes of like a plane and, for the first time, gigantic aircraft not only took off but also landed safely, just like a plane.

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SpaceX Starhopper Starship makes one small hop for mankind

SpaceX Starhopper Starship makes one small hop for mankind

Having nailed down Falcon 9 launches and landings, Elon Musk's SpaceX is setting its sights on the next literally big thing. Before its stainless steel Starship could take to the skies, however, its test version needs to make a few hops first. That first hop just took place at Boca Chica, Texas and the Starhopper survived to tell the tale, opening the door for future ground hops before the big suborbital one.

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Boeing 737 MAX MCAS update won’t be installed until FAA says go

Boeing 737 MAX MCAS update won’t be installed until FAA says go

With its entire 737 MAX fleet grounded across the world, Boeing is undoubtedly working around the clock and racing against time to earn back its wings. Last week it announced the availability of an update to the problematic MCAS that is the eye of this storm but, despite its wording, it's still waiting for FAA approval. Now the FAA has issued a statement that basically tells Boeing, "not so fast."

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WOW Air’s sudden shutdown leaves customers stranded

WOW Air’s sudden shutdown leaves customers stranded

WOW Air, a relatively small low-cost airline operating out of Iceland, folded with little warning this morning, leaving thousands of passengers stranded when their flights were suddenly cancelled. The company published a statement announcing the shutdown on its website this morning, being rather blunt with its customers and their flight status: "WOW AIR has ceased operation. All WOW AIR flights have been cancelled."

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Boeing 737 MAX MCAS updated to prevent future crashes

Boeing 737 MAX MCAS updated to prevent future crashes

One aphorism that should never be used in aviation is "better late than never". Considering the safety of hundreds of lives, plane makers and regulators have the legal and moral obligation to ensure that new technologies are error-free before they are used, not after they have cost lives. That's the tragedy that Boeing is hoping won't happen again after it rolls out an update to its MCAS on the 737 MAX, introducing checks that, in retrospect, should have probably been there right from the start.

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Boeing 737 Max stall-prevention to be less aggressive with new fix

Boeing 737 Max stall-prevention to be less aggressive with new fix

You'd think that, after all this time, we'd get the flying thing down to a "T". The Boeing 737 Max proved that isn't the case. The development of new aviation technologies might be a natural part of progress but it's not something that can be taken lightly considering the hundreds of lives involved. Sources claim that Boeing is ready to roll out sweeping changes to correct flaws in the stall-prevention system of the grounded new fleet but questions remain on why they passed certification in the first place.

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Pocketalk, the Voice Translator in Your Hand – Useful but costly

Pocketalk, the Voice Translator in Your Hand – Useful but costly

There is a new foreign language translation device available for travelers and business people alike. The second iteration of Pocketalk, developed by Sourcenext, Japan’s foremost developer of software, hardware and IoT products is meant to facilitate quick and easy conversation. A simple interface that is easy to use, Pocketalk translates between 74 languages and counting, in close to real-time.

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China banned millions of people with bad ‘social credit’ from trains

China banned millions of people with bad ‘social credit’ from trains

China's dystopian 'social credit' system has resulted in millions of people being banned from public transportation. According to the National Public Credit Information Center, China blocked the attempted purchase of train tickets and, in some cases, attempts to travel outside of the country due to low 'social credit,' which can result from back taxes and unpaid fines, among other things.

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