Flying machines that, quite simply, do not fly. Or not far anyway

Friday, 7 August, 2015

A collection of photos from Flugtag, or “flying day”, events that take place around the world, that have been arranged by energy drink manufacturer Red Bull for over twenty years.

Long story short, participants are tasked with building a machine, the quirkier and less flight worthy the better, that is supposed to fly over a body of water. Most of these… craft hit the water pretty quickly, but some have managed to notch-up some distance.

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Aircraft cabin air, definitely the sum of its many parts

Monday, 6 July, 2015

Frequent flyers especially may be interested in the air they breathe while cruising at thirty-thousand feet… put it this way, there are all sorts of surprising ingredients, as it were, in the mix. And then this, an explanation of the low humidity environment of many aircraft cabins:

Most airplanes use about 50% recirculated air and about 50% bleed air that comes from the engines. Bleed air isn’t supposed to be dangerous. Outside air is first pulled into the first compartment of the engine, where it’s compressed and then pumped into the aircraft, sometimes through a filter. Then, it’s decompressed and mixed with the recirculated air before being blown out those little eyeball vents above your seat. The air is stagnant, and at about 12-percent humidity, it’s also drier than a desert. However, the air mixture is supposed to be safe.

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A flight from London to Tokyo, as described by a pilot

Wednesday, 10 June, 2015

An in-depth description of a flight from London to Tokyo, aboard a Boeing 747, written by British Airways pilot, Mark Vanhoenacker… that is quite possibly a more enjoyable experience than flying is, or has become.

It’s been dark for hours now. There are three pilots on a flight this long and now it’s time for my break. A colleague takes my place in the right-hand seat of the cockpit. Before I go to the bunk, located at the rear of the cockpit, I stay for a moment by one of the side windows, to gaze out and up. If you look into the night sky from an airplane for more than a few minutes you may well see a shooting star. My eye catches something. I look, smile and say to myself, There’s another one. I don’t even mention them to a colleague; another will be along soon enough.

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The flight of the model P-51D Mustang, as seen by the model pilot

Thursday, 21 May, 2015

A remote controlled, scale model of a P-51D Mustang, a US single seat fighter and fighter bomber, that first flew in 1940, is outfitted with a camera that films its flight from the perspective of a would-be pilot. Somehow looping the loop, or landing for that matter, doesn’t seem so terrifying here…

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The Cozy Suite, a more comfortable way to fly for middle seat flyers?

Tuesday, 19 May, 2015

Thomson Aero Seating Cozy Suite

Now here’s an airline seating format that could make air travel a lot more comfortable.

The Cozy Suite, developed by Thomson Aero Seating, not only makes sitting in a middle seat less bothersome, it also allows passengers to recline their seat, by way of a forward-sliding pan system, one that doesn’t intrude on the space of the person in the seat behind.

The seat also features a fixed-back shell with a pan seat recline. This means you won’t feel the passenger behind you bumping or kicking your seat and, if you recline, the forward-sliding pan means you won’t be invading that person’s space.

As a bonus, the format also allows more seats to be fitted in an aircraft, surely making them a win for everyone. So, what are the chances of seeing these seats on flights any time soon?

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Flying by open air aeroplane, what a way to travel

Friday, 15 May, 2015

An AirCam is a small, open air, two-seater aeroplane, that somewhat resembles a winged kayak, with a range of four hundred kilometres. Such a craft would surely make for a great way to move about in relatively small hops, something US travel writer Jeff Greenwald experienced recently.

The AirCam has a range of about 250 miles, so we stopped every few hours to refuel. Sometimes there’d be someone to help us; most times Webster would pop the caps on the wing and pump the petrol himself. When it got late in the day we’d pull out our smartphones and book a basic hotel, always close to the regional airport. It was fun to come back the next morning, wheeling our carry-ons, as the desk attendant asked what time our flight was. “Don’t worry,” Webster chortled. “They won’t leave without us.”

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We played mile high tennis and have the photos to prove it

Tuesday, 23 September, 2014

Tennis game, aircraft wing

There’s playing tennis, and then there’s playing tennis on the top wing of a biplane, at an altitude of one kilometre or thereabouts. I wonder how long a rally might last on such a narrow… court?

Via Historical Pics.

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The cabins of long haul cabin crew

Tuesday, 9 September, 2014

Aircraft crew compartment

Aircraft cabin stewards on long haul flights don’t try to steal an hour or two’s sleep from their own fold away crew issue seats, rather they withdraw to small, crawling room only compartments, that are usually located directly above the passenger cabin, on some aeroplanes at least.

This I had not known. Is it possible to score a slot in one these compartments… I’m sure I’d sleep far better on a long haul flight if I could.

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Filming the aerobatic maneuvers of the USAF Thunderbirds

Monday, 21 July, 2014

Sergeant Larry Reid Jr is a photojournalist tasked with recording the aerobatic maneuvers of the USAF Thunderbirds air demonstration squadron. It’s not a job for any photographer though considering you’re moving at speeds of 800 kilometres an hour, at altitude, and your subjects may only be but a mere metre away.

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Photos of the combat aircraft of World War I

Monday, 2 June, 2014

German aircraft over Giza pyramids

World War I in Photos: Aerial Warfare, an In Focus photo collection. The Great War, or World War I, was the first major conflict to see the use of aircraft, yet it seems hard to believe that they were, initially at least, used for only reconnaissance purposes, rather than combat.

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