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Filmmaker Cy Kuckenbaker composited four and a half hours of San Diego International Airport traffic into 25 seconds. "With an even blue background it’s fairly easy to key out each airplane and put them together. The bridge in this shot is an added time lapse under the 1st Street bridge in San Diego." Kuckenbaker was inspired by Ho-Yeol Ryu’s incredible composite photo of airplanes at Hannover Airport. "All Landings at San Diego Int Airport Friday Nov 23 from 1030am to 300pm" (via Colossal)
The Solar Impulse plane project president and pilot Bertrand Piccard lands after a 19-hour flight from Madrid at Rabat's International airport, June 5, 2012. The plane landed in Morocco on Tuesday, completing the world's first intercontinental flight powered by the sun to show the potential for pollution-free air travel.
A Solar Impulse aircraft takes off at Payerne airport May 24, 2012, piloted by André Borschberg. The Solar Impulse HB-SIA prototype aircraft, which has 12,000 solar cells built into its jumbo-jet-sized wings (about 200 feet long), attempted its first intercontinental flight from Switzerland to Morocco with a few days for a technical stop and a change of pilot in Madrid. This flight will act as a final rehearsal for the 2014 round-the-world flight.
Almost as much fun as the "Unicorn Chaser" plane Boing Boing named for Virgin America airlines! A passenger looks out of an Airbus A330-300 aircraft of Taiwan's Eva Airlines, decorated with Hello Kitty motifs, in Taoyuan International Airport, northern Taiwan, April 30, 2012. Taiwan's second-largest carrier, Eva Airlines, and Japan's comic company, Sanrio, which owns the Hello Kitty brand, collaborated on the second generation Hello Kitty-themed aircraft which was launched on October 2011. There are currently three Hello Kitty-themed Airbus A330-300 aircrafts flying between cities such as Taipei, Fukuoka, Narita, Sapporo, Incheon, Hong Kong and Guam. More photos here, and we've previously blogged about the earlier generation of the Hello Kitty planes on Eva. (REUTERS/Pichi Chuang)
Princess Juliana International Airport (SXM) on St. Maarten has an extremely short runway (7152 feet) that forces jets to get mighty close to people at Maho Beach.
The US Federal Aviation Administration today announced it is exploring ways to make it easier for airlines to allow travelers to use connected gadgets like phones, iPads, and tablet PCs during plane takeoff and landing.
A statement released today says the FAA is “exploring ways to bring together all of the key stakeholders involved” (airlines, plane manufacturers, consumer electronics producers, and unions representing flight attendants) to discuss the possibility of testing devices to determine if they are safe for passengers to use during the most critical phases of flight.
“No changes will be made until we are certain they will not impact safety and security," read the statement. FAA rules currently require fliers to shut down their electronic devices when the plane's altitude is below 10,000 feet.
Snip from Nick Bilton at the NYT's Bits blog:
Abby Lunardini, vice president of corporate communications at Virgin America, explained that the current guidelines require that an airline must test each version of a single device before it can be approved by the F.A.A. For example, if the airline wanted to get approval for the iPad, it would have to test the first iPad, iPad 2 and the new iPad, each on a separate flight, with no passengers on the plane.
It would have to do the same for every version of the Kindle. It would have to do it for every different model of plane in its fleet. And American, JetBlue, United, Air Wisconsin, etc., would have to do the same thing. (No wonder the F.A.A. is keeping smartphones off the table since there are easily several hundred different models on the market.) Ms. Lunardini added that Virgin America would like to perform these tests, but the current guidelines make it “prohibitively expensive, especially for an airline with a relatively small fleet that is always in the air on commercial flights like ours.”
Photo: "Person Holding a Business Phone While on a Plane," Jim Lopes, Shutterstock.
Why care about liquid fuel?
There’s a reason we use different forms of energy to do different jobs, and it’s not because we’re all just that fickle. Instead, we’ve made these decisions based on some combination of what has (historically, anyway) given us the best results, what is safest, what is most efficient, and what costs us the least money.
In a nutshell, that’s why liquid fuel is so valuable. So far, it’s the clear winner when we need energy for transportation—especially air transportation and heavy, long-distance shipping—because it allows you to stuff a lot of energy into relatively small amount of storage space, and easily refill on the go. There are other options, of course, like electricity. And that can work quite well, depending on what you’re trying to do. Eventually, we may find ourselves in a world where liquid fuel is no longer the best option. But we aren’t there yet. And for those forms of transport that take us into the air or move our belongings very long distances, we aren't likely to get there for a good long time.
That's why I care about liquid fuel, and why I'm interested in the future of biofuels. Yes, biofuels do have a future. But what that future will be depends on whether we can control for some very messy variables. Here, in three points, are the big things you need to know about biofuel.
1. Corn ethanol really is flawed. But maybe not as much as you think.
Biofuel is a nice, round word encompassing a lot of tricky, little, oddly shaped dots. You can make biofuel from lots of different things, in lots of different ways. Corn ethanol, cellulosic ethanol, bio-oil, bio-diesel, algae oil—they all have some benefits and some detriments, which means they all have some big backers and some big haters. Right now, any biofuel produced at a big, commercially useful scale is bound to be ethanol, and in the United Sates, that means corn ethanol. But, from what I see, the evidence favors using options that aren’t dependent on a dedicated corn crop. That’s not to say that corn ethanol is the devil—its bad reputation comes, at least in part, from backlash against some pretty heinous overselling—but it does have some big drawbacks and we might have an easier time making truly Green biofuels another way.
Read the rest
The corpse of Delvonte Tisdale, 16, was found in a quiet neighborhood in Milton, Mass., Nov. 15, below a flight path to Logan.
"It appears more likely than not that Mr. Tisdale was able to breach airport security and hide in the wheel well of a commercial jet airliner without being detected by airport security," Norfolk County District Attorney William R. Keating said at a news conference Friday afternoon.
Mr. Keating said he alerted federal authorities and the Charlotte Airport that the teenager was able to breach airport security and get onto the plane. While the case is a tragedy, Mr. Keating said, it also underscores fears that someone with malicious intention could do the same thing.
At the risk of pointing out what is very much apparent: all the TSA's invasive body-scanning and crotch-groping failed to prevent this. What if this kid was a suicide bomber stowaway, strapped with explosives? How did this happen?
Over at New Scientist, Paul Marks speculates that "the long-awaited ability to use a cellphone or Wi-Fi connection on an aircraft might become a casualty of the latest aviation security threat."
It is not yet known whether the cellphones in the printer bombs were intended to be triggered remotely. They may have been intended simply as timers, as in the 2004 Madrid train bombings. But future devices could take advantage of wireless communication.Aircraft bomb finds may spell end for in-flight Wi-Fi (New Scientist)
In-flight Wi-Fi "gives a bomber lots of options for contacting a device on an aircraft", Alford says. Even if ordinary cellphone connections are blocked, it would allow a voice-over-internet connection to reach a handset.
"If it were to be possible to transmit directly from the ground to a plane over the sea, that would be scary," says Alford's colleague, company founder Sidney Alford. "Or if a passenger could use a cellphone to transmit to the hold of the aeroplane he is in, he could become a very effective suicide bomber."