Let me get this out of the way: the trillion dollar F-35 fighter jet program is an embarrassing mess. But it’s hard not to marvel at the very expensive technology’s promises. This conflict squeezed my brain this week, when the Air Force stopped by Gizmodo’s office with a $400,000 F-35 helmet in hand. They even let me…
Amelia Earhart visits her mother, Amy Otis Earhart, at home in Hollywood, Calif., on Jan. 14, 1935. Just days prior, the pioneering aviator had completed the first solo flight from Honolulu, Hawaii to Oakland, California; the 2,400-mile flight took her 18 hours, and she collected a reward of $10,000 for the feat.
You're on a plane. The oxygen masks have dropped. While you're screaming and crying, does it occur to you to wonder where that oxygen comes from? It's not a scuba tank. Here's how weed killer, fireworks, and candy destroyers keep you alive.
It’s been just over a century and change since the first airplane flight. And an amazing amount of innovation has happened to aviation since then. Along with quite a bit of weird experiments, that didn’t entirely pan out. Here are fascinating videos of some of the strangest flying machines ever invented!
Wind tunnel tests are essential in testing how planes will hold up at various wind speeds and during turbulence—and they also make for some striking photos that take us through the history of aviation.
In the early 1900s, airplanes were a novelty and a spectacle, but some people were already thinking of what other uses could be made of them. This is why there were thousands of people in Los Angeles running out into the streets to be "bombed."
Remember when dozens of mating turtles shut down a whole runaway at JFK International Airport in 2009? It was only the start of a turtle invasion that has vexed travelers and perplexed biologists for years. But we may have figured out why turtles are all over the tarmac, and it has to do with raccoons.
Want to get on an airplane? You might change your mind after reading this. It turns out that hurtling through the air messes with your senses. Sometimes it messes with them so much that you can be crashing without ever knowing anything is wrong.
Bad things would happen if a hobbyist's drone were to fly into a jet engine. Though an unlikely occurrence, experts say it could cause a catastrophic failure similar to a BASH (aviation parlance for a Bird Aircraft Strike Hazard). But with drones there could be an added danger of combustion is they're gas-powered.
This is genuinely incredible. Luca Iaconi-Stewart may just be the world's greatest paper-airplane-maker. Seriously – this guy's work makes your crease-and-fold creations look like utter child's play.
NASA Administrator Charles Bolden has penned a must-read tribute to aviation pioneer Amelia Earhart. Bolden opens his piece with the quote above, noting that Earhart would have made a great astronaut not only "for breaking barriers of possibility in flight, but also for her determination to break barriers of exclusion…
Aircraft makers tried a lot of different designs before settling on the two-winged planes and jets we're familiar with today. Inventors toyed with the idea of a multi-winged aircraft — often fashioned from incredibly complicated structures — before discarding it. Here are some of their most amazing failures.
When United States Post Office planes took to the skies in the 1920s, they had their own version of the roadway's yellow line. A series of giant concrete arrows and gaslight beacons helped point the way from New York to San Francisco.
Every time you get in a traffic jam, you dream of pulling a lever, adding wings to your car, and soaring over the rest of the poor drivers. And then you wonder: Where's my flying car? The truth is, flying cars have existed for decades. You just wouldn't want most of these.
Beautiful, frightening, and uplifting all at once, "Happy End" is a photo series that highlights plane crashes with 100% survival rates.
Planes are very safe, and chances are you've been told as much. "You're more likely to die on your drive to the airport than you are in the sky," and all that. But do you know why planes are so safe? It's not just because plane crashes are rare (though they most definitely are). It's also because even if you do…
Whenever you see the word "aviation," you don't want to see the words "lawn dart" immediately afterwards. They just shouldn't be linked. And yet, due to a quirk of the human brain, they are. The Lawn Dart Effect is the ultimate example of why you shouldn't trust your gut — especially when flying.
US Airways flight 1549 was forced to make an emergency landing in the Hudson River because it was disabled after hitting a flock of Canada geese. Bird strikes cost the aviation industry more than $1.2 billion every year, and a large number of those are due to Canada geese. The problem is that birds react to a very…
The flying machine featured here is called an ornithopter, and its conceptual origins date back at least as far as the late 15th century, when Leonardo Da Vinci first produced drawings of a bird-like machine capable of flight.
The last decade of global conflict has seen the dawning of the age of the robot plane. Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) have been around for decades, but today they're ubiquitous war machines with unmatched endurance and lethal combat capabilities. Find out more about these increasingly high-tech pilotless aircraft.