If you thought flying first class today was extravagant, these interesting pictures show what luxury in the skies really was like during the Golden Age of Flying. To put things in perspective, an economy class ticket on TWA in 1955 from Chicago to Phoenix cost $138 round-trip, and adjusted for inflation, that equates to $1,168 today. Since in-flight television, internet, etc. did not exist at the time, many planes were equipped with dining tables - others were handed postcards to write on. Continue reading for more pictures and information.
If you've been following the luxury scene online, the Saker S-1 is probably a familiar name. Now, the first prototype images have surfaced (top and bottom images above). Just to recap, it's the $5-million personal fighter jet that people can actually buy. The production model, set to be delivered in 2019, will reach speeds just shy of Mach 1 (Mach .99), and can be equipped with an optional ejector seat in case of emergency. Military training will not be required, just a pilot's license. Click here to view the first image in today's viral picture gallery. Continue reading for the five most popular viral videos today, including what happens when Star Wars meets Disney.
A WaveRider is essentially a hypersonic aircraft design that improves its supersonic lift-to-drag ratio by using the shock waves being generated by its own flight as a lifting surface, a phenomenon known as compression lift. The Boeing X-51A scramjet demonstration aircraft was launched successfully from 50,000-feet and had accelerated using a rocket to Mach 4.8 at which point it separated from the rocket and ignited its Scramjet. It then accelerated further to Mach 5.1 and climbed to 60,000-feet before shutting down its engine and intentionally crashing into the Pacific. Continue reading for more interesting facts.
For those who don't know, the Eurocopter X3 is an experimental high-speed compound helicopter that has achieved 293mph in level flight, setting an unofficial speed record for a helicopter. It's based on the Eurocopter AS365 Dauphin helicopter, with the addition of short span wings each fitted with a tractor propeller, having different pitch to counter the torque effect of the main rotor. Continue reading for five more interesting facts.
Boeing recently provided Fox Trot Alpha with never before seen images of their stealth jet, called "Quiet Bird", from the 1960s. It's also known as Model 853, and the company claims that official records of the program were probably destroyed in 1970s. These images from 1962-1963 are from Boeing's Wichita facility on a radar range, and while no actual flights took place during testing, they were able to drastically decrease the radar signature of a tactical aircraft. Continue reading for more images and information.
Touted as the "Ultimate Interceptor," the Convair F-106 Delta Dart was the primary all-weather interceptor aircraft used by the US Air Force from the 1960s through the 1980s. It was complemented by other Century Series fighters for other roles such as daylight air superiority or fighter-bombing. To support its role, the F-106 was equipped with the Hughes MA-1 integrated fire-control system, which could be linked to the Semi-Automatic Ground Environment (SAGE) network for ground control interception (GCI) missions, allowing the aircraft to be steered by controllers. Continue reading for more interesting facts.
The North American X-15 was a hypersonic rocket-powered aircraft operated by the US Air Force and NASA. It set numerous speed and altitude records in the 1960s, reaching the edge of outer space and returning with valuable data used in aircraft and spacecraft design. The aircraft currently holds the official world record for the highest speed ever reached by a manned, powered aircraft, with a maximum speed of 4,520mph (Mach 6.72) achieved. Continue reading for more cool facts.
The North American Aviation XB-70 Valkyrie is the prototype of the B-70 nuclear-armed, deep-penetration strategic bomber for the U.S. Air Force's Strategic Air Command. The XB-70 is a large, six-engined aircraft capable of reaching Mach 3+ while flying at 70,000 feet. At these speeds, it was expected that the B-70 would be almost immune to interceptor aircraft, the only effective weapon against bomber aircraft at the time. Continue reading for more interesting facts.
The F-22 Raptor was designed primarily as an air superiority fighter, but has additional capabilities including ground attack, electronic warfare, and signals intelligence roles. Recently, photographer John Dibbs captured these surreal images of F-22 Arctic Raptor fighter jets over Alaska for Lockheed Martin's Code One magazine. "In addition, Alaska's strategic location allows the Arctic Raptors to deploy rapidly anywhere in the world. They are nine hours or less flight time to almost any location in the northern hemisphere. Further, with the renewed Russian bomber activity over the last several years, the F-22s at Elmendorf are on alert twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week," said Code One. Continue reading for another video and more pictures.
DARPA has just unveiled an experimental robotic landing gear system that replaces standard landing gear with four articulated, jointed legs that are able to fold up next to the helicopter's fuselage while in flight, and are equipped with force-sensitive contact sensors in their feet. During the landing process, each leg extends and uses its sensors to determine in real time the appropriate angle to assume to ensure that the aircraft stays level and also to minimize any risk of the rotor touching the landing area. "The equipment-mounted on an otherwise unmodified, unmanned helicopter-successfully demonstrated the ability to land and take off from terrain that would be impossible to operate from with standard landing gear," said Ashish Bagai, DARPA program manager. Continue reading for a video compilation of DARPA Robotics Challenge FAILS.