tech e blog

Weird SkyMall Product

SkyMall, the famous in-flight shopping catalog, filed for federal bankruptcy court protection in Phoenix on Friday, seeking a court-supervised sale of their assets. During their heyday, SkyMall catalogs could be found in the seat-back pockets on just about every airline flight. Xhibit (parent company) Chief Financial Officer Scott Wiley said: "With the increased use of electronic devices on planes, fewer people browsed the SkyMall in-flight catalog. The substantial increase in the number of air carriers which provide Internet access, and the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration's recent decision to allow the use of electronic devices during take-off and landing, resulted in additional competition from e-commerce retailers and additional competition for the attention of passengers, all of which further negatively impacted SkyMall's catalog sales." Continue reading to see some of their strangest items ever.

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Boeing 777 Replica

If nothing else, this amazingly detailed Boeing 777-300ER replica shows that anything is possible if you put your mind to it, or in this case, manila folders. Aviation fanatic and model maker Luca Iaconi-Stewart, used miniature knifes, common watch-making tools, axles, clamps, tie rods, brackets and even pneumatic hoses to create the 2,000-part model you see above. He managed to acquire the schematic designs of an Air India 777-3000ER and started work on the 5-foot-long 1:60 scale model. First, designs were drawn up in Adobe Illustrator and then printed directly onto the manila folders. The mesh behind the engine was latticed manually out of hundreds of strands. The assembly process took approximately 200-hours. Continue reading for more pictures and information.

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Napcabs

So, your flight is delayed and all of the airport lounges are closed. Introducing Napcabs, which are basically luxurious "sleeping cabins," located right in the middle of the terminal. Think of them as tiny private rooms, complete with luggage storage, a bed and a small workspace. Simple swipe credit card on a touchscreen, book a $35 (minimum) time slot - priced between $12 - $18 per hour - and you're ready to relax. Continue reading for two videos.

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F-35 Weapons

Lockheed Martin has just released a new picture showing the sleek F-35 Lightning II with all of the weapons it can use after being tested by the Systems Development and Demonstration Weapons Suite. According to Jalopnik, "This represents a baseline capability that will be expanded with other weapons once the jet is fully operational towards the end of the decade." Click here to view the first image in this week's demotivational poster gallery. Continue reading for a viral video of a supermarket mascot gone wild.

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JSF Helmet

Did you know that the F-35 does not need to be physically pointing at its target for weapons to be successful? It uses sensors to track and target a nearby aircraft from any orientation and then provide the information to the pilot through their helmet for complete vision - also sends data to the seeker-head of a missile for accurate targeting. The helmet system replaces the display-suite-mounted head-up display used in earlier fighters. The F-35's systems provide the edge in the "observe, orient, decide, and act" OODA loop; stealth and advanced sensors aid in observation, automated target tracking helps in orientation, sensor fusion simplifies decision making, and the aircraft's controls allow the pilot to keep their focus on the targets, rather than the controls of their aircraft. Continue reading for more.

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Breaking Sound Barrier Shock Eggs

Photo credit: The Daily Mail

You've probably seen plenty of pictures online of jets being mislabeled as breaking the sound barrier, when they actually show them moments before. You see, shock eggs, also known as vapor cones, are created as jets travel at high speeds. The sudden change in pressure can cause water to condense around the vehicle, creating an odd conical shape. In addition to making the shock waves themselves visible, water condensation can also occur in the trough between two crests of the shock waves produced by the passing of the object. However, this effect does not necessarily coincide with the acceleration of an aircraft through the speed of sound or Mach 1. Click here to view the first image in this week's funny work pictures gallery. Continue reading for a viral video of a 4 foot 5 inch basketball player who doesn't let his height stop him.

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Missing Boeing 727-223

A Boeing 727-223, registered N844AA, was stolen from Quatro de Fevereiro Airport, Luanda, Angola on May 25, 2003. Its disappearance prompted a worldwide search by the FBI and the CIA. Shortly before sunset on that day, two men boarded the plane, one of them being flight engineer Ben Charles Padilla (seen at controls), and the other, a hired mechanic from the Republic of the Congo. Neither man was certified to fly the Boeing 727, which normally requires three aircrew. They had been working with Angolan mechanics to get the plane flight-ready. The aircraft began taxiing without communicating with the control tower and maneuvered erratically while entering a runway without clearance. The tower tried to make contact, but there was no response, and the tracking transponder was turned off. With its lights off, the aircraft took off, heading southwest over the Atlantic Ocean. Neither the plane nor the two men have been seen since. Continue reading for more mysterious disappearances.

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Jet Engines Tank Fire

Believe it or not, extreme fires, call for extreme measures, and in this case, it meant that Hungarian engineers needed to use a decommissioned Russian tank combined with the jets from a MiG-21 fighter jet. It's officially called the Big Wind, and can blow powerful shots of water to stop oil fires in an instant. Continue reading for a video and more information.

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Giant Arrows Ground

Photo credit: The MEta

You'll find these giant arrows on the ground all over the US, but they weren't placed their by Google. These were used by pilots for the US Postal Service, before the digital age, in the 1920s. The line of beacons bisect the country longitudinally from San Francisco to New York City. After World War II, these beacons were obsolete due to advancements in radio technology. Click here to view the first image in today's viral picture gallery. Continue reading for a viral video of a Siberian Husky mom handling her pups like a champ.

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AirAsia Flight 8501

Indonesia AirAsia Flight QZ8501 (Airbus 320-200) lost contact with Jakarta air traffic control at approximately 6:17am EST with 162 passengers on board - no distress signal had been sent. The pilots asked to change course to avoid bad weather during a flight from the Indonesian city of Surabaya to Singapore. "The aircraft was on the submitted flight plan route and was requesting deviation due to enroute weather before communication with the aircraft was lost," the airline said in a statement. Continue reading for another video and more information.

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