tech e blog

Barra International Airport

Barra Airport, first opened in 1936, is situated in the wide shallow bay of Traigh Mhor at the north tip of the island of Barra in the Outer Hebrides, Scotland. The airport is unique, being the only one in the world where scheduled flights use a beach as the runway. The airport is operated by Highlands and Islands Airports Limited, which owns most of the regional airports in mainland Scotland and the outlying islands. The beach is set out with three runways in a triangle, marked by permanent wooden poles at their ends, in directions 07/25, 11/29, 15/33. This almost always allows the Twin Otters that serve the airport to land into the wind. At high tide these runways are under the sea: flight times vary with the tide. Emergency flights occasionally operate at night from the airport, with vehicle lights used to illuminate the runway and reflective strips laid on to the beach. Continue reading for more.

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F4 Ejection Seat Chair

Most office chairs are boring, this one is made from a real Mk.7 rocket-assisted ejection seat from a Boeing F-4 Phantom II was made by British manufacturer Martin-Baker Aircraft Co. Ltd., the king of ejection seats for some six decades. Everything has been professionally cleaned, refurbished and riveted to a durable, hand-finished sturdy steel base with a natural-looking weathered finish. Continue reading for a video of the actual ejection seat they use, more pictures and additional information.

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F-35 Helmet

What you're looking at above is the high-tech F-35 Joint Strike Fighter helmet, developed by Vision Systems International along with Helmet Integrated Systems, Ltd. This Helmet-Mounted Display System (HMDS) fully utilizes the advanced avionics architecture of the F-35 and provides the pilot video with imagery in day or night conditions. Consequently, the F-35 is the first tactical fighter jet in 50 years to fly without a HUD. A BAE Systems Helmet tracker using the optical tracker from Carl Zeiss Optronics South Africa has been selected as a potential replacement. The Helmet-Mounted Display System was fully operational and ready to delivery in July 2014. Continue reading for more.

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Windowless Plane

We have seen the future of passenger planes, and they'll probably be windowless. Sounds depressing, right? Well, before you let that thought sink in, just imagine that this plane's interior is lined with ultra-thin displays that show images from outside the plane. The displays can mirror whatever is outside in accordance with how passengers look around - think a giant smartphone touchscreen. Continue reading for the video and more information.

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TSA Items

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) - established November 19, 2001 - is best known an agency of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security that exercises authority over the security of the traveling public in the United States. They're granted the power to screen both people and property. Sometimes, they come across things that are puzzling to say the least, like a costume watch (prop) that looks like it's made to detonate a bomb. Continue reading for more.

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Airline Meal

Not everyone can afford a $20,000 suite when they fly, but these photographers wanted to show that things aren't so bad in economy and / or business classes. On a related note, the first airline meals were served by Handley Page Transport, an airline company founded in 1919, to serve the London-Paris route in October of that year. Passengers could choose from a selection of sandwiches and fruit. Now, as you can obviously tell from the Air France economy class meal above, things have changed quite a bit. Continue reading for more.

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Drone Photography

Dronestagr.am teamed up with National Geographic France to host the first International Drone Photography Competition in the world. Believe it or not, the above shot of San Luis Potosi in Mexico, as well as the others you're about to see, were all captured by drones. If you're interested in getting into this hobby and have (or are planning to get) a GoPro, make sure to pick up the DJI Phantom Aerial Drone Quadcopter. Continue reading for more.

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C-5 Galaxy

Photo credit: VN

No, this isn't a new design for the space shuttle, just Lockheed's C-5 Galaxy. It's used to provide the United States Air Force (USAF) with a heavy intercontinental-range strategic airlift capability, one that can carry outsize and oversize cargos, including all air-certifiable cargo. Lockheed proposed a twin body C-5 as a shuttle carrier to counter the Conroy Virtus, but the design was turned down. The C-5 is among the largest military aircraft in the world. Click here to view the first image in today's viral picture gallery. Continue reading for a viral video of a hawk attacking a drone in mid-air.

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Street Legal Flying Car

First, there was the Terrafugia, which never hit production, now the AeroMobil aims to continue where it left off. This vehicle can fly up to 430-miles on a single tank of petrol. Best of all, when its wings fold down, it'll fit snugly into a normal parking space. The company says its third prototype is ready to be shown to the world on October 29, at the Pioneers Festival in Austria - the wings will fold into the back seat behind the driver when in car mode. Continue reading for a video and more information.

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Flight Attendant Sleep

Photo credit: Airliners

There are first class airplane suites and then these cool and secret cabin crew sleeping quarters. On select Boeing's 777 and 787 airliners that fly international routes there are secret stairways that lead to a tiny (yet comfortable) set of windowless bedrooms for flight attendants and pilots. One thing you won't find are any high-tech displays or entertainment centers. Continue reading for more images and information.

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