Here are some rarely seen pictures show how engineers in 1960s California secretly developed the SR-71 Blackbird for the US Air Force, currently still the fastest unclassified aircraft. These rarely seen once classified photos reveal how Lockheed built three types of Blackbird - A, B and C in Burbank, California. All of the SR-71 models were built by American aerospace company Lockheed under a 'black project'. The SR-71 Blackbird has held the world record for the fastest air-breathing manned aircraft with a record speed of 2,193.2mph, since July 28, 1976. To withstand the high temperatures generated by friction due to sustained Mach 3 flight in the upper atmosphere, the SR-71 required an array of specially developed materials including high temperature fuel, sealants, lubricants, wiring and other components. Click here to view the first image in today's viral picture gallery. Continue reading to watch the five more popular viral videos of today.
TransAsia Airways announced that one of their planes with 58 passengers and crew on board crashed into Keelung River shortly after taking off from a downtown Taipei airport on Wednesday, killing at least 23 people and leaving two dozen missing. Currently there are 15 known people survivors, including a small child, after the plane lurched between buildings, clipped an overpass with its port-side wing and crashed upside down in the shallow water. Continue reading for a video of the survivors and wreckage.
The Skylon C2 is a new type of aircraft that uses the SABRE engine system, which relies on a device called the precooler - technology that cools down the air entering the engineer system by more than 1,000° C in a mere .01-seconds, resulting in an unheard-of cooling rate of 400 megawatts, enabling the plane to 'breathe' oxygen. SKYLON will also be able to take passengers into outer space, taking off and landing horizontally like a normal plane. SABRE will also be used in the LAPCAT A2. Continue reading for another video and more information.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.