Articles about aviation

Foot stuck in chewing gum

'Sticky runway' closes Canadian airport

Canadian airport Goose Bay has closed due to a “sticky runway”. Don't laugh: this is serious, for two reasons. Airport staff noticed the stickiness on the wheels of their vehicles and quickly surmised it was sealant applied during recent runway maintenance. Sealant is used to fill gaps between slabs of concrete, to fix cracks …
Simon Sharwood, 10 Nov 2017

American upstart seeks hotshot guinea pig for Concorde-a-like airliner

An American startup claiming to be building a modern-day Concorde is hiring a test pilot. Boom Supersonic, which, among other things, enjoys support from (who else?) Richard Branson, tech incubator Y Combinator, and a slack handful of venture capitalists, is recruiting a chief test pilot who will put its 1,451mph aircraft …
Bombardier C-series and Airbus A320

Aviation industry hits turbulence as Airbus buys into Bombardier’s new jetplanes

Airbus has struck a deal to buy a majority stake in Canadian plane-maker Bombardier's C Series Aircraft in a deal that will mean a shakeup for the global aviation market. Bombardier's C Series are regional jets with between 100 and 150 seats. Neither Airbus nor its main rival Boeing currently compete in this market. Airbus …
Simon Sharwood, 17 Oct 2017
drone

Drone smacks commercial passenger plane in Canada

Canada's transport minster has told drone operators to stay away from airports after a remotely piloted craft bonked a passenger plane during its final approach to Jean Lesage International Airport in Québec City. Minister Marc Garneau hasn't revealed the model of the drone, but we do know that it hit a plane operated by …
Simon Sharwood, 16 Oct 2017
Easyjet photo, via Shutterstock

EasyJet: We'll have electric airliners within the next decade

EasyJet has given its blessing to a mildly bonkers plan to replace airliners with electrically propelled aircraft on short-haul flights. The low-cost airline is supporting American startup Wright Electric, which, judging by the picture on its homepage, wants to insert a large number of ducted fans into the wing-root area of …
Gareth Corfield, 27 Sep 2017
GE's 747 testbed March 10, 1999, testing an engine for the Canadair CRJ-700/-900. Credit: GE Aviation

Oldest flying 747 finally grounded, 47 years after first flight

Video The oldest Boeing 747 capable of flight has been shelved. The 747-100 was the 25th to roll off the production line and entered service in 1970 with long-defunct Pan American Airlines, which flew it more than 18,000 times before selling it to GE Aviation in 1991. GE used it as a flying testbed for new engines, a role the 747 …
Simon Sharwood, 24 Aug 2017
A Boeing 777 airliner on landing. Pic: Shutterstock

Inmarsat flings latest Wi-Fi-on-airliners satellite into orbit

Inmarsat has successfully launched its latest satellite, which will form part of the grandiosely named European Aviation Network for putting faster Wi-Fi aboard airliners. The 5.7 tonne Hellas Sat 3-Inmarsat S EAN bird was launched into orbit by French firm Arianespace from French Guiana, aboard an Ariane 5 rocket, at 2215 BST …
Gareth Corfield, 29 Jun 2017
NASA's Low Boom Flight Demonstration aircraft

Concorde without the cacophony: NASA thinks it's cracked quiet supersonic flight

NASA says the preliminary design review of its Quiet Supersonic Transport (QueSST) project suggests it is possible to create a supersonic aircraft that doesn't produce a sonic boom. We've been able to build supersonic passenger planes for decades, but they're tricky things. Russia's Tupolev Tu-144 proved highly unreliable. …
Simon Sharwood, 27 Jun 2017
airplane autopilot

Boeing preps pilotless passenger flights – once it has solved the Sully problem, of course

The days of listening to the captain speaking on a flight may be numbered, according to Boeing. The aerospace giant has been actively working on pilotless technology and has already built an automatic take-off and landing system into its newest model, the 787 Dreamliner. The industry is also facing a severe shortage of pilots …
Iain Thomson, 9 Jun 2017
Snakes on a Plane, kind of

NASA brainboxes work on algorithms for 'safe' self-flying aircraft

It's the fear of anyone who watches Snakes on a Plane and books a flight – what if your plane crashes? Now take a deep breath and imagine that you're travelling on a plane or rocketship with no pilot. A new NASA research project hopes to find ways to certify unmanned autonomous aircraft systems for safety. The easy part, says …
Andrew Silver, 5 Jun 2017
Aurora Flight Sciences' ALIAS robot in a simulated 737 cockpit

Robot lands a 737 by hand, on a dare from DARPA

An outfit called Aurora Flight Sciences is trumpeting the fact that one of its robots has successfully landed a simulated Boeing 737. Aviation-savvy readers may well shrug upon learning that news, because robots – or at least auto-landing systems - land planes all the time and have done so for decades. Aurora's excitement is …
Simon Sharwood, 17 May 2017
China's first large passenger jet, the C919, starts its takeoff roll on its maiden flight

China's first large passenger jet makes maiden flight

China's first large passenger jet has successfully taken to the skies and then landed again. Just after 06:00 GMT, the first C919 rolled down and off a runway at Shanghai Pudong airport, to the sounds of applause of onlookers and plenty of senior officials who showed up to celebrate a milestone for Chinese industry.It touched …
Boeing 737 Max

Boeing 737 turns 50

Boeing's 737, the world's most common airliner, turned 50 over the weekend: the single-aisle workhorse first took to the skies on April 9th, 1967. The first versions of the plane were feeble by today's standards: the 737 100 “boasted” a range of just 1,150 miles (1,850km) and offering just 107 seats. Both of those features …
Simon Sharwood, 10 Apr 2017

Boeing-backed US upstart reckons it'll be building electric airliners

A naïve American startup run by "dreamers" claims that its electrically powered airliner concept will magically sweep away all of the world's existing problems with air travel. Zunum Aero, based in Washington state, wants to build a fleet of what it calls hybrid electric jets for service on short and medium-haul airline routes …
Airbus A350-1000

Aviation regulator flies in face of UK.gov ban, says electronics should be stowed in cabin. Duh

Europe's aviation regulator has warned that electronic devices should not be stowed in an aircraft's cargo hold, advice that contradicts the recent ban on laptops and tablets in cabin baggage on certain flights by UK authorities. The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) issued a reminder to airlines that devices containing …
Kat Hall, 6 Apr 2017
The first A319 takes to the skies

Boeing and Airbus fly new planes for first time

Airbus and Boeing have both debuted new commercial jets. Boeing's 787-10 took to the skies over South Carolina last Friday and spent four hours and fifty eight minutes strutting its stuff. The 787-10 is the biggest variant of the 787, also known as the “Dreamliner”. The plane boasts the same 60m wingspan and 574cm cross- …

Did your in-flight entertainment widget suck? It's Panasonic's fault, claims software biz

Panasonic has been hit with a lawsuit accusing the electronics giant of monopolizing the market for in-flight entertainment (IFE) devices with a series of dirty tricks. Software maker CoKinetic says that Panasonic Avionics has been illegally rigging their in-flight entertainment hardware not to work with software provided by …
Shaun Nichols, 3 Mar 2017
Concorde at Aerospace Bristol museum

Last Concorde completes last journey, at maybe Mach 0.02

VID The last Concorde to take to the skies, G-BOAF (216), has come to a stop for the final time in the soon-to-open Aerospace Bristol museum. The supersonic passenger plane first flew on 20 April 1979 and touched down for the last time on 26 November 2003. The plane was the last Concorde to roll off the production line and the …

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