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Tag: AIRPLANE

Electronic Devices Might Interfere With Planes -- or Not

Despite stern warnings from flight attendants and pilots, we've always wondered if our iPods or cell phones could really cause an airplane's electronics to go haywire. According to a recent article in The New York Times, personal electronic devices don't always interfere with a plane's electronics -- but sometimes they do, or can, cause problems. Clear as mud, right? Bill Strauss, an engineer...

Man Punches Teen Who Wouldn't Turn Off iPhone During Flight

Share An Idaho man was arrested Tuesday night after punching a teenager who wouldn't turn off his iPhone during their flight's final descent. According to Boise's KBOI-2.com, 68-year-old Russell Miller punched a 15-year-old boy in the arm because the teen continued playing games and listening to music on his phone after Southwest flight attendants had asked for all electronic devices to be turned...

With $13,000, Three Brits Launch Paper Airplane Into Space

In case all the shake-ups at NASA have gotten you down in the dumps, perhaps you can take solace in those thrifty Brits and their newest entry in the space race: paper airplanes. Three private citizens -- Steve Daniels, John Oates and Lester Haines -- raised $13,000 (£8,000) in funds to launch the 'Vulture 1' glider (which measures three feet across) and its attached helium balloon into...

Boeing Develops Helicopter-Airplane Hybrid for DARPA

As part of a DARPA initiative, Boeing is developing a search-and-rescue aircraft that combines a helicopter's hovering capabilities with an airplane's long flight range. According to Aviation Week, Boeing will test a 20-percent scale model of the disc-rotor aircraft, called the CSAR DiscRotor, in a wind tunnel sometime next year. The aircraft uses rotor-mounted blades, much like a chopper, so...

Beautiful Failures: The Best-Designed Tech That Flopped

Share Ask any experienced manufacturer to name the key component to a winning product, and they'll undoubtedly reel off a string of theories, personal maxims and anecdotes. Then, if they're even remotely honest, they'll confess that they have no idea what they're talking about. Some ugly and even poorly made objects go on to wild success (cough, Bluetooth headsets, cough), while beautifully...

Find Out if Your Flight Has Internet at HasWiFi

For better or worse, Wi-Fi is an increasingly common amenity on flights, both domestic and international. The upside is that you can get work done in transit. The down side is that you're expected to get online and get work done in transit. Many now fly assuming they'll have Internet access at 30,000 feet, but that isn't always the case, and there hasn't been a particularly easy way to check...

Singapore Airlines May Allow Cell Phone Use During Long Flights

Many major airlines offer Wi-Fi connectivity on flights, but according to ABC News, Singapore Airlines could allow passengers to send text messages or make cell phone calls on medium-to-long flights as soon as early next year. This service, which is part of an in-flight Wi-Fi Internet system being implemented, would be available on about 43 planes -- or half the airline's fleet. Of course, cell...

'Plane Finder AR' Lets You Point Your iPhone Skyward to Track Airplanes

iPhone geeks can now indulge their inner air-traffic controller, thanks to a new app that takes all of the guesswork out of the classic 'Bird-Plane-Superman' trinary. The app, called 'Plane Finder AR,' combines augmented reality with data from virtual radar maps to track commercial planes passing overhead. All you have to do is point your iPhone at an aircraft, snap a photo, and the app will...

Airbus Envisions Invisible, Ceramic-Skinned Planes in 2050

Airbus recently published the forward-looking "The Future, By Airbus" (PDF) report, chock full of concepts and cutting-edge ideas about the future of flight. Airbus engineers explore hydrogen as a fuel source in the 'cryoplane' concept, and mention both biofuels and solar power as alternatives. An invisible plane concept -- hardly a new idea, as Wonder Woman has been flying one for over 60 years...

Get (Almost) Real-Time Flight Info in Google Earth

Have you ever dreamed of being an air traffic controller, but your time spent training in a terrorist camp overseas has kept you from passing the background check? Well, now you can monitor thousands of flights in near real-time as they criss-cross the country, thanks to a KML file from Flightwise.com that puts data from the FAA in Google Earth. Each in-air flight is represented by a little plane...

'Hipmunk' Travel Site Streamlines Reservations, We Go Hands On

Sometimes, planning a flight can be more stressful than actually waiting in the security lines or sitting next to a crying baby on the transatlantic. Sure, there are plenty of travel sites out there, each claiming to deliver the cheapest, easiest flights in the skies. But sifting through the layovers and comparing costs often takes some extensive research, simply due to the confusing way most...

TST-14J BonusJet Glider Comes With Retractable Jet Engine

Finding somebody to tow your fancy glider thousands of feet into the air is hardly cheap or convenient, so Desert Aerospace has developed a jet-powered sailplane that can launch itself into the sky. The company's TST-14J BonusJet, which completed its first successful test flight this spring, will supposedly be cheaper than other self-launching gliders that are manufactured in Europe (although,...

Sun-Powered 'Solar Impulse' Plane Survives the Night Sky

The Solar Impulse is one of the most ambitious projects we've ever seen. The ultimate goal is to fly a solar-powered plane around the world, relying for power solely on the rays of the sun. That might still be a ways off, but the Impulse took to the sky Wednesday morning with an intermediary goal: to survive 24 hours aloft in the night sky (read: often with no sun) without plummeting to the...

Few People Are Using Wi-Fi on Airplanes, But It's Early Yet

Although a number a major airlines have gone to great pains in offering Wi-Fi connectivity on their flights, few passengers are buying. USA Today says that "some analysts" estimate that on-board Wi-Fi adoption tops out at around 10-percent of a given plane's passengers. We at Switched rely on the Internet to make our coffee, pump our blood and give our poor lives some meaning, so we have no idea...

iCub Plane Distracts Pilots With an iPad-Equipped Cockpit

At first glance this seems like a terrible idea: putting an iPad front and center in an airplane cockpit. You wouldn't put one at the fingertips of a driver, so it would make sense to keep the app-running, Web-browsing device out of view when careening several thousand feet above ground. But, surprise, that's one of the key features of the Zlin iCub, a new recreational aircraft being shown off at...