airplanes

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Flying East Is a Pain for Your Brain

Biological clock prefers a longer day achieved by flying west: study

(Newser) - A flight from Paris to New York is easier on the brain than one from New York to Paris, according to a new study that finds jet lag is based not only on distance traveled, but also the direction of travel. In the journal Chaos , researchers from the University of... More »

Historic Boeing Iran Deal Could Be Worth $25B

Sale of 100 planes needs Treasury approval

(Newser) - Iran's transportation minister says a possible deal between the Islamic Republic and Boeing Co. could be worth as much as $25 billion. Boeing didn't immediately respond to a request for comment, but the figure would be on par with a sale already made by its European rival Airbus... More »

Russia Wants This 'Cool' New Jet to Dominate the Sky

MC-21 to rival Boeing, Airbus models

(Newser) - Who needs Western planes? Not Russia, apparently. The country has just unveiled the MC-21, the first Russian "medium-range passenger aircraft developed this century," reports RT . Revealed in what the Guardian calls a glitzy ceremony in Irkutsk, the twin-engine jet is meant to rival Airbus and Boeing aircraft. The... More »

Cranky When Flying? Blame First Class

First-class cabin brings sense of inequality: study

(Newser) - Limited leg room is harder to bear when passengers know others are comfortably sipping bubbly nearby. That's the takeaway from a University of Toronto study that examined 1,500 "air rage" incidents from a single airline and found incidents rise on flights with a first-class cabin, particularly if... More »

For Fliers, 2015 Was an Unbelievably Safe Year

No fatal jetliner accidents happened globally

(Newser) - It once seemed impossible, but the airline industry has finally pulled off a long-sought-after global goal: It got through an entire year without a single jetliner fatality due to pilot snafus, plane malfunctions, and/or weather conditions, per the Wall Street Journal . Stats issued by the International Air Transport Association called... More »

Your Pilot May Not Remember How to Fly a Plane

Feds warn about skills fading away as automation takes over

(Newser) - Where's Ted Striker when you need him? Probably not at the helm of a commercial flight, according to a new Department of Transportation report . It finds that automation has driven manual flying mostly out of the cockpit, leading to concerns that pilots may not be getting enough training to... More »

In 15-Minute Span, 3 Planes Hit by Lasers Near Dallas

Meanwhile, news crew aids arrest of suspect near Brooklyn

(Newser) - Someone is in trouble near Dallas: Police and the FAA are investigating after three planes were reportedly hit by a laser beam while flying into Dallas Love Field between 7:30pm and 7:45pm on Wednesday. An FAA rep says a Southwest Airlines 737, a Virgin America A319, and a... More »

New Rule: No E-Cigs in Checked Bags

FAA, DOT say they're a fire hazard

(Newser) - The DOT Monday announced what NJ.com calls an "air safety twist": letting airline passengers carry their e-cigarettes into the cabin in their carry-on bags or on their person, but banning the devices in checked luggage. The agency's Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, in conjunction with the... More »

This Is the Dirtiest Spot on an Airplane

Surprise: It's the tray table

(Newser) - If you avoid airplane bathrooms for fear of germs, it's time to rethink your strategy. Travelmath sent a microbiologist to swipe airplanes and airports to find the dirtiest spots and the results are as surprising as they are gross. The ickiest spot on a plane is actually a seat'... More »

We Don't Know What Happens If a Jet Engine Sucks in a Drone

Pilot drone sightings have already more than doubled last year's total

(Newser) - In July, the Department of Homeland Security said it counted more than 500 incidents of drones passing near "critical" sites such as airports since 2012. And the Federal Aviation Administration said the number of pilot sightings of unmanned aircraft as of Aug. 9 is more than double the number... More »

More Planes Hit by Lasers Over NJ, NY

20 planes have been targeted over the last week

(Newser) - Authorities appear no closer to figuring out the source of those mysterious lasers dazzling pilots over New Jersey and New York even as more incidents are recorded. After pilots reported lasers hitting at least 11 planes last week, nine more flights have been affected, including four last night. Two of... More »

Lasers Hit 11 Flights Over NJ Last Night: Reports

It's a federal crime to point a laser at a plane

(Newser) - The Federal Aviation Administration is investigating after 11 commercial flights reported they were illuminated by lasers while flying over New Jersey last night. The FAA says the incidents occurred between 9pm and 10:30pm and that the lasers hit the left and right sides of the cockpits, along with the... More »

Indonesia Crash Toll Hits 141; Plane Was Ancient

Air force chief: Some may have flown without permission

(Newser) - The death toll has skyrocketed to 141 after an Indonesian military transport plane slammed into houses and a hotel in Medan yesterday. Though it initially wasn't clear how many people were on board the C-130B Hercules, officials now say it was carrying 122 passengers—including "maybe five to... More »

Planes on Collision Course Avoid Near Disaster

Chicago Midway Airport controller cries out desperate warning

(Newser) - Two commercial planes flirted with disaster tonight after beginning their takeoffs on intersecting runways at Chicago Midway International Airport, the Chicago Tribune reports. "Stop, stop, stop, stop!" an air controller can be heard shouting on a recording of the incident posted at LiveATC.net . The two pilots—one... More »

Invention May Make Air Travel Much Quieter

Membrane could block 1K times more sound energy than plane alone

(Newser) - Does the buzzing of a plane's engines drive you bonkers? Researchers have come up with a product that could save you some grief. They've developed a thin membrane capable of blocking low-frequency noise that tends to bounce around the cabin. The honeycomb-like material typically used on a plane'... More »

Report: Hackers Could Use Plane WiFi to Hijack Controls

FAA says it is working with experts on necessary changes

(Newser) - That in-flight WiFi we've all become so fond of could be breached by hackers to take control of the plane, according to a worrying GAO report out yesterday. Passengers, or even people on the ground, could break down firewalls guarding communications and navigation systems, Reuters reports, meaning a hacker... More »

Why We Fart More on Airplanes

Danish physician probes the science of flatulence

(Newser) - When someone passes gas at 35,000 feet, there's nowhere to hide—so a Danish doctor has come up with ways to fart less on airplanes and better disguise the odor when we do, the BBC reports. The doctor, Jacob Rosenberg, says the topic grabbed him on a long... More »

Pilots May Have to Fly Jetliners All Alone

NASA funds study to consider historic change

(Newser) - Imagine peeking into a jetliner cockpit and seeing a single pilot in there, responsible for flying all of those people. Well, NASA wants to seriously consider that option with a new $4 million study, the Wall Street Journal reports. Contract winner Rockwell Collins Inc. will look at whether a second... More »

Spooked NATO Intercepts Sudden Slew of Russia Jets

NATO countries intercept 19 planes in 24 hours

(Newser) - It's not clear what Vladimir Putin might be up to, but reports of a possible Russian sub spotted off Sweden are now followed by those of NATO, which says it yesterday intercepted at least 19 Russian fighter jets and bombers flying in three separate directions outside Russian airspace. Eight... More »

Maps of Alaska Are So Old It's Dangerous

Incorrect elevation data may contribute to plane crashes

(Newser) - The US has highly sophisticated maps of Afghanistan, and the government constantly updates its terrain data in the contiguous US. But up north, it's a very different story. "Mars is better mapped than the state of Alaska," says the head of one mapping company. And that is... More »

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