Technically Speaking: Stealth Before Stealth
Practicing the art of invisibility in the 1970s.
The Thunderpiglet and Other Famous Failures
Fail at the drawing board and you fail in the air.
Spying on the Soviets, With Graph Paper and a Calculator
Figuring out the specs of Cold War Soviet airplanes was educated guesswork, if you had the right tools.
Burt Rutan’s Ski-Gull and Other Would-Be Seaplanes
There’s more than one way to build an amphibious aircraft.
The Cult of the Sonic Cruiser
The airliner that never took off.
Advice for Airship Builders: Think Smaller
Grandiosity has been the ruin of many a dirigible design.
On Their Own Steam
Navy carriers are only now breaking away from using 19th century tech to put jets in the air.
Launch. Recover. Repeat
If Reusable Launch Vehicles become a reality, it won’t be thanks to NASA.
The B-52 Just Keeps on Flying
Designed in the 1940s, the BUFF shows no sign of retiring.
Dreams of Downtown Airports
The idea of connecting city centers with vertical take-off airports never quite took off.
Some Aircraft Get All the Luck (and Money)
And some run out of both.
How the 737 Got Its Hamster Mouth
The top-selling commercial airliner engine started with a strange design.
Why We Don’t Have an SST
In the politics of supersonic transport, “boom” led to bust.
Searching for Secrets at Area 51
A guide to snark hunting at Nevada’s secure test-flight base.
The Ramjet and the Rocket
If someone ever comes up with a need to fly at Mach 6, this 1990s technology could be the answer.