Airplane

How and when to use Airplane Mode on iPhone

Airplane Mode is more than just a way to comply with flight attendants' requests to disable your device during a flight. It can actually be used as a preventative measure while roaming, or letting your child play a game on your iPhone, as well as help you save battery life. We show you how to activate Airplane Mode on your iPhone, and suggest scenarios for when it might be wise to use this powerful-yet-overlooked feature.

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New technology could slash airplane delays

If a technology being developed by aerospace giant Honeywell that helps airplanes land in very cloudy conditions wins regulatory approval, it could make a huge dent in weather-related delays throughout the aviation system.

The technology is called Enhanced Visual System/Synthetic Vision System (EVS/SVS), and it is designed to give pilots the information they need to land safely even when there is cloud cover near ground. Current U.S. rules mandate that pilots decide at the 200-foot mark if their ground visibility is good enough to land or if they need to circle around for another try. With EVS/… Read more

New nanomaterial could detect, neutralize explosives

If a group of scientists can get their project off the ground, there's a chance U.S. air travelers may one day be able to bring aboard more liquids in their carry-on luggage again.

The team, led by Oklahoma State University chemistry professor Allen Apblett, has come up with what it says is a nanomaterial that can both detect and neutralize some dangerous explosives. If deployed in a practical manner at airports in the U.S. and elsewhere around the world, it could, in theory, make it possible once again for some people to bring more liquids with them … Read more

Boeing's 747-8 touches down for the first time

SEATTLE--With the beautiful snow-covered mountains of Washington state behind it, Boeing's 747-8 Intercontinental made its first-ever landing today, four-and-a-half hours after taking off on its maiden flight.

The flight went about as well as could be expected, 747 chief pilot Mark Feuerstein said in a brief press conference at Boeing Field here, minutes after the plane touched down at 2:25 p.m. PT.

The plane, with its unique red, orange, and white livery, took off at 9:58 a.m. PT from Paine Field in Everett, Wash., and headed immediately toward the Olympic Peninsula, Feuerstein told the crowd … Read more

On first flight, 747-8 Intercontinental a new icon in the sky

EVERETT, Wash.--If you don't think that the latest model of an airplane that first took to the air 42 years ago could be fresh, majestic, and iconic upon its own initial foray into sky, then you didn't see Boeing's 747-8 Intercontinental take off on its first flight today.

Resplendent in its all-new orange, red, and white livery, and sparkling in the mid-morning sun, the biggest and most fuel-efficient passenger airplane in Boeing's history took off from Paine Field here at 9:58 a.m. PT before a cheering crowd of hundreds, if not thousands, of … Read more

Boeing's 747-8 Intercontinental is in the air

EVERETT, Wash.--"Ready, ready, go."

With those words, blasted from a public address system at Paine Field here, Boeing's first 747-8 Intercontinental revved its engines and began its high-speed roll down the runway for takeoff.

And at 9:58 a.m. PDT today, the all-new model of Boeing's most iconic passenger plane took to the air for the first time, trailed by two T-33 chaser planes and cheered on by hundreds of Boeing employees.

Piloted by Mark Feuerstein and Paul Stemer, the plane took off into a clear sky and quickly banked left, headed for … Read more

Boeing's 747-8 Intercontinental set for first flight

EVERETT, Wash.--The skies are clear, the sun is out, and the plane is ready. Boeing's 747-8 Intercontinental is all set for its first flight.

With a two-hour window for the inaugural flight starting at 10 a.m. PT today, it appears that all is go for inaugural flight of the all-new version of Boeing's most iconic passenger jet. The flight comes about 13 months after the February 8, 2010, first flight of the 747-8 Freighter.

Thousands of Boeing employees and families, as well as fans of the 747, and a cadre of press will be on hand … Read more

Boeing schedules 747-8 Intercontinental's first flight for Sunday

Boeing announced today that its all-new 747-8 Intercontinental, the longest passenger plane in its history, is expected to take its first flight on Sunday.

Earlier in the day, the aviation giant said that the plane--which it unveiled in a huge ceremony just last month--had passed what is called final gauntlet testing, which "simulates flight conditions to test systems and ensure flight readiness," Boeing said in a release, adding that as part of the testing process, its test pilots "put the airplane through its paces."

Over the next few days, then, the plane will be subjected to &… Read more

Have onboard Wi-Fi? See what's happening below

Have you often looked out the window of a plane and wished you could find out about what you're seeing down below? Thanks to a new service that went into alpha testing today, you could soon do just that.

Known as MondoWindow, the service aims to let anyone onboard a Wi-Fi-enabled plane get real-time information about the places they're flying over. And as the service gets more sophisticated, it will likely add all kinds of additional features like audio programming, videos, and games, all related specifically to the places you can see five miles below you.

MondoWindow comes … Read more

A day at the 787 Dreamliner assembly line

EVERETT, Wash.--The 787 Dreamliner program may be three years behind schedule and battling a legacy of delays, but that isn't stopping Boeing from building the next-generation airplanes one after another.

Yesterday, as the last act of a three-day media extravaganza timed to Boeing's Sunday unveiling of the 747-8 Intercontinental, I got a chance to take a first-hand look at the Dreamliner assembly line.

By now, the story of the 787 is well-chronicled. Originally unveiled on July 8, 2007, (07/08/07) the plane was supposed to take its first flight later that year and begin carrying passengers … Read more