Cars. Airplanes. Both are great ways to get around.
But wouldn’t it be great if the two were put together so the same vehicle could get you where you needed to go no matter what the traffic conditions?
Lots of people have been working on making that dream of flying cars – or roadable aircraft – a reality.
But we’re not there quite yet.
These short videos about Robert Fulton Jr.’s Airphibian – on display at the Smitshsonian National Air & SpaceMuseum; Moulton’s Taylor’s Aerocar – see one at Seattle’s Museum of Flight – and the this-could-be-yours for just $98,000 Jetson One – (a nod to flying car in The Jetsons cartoon show) – prove that it could happen.
And let’s take a moment to celebrate the fact that since 2017 the paper airplane has been a soaring member of the National Toy Hall of Fame housed at the Strong National Museum of Play in Rochester, New York.
“… The success of the Wright Brothers at Kitty Hawk in 1903 fostered renewed hope of powered flight and no doubt contributed to the purported invention, in 1909, of the paper airplane. The principles that make an airplane fly are the same that govern paper versions. Paper’s high strength and density make it similar, scale-wise, to the materials used to construct airplanes...
…Play with paper airplanes is far from formulaic and constrained. Where some toys require financial investment, paper airplanes start with a simple sheet of paper, coupled with dexterity, to produce a toy with infinite aeronautical possibilities. “
All the news about coronavirus is pretty scary for air passengers who worry about getting sick from the germs on a plane.
Even before this scare, some travelers used disinfectant wipes to clean their tray tables and armrests before and during a flight.
Now we’re being told that this is something everyone should do.
Airlines are doing their part to try to reassure travelers that airplanes are clean and cleaned regularly between flights.
On Wednesday, for example, American Airlines shared a statement outlining its aircraft cleaning routines and efforts to upgrade cleaning.
American says international flights and aircraft with additional time on the ground receive a detailed 30-point cleaning package each day. The airline says all aircraft also undergo deep cleaning procedures on a regularly scheduled basis.
Now, American says it is enhancing cleaning procedures on international flights and aircraft that remain overnight at airports.
“This move, which will touch the majority of our aircraft each day, includes a more thorough cleaning of all hard surfaces, including tray tables and armrests,” American said in its statement.
On its blog, Alaska Airlines shared a video explaining how its airplanes get cleaned.
The airline notes that its crews are paying extra attention to sanitizing the ‘high touch’ parts of that plane. That includes armrests, seat belts, tray tables, overhead controls for air vents, light buttons and call buttons, and the interior and exterior handles to lavatories.
Take a look and let us know if this makes you feel better about flying right now.
The airplane of the future may be shaped like a big V.
And it may be super sustainable.
On the heels of its announcement of an investment in a biofuel plant set to open in 2022, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines has announced it will partner with Delft University of Technology (TU Delft) to fund the development of an innovative flying machine known as the “Flying-V.”
aerodynamic aircraft design incorporates the passenger cabin, cargo hold and
fuel tanks into the wings of a V-shaped aircraft.
As designed, the unusual shape would reduce an aircraft’s weight and use 20% less fuel than current airplanes. But it would allow the plane to easily land at airports and pull up to gates designed to welcome Airbus A350s.
Designers say the Flying-V will be able to carry the same number of passengers – 314 – and the same volume of cargo as an Airbus A350. But this new plane will be smaller than an A350 and more aerodynamic.
Although the Flying-V will initially fly on kerosene, it is designed make use of innovations in the propulsion system, such as electrically boosted turbofan engines.
Designers say not only will the Flying-V look different and be energy-efficient, it could offer a better passenger experience, with seating in the wings and with a unique new design for seating and lavatories.
A flying scale model and full-size section of the interior of the “Flying-V” is set to be unveiled in October, during KLM Experience Days at Amsterdam Airport Schiphol, as a potential aircraft design of the future.