A Doomed Aircraft Is Left to Fly Until it Runs Out of Fuel

We have a developing story, as you may have heard. There was as a civilian Learjet– NARRATOR: News of a rogue Learjet, flying hundreds of miles off course, has captivated the nation. PRESS SECRETARY: The FAA began tracking aircraft in distress. The president was made aware of this situation, this morning, in a meeting with…

Why Planes Don’t Fly Faster

This is a Wendover Productions video made possible by Audible. So I recently went down the rabbit hole of looking at old flight schedules. Airlines used to publish these physical brochures with their fares and flight times, and when looking at this American Airlines one from 1967 I noticed something interesting. This flight between New…

Why Planes Dump Fuel Before Landing

Picture this: you’re nestled cozily in your window seat on a jet airliner when suddenly, you notice weird white spray coming out the back of the wing. Is something wrong with the plane? Are you going to crash? No need to panic! At this moment, the pilots are performing a standard procedure called fuel dumping.…

Can Planes Ever Be Environmentally Friendly?

There are a number of ways to improve the efficiency of aircraft: Shape, fuel, engine efficiency, even the material the airplane is made of. One study from 2004 looked at shaping wings more like humpback whale flippers — complete with weird bumps — makes them more efficient, creates more lift and less drag than sleeker…