Awesome Airplanes

Helicopter Lifts a Jet Plane

Helicopter Lifts a Jet Plane

Built for the Russian Air Force by Rostvertol, the Mil Mi-26 is an enormous helicopter designed for heavy lifting. With a maximum takeoff weight of more than 123,000 pounds, pilots show off the copter’s skills by lifting a Tupolev 134 jet. There’s an awesome photo of another Mi-26 doing the same on Twitter.

The History of the Aerotrain

The History of the Aerotrain

When we think of how trains get their locomotion, it’s typically from diesel engines, electric motors, or maybe steam power. But there was a time when train builders thought they could make railroad cars go faster by fitting them with airplane engines. Curious Droid has the story behind these forgotten relics.

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Woodturning a Jet Engine

Woodturning a Jet Engine

We’ve seen lots of beautiful and unusual items turned on a lathe, but we’ve not seen a woodworker use the method to create a model of a jet airplane engine until now. Gao Wood Lab used walnut, magnolia grandiflora, and red cedar wood to create this wonderful miniature engine, complete with a spinning turbine fan.

The Insane Engineering of the X-15

The Insane Engineering of the X-15

Developed by North American Aviation back in the late 1950s for the U.S. Air Force and NASA, the X-15 was an experimental aircraft that could achieve speeds up to Mach 6.7. Real Engineering delves into the history of this rocket-powered plane, and the innovations and technologies that allowed it fly at insane speeds and altitudes.

Propeller Copying Machine

Propeller Copying Machine

Aviation enthusiast Viktor built a custom machine that can make identical copies of paramotor propellers. Area28 shared this video that shows how it works by the form of the original, much like one of those machines they use to copy keys. Skip to 6:10 for the money shot.

Human vs. Airplane Engine Simulation

Human vs. Airplane Engine Simulation

(Gore) You never want to stand directly in front of a jet engine, as its powerful vortex could suck you right into it. CG animator atomic marvel used a physics simulation to toss a particle-based digital body into an Airbus jet engine. We’re not sure about its accuracy, but the results are much like those Will It Blend? videos.

Running an Airport in Antarctica

Running an Airport in Antarctica

Scientists needing to access Antarctica’s Troll Research Station used to have to travel by boat and on foot to access their outpost. These days, airplanes make the trip easier, but there’s nothing easy about the preparation needed to land a jumbo jet on a runway built on the slick blue ice of a glacier. Flightradar24 explains.

PC Fan Model Airplane

PC Fan Model Airplane

Airplane enthusiast Peter Sripol’s followers gave him a challenge: Could he build an airplane that’s entirely propelled by PC cooling fans? After testing a few different fans and configurations, he came up with a lightweight design he was satisfied with. We wonder if it could be scaled up with more fans and batteries.

Serenity Flying Ornithopter

Serenity Flying Ornithopter

This crazy-looking flying machine resembles some kind of angry dragonfly as it takes to the skies. Instead of engines, the remote-controlled Serenity Ornithopter flies by rapidly flapping multiple sets of wings. The back half of the video is entirely in Russian, but it provides a brief up-close look at the unusual aircraft.

Aircraft Instrument Coasters

Aircraft Instrument Coasters

The perfect gift for aviation fanatics, this set of round nickel coasters features images of four critical instruments from an airplane cockpit – the turn indicator, the attitude indicator, the heading indicator, and the altimeter. Backed with felt to protect your coffee table.

No Runway Required

No Runway Required

Most airplanes need a decent amount of runway, but there’s a class of planes known as STOL (Short Takeoff and Landing) which don’t need much space at all. Thanks to strong headwinds, pilot Jon Bush was able to land this experimental SQ12 Super Cub on zero feet of runway along Alaska’s Knik River. Be sure to watch the takeoff video.

Aircraft Window Bar Shelf

Aircraft Window Bar Shelf

Handcrafted by a Boeing long-haul pilot and an aircraft metal worker, this unique wall shelf is based on the dimensions of a 777 jumbo jet. The 44″ wide shelf has three portals for storing and showing off your barware or other small objects. It’s made from laser-cut aluminum with real rivets and upcycled pallet wood.

Gift Wrap R/C Plane

Gift Wrap R/C Plane

Josh over at FliteTest wanted to put together something fun and easy-to-build after the holidays, so he took some leftover wrapping paper and used it to form the wings for a remote-controlled airplane. The glider-style wing design is pretty nifty.

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POWERUP 4.0 Plane + Flight Manual Bundle

This lightweight, carbon-fiber airframe converts paper, foam, balsa, or cardboard planes into motor-driven aircraft. A smartphone app controls flight via Bluetooth and makes flying easy. This bundle includes the POWERUP paper airplane book, which includes templates for a number of cool airplane designs.

Making an Air-powered Airplane

Making an Air-powered Airplane

Most airplanes run on some kind of fossil fuel. But physics expert Tom Stanton recently built an airplane that runs entirely on compressed air. The model plane is based on the diaphragm air-powered engine that Tom previously built, and its fuel tank is an ordinary plastic soda bottle.

F-22 Raptor Shows Off

F-22 Raptor Shows Off

Built for air-to-air combat, the Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor is an incredibly agile and fast military aircraft. Members of the U.S. Air Force F-22 Raptor Demo Team show off just a little bit of what these planes are capable of in the hands of skilled pilots. They also posted a 360º video which is a bit more immersive.

KleinVision Flying Car

KleinVision Flying Car

Over the years, there have been many attempts to create a car that could fly, but most of them have failed to go into production. KleinVision hopes to break that streak with their AirCar, a transforming vehicle that recently took its maiden flight, going from driving mode to flying mode with ease.

The Caproni CA-60 Transaereo

The Caproni CA-60 Transaereo

With eight engines, nine wings, and room for 100 passengers, this early 20th-century flying machine was designed to be the first mass-passenger aircraft capable of transatlantic flight. Mustard looks back at the history of this unusual airplane, and what ended up being its downfall.

Boom XB-1 Supersonic Jet

Boom XB-1 Supersonic Jet

This privately-developed supersonic aircraft is all about speed. The 71 foot-long Boom XB-1 has a streamlined construction made from carbon composites, titanium, and aluminum. Powered by three GE J85 engines, it will serve as a testbed for the Overture supersonic passenger jet, which they hope to start flying in the late 2020s.

Homemade Electric Plane MK4

Homemade Electric Plane MK4

Builder Peter Sripol revisits a project he’s been obsessed with for years. The latest version of his homebrew ultralight flyer incorporates wings made from custom-cut foam, vinyl, and aluminum pipe. We love the whirring sound its motor makes when it takes to the air. You can catch part one of the build here.

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Radial Engine Drink Coasters

Radial Engine Drink Coasters

Plane Pieces’ drink coasters are a great gift for aviation enthusiasts. They’re made using authentic Pratt & Whitney gears from WWII radial airplane engines. Each one is encased in clear resin, surrounded with a machined aluminum outer ring, and has a protective bumper underneath. Sold individually, or in sets of four.

Horizon Line (Trailer)

Horizon Line (Trailer)

A couple is headed to their friends’ tropical island wedding aboard a small airplane when the pilot suffers a fatal heart attack. This tense thriller puts us inside the cockpit as they try to survive with no flying experience, surrounded by ocean, and a dangerous storm closing in on them.

Heavenly Hercules Airplane Metal Model Kit

We can think of no better gift for an aviation fanatic than this metal model inspired by the iconic Hughes H-4 Hercules. Like the real Spruce Goose, this miniature has eight propellers, though these turn using a wind-up mechanism rather than 28-cylinder Pratt & Whitney engines. The 219-piece kit is best for ages 14+.

A Curtain of Smoke

A Curtain of Smoke

While the term “smokescreen” is used to describe a ruse that conceals the truth, its origins are much more literal – a tactic in which the military conceals operations with smoke. In this 1923 footage, a plane drops a curtain of titanium tetrachloride to hide ships, a technique that would go on to be used during WWII.

Water-powered R/C Airplane

Water-powered R/C Airplane

It’s pretty easy to build a primitive rocket using a bottle of pressurized water. The guys at FliteTest wanted to see if they could take the idea to the next level by making a water-powered glider they could steer via remote control once it was airborne.

Coin Into Airplane

Coin Into Airplane

Maker of things The Q has been on a bit of a roll lately, producing all kinds of nifty things for us to enjoy. Watch as he takes a copper coin, flattens it out, and turns the sheet metal into a working “paper” airplane. While it isn’t one of his more complex builds, it’s still a cool build.

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