THE BEST Airplanes

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.

Aviation Wall Clock/Thermometer

Aviation Wall Clock/Thermometer

Aviation buffs will dig Trintec’s wall piece, which combines an analog clock and thermometer, both designed to look like analog cockpit gauges. Choose from vintage or modern styles,in altimiter, gyro, horizon, and VOR variants. Measures 15″h x 7.5″w x 2″d, and the clock runs on a single “AA” battery.

Jet Dreams

Jet Dreams

Jessica Ambats is passionate about both photography and aviation, and she’s quite the talent behind the lens. Her 160-page book features some of the spectacular images she’s captured over the past 15 years, with a unique focus on pilots who own and fly their own jets. Available as a digital download or hardcover.

Flying a Lightweight RC Jumbo Jet

Flying a Lightweight RC Jumbo Jet

We’ve seen a remote-controlled jumbo jet fly before, but there’s something about this featherweight model that makes it extra special. Despite having a wingspan of nearly 10 feet, this model weighs just 6.6 pounds. RC Media World captured footage of Remy Mormino’s 1/26th scale Airbus A-380 as it took to the skies in Germany.

Air Force Museum Drone Tour

Air Force Museum Drone Tour

If you’re going to take a tour of Ohio’s National Museum of the U.S. Air Force, it might as well be from the air, right? Well thanks to NURK FPV, we can take a first-person drone flight through the museum’s awesome collection of aviation marvels without having to leave our homes.

Airplane vs. Trampoline

Airplane vs. Trampoline

(Loud) In what might be the dumbest stunt yet from the guys at How Ridiculous, they winched an old single-engine airplane to the top of a tower and dropped it nearly 150 feet onto the world’s strongest trampoline. You can sit through 14+ minutes of shouting and smaller drops, or just skip to the money shot.

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East River Flyover

East River Flyover

The Thunderbirds and Blue Angels paid tribute to America’s healthcare workers and first-responders with an awe-inspiring flyover of New York City. While piloting Thunderbird 2, Major Trevor Aldridge captured this amazing footage out of his cockpit as they flew along the East River.

An Expert on Movie Plane Crashes

An Expert on Movie Plane Crashes

Plane crashes are a staple of action movies. But how realistic are the crashes depicted on screen? Insider sat down with Stephen Moss, a former investigator at the UK’s Air Accident Investigation Branch and asked for his opinion on a dozen movie air disasters. As expected, some are far more accurate than others.

Final Evacuation

Final Evacuation

When airplanes reach the end of their journeys, some of them end up a Aircraft End-of-Life-Solutions, a Dutch company that dismantles and recycles airplanes. While clearing out some bits and pieces a few years back, they decided to pop open one of those self-inflating evacuation slides, with amusing results.

Where Planes go to Die

Where Planes go to Die

You’d think that you wouldn’t get rid of an airplane until it was beyond its useful life, but it turns out that some airlines dump their older jumbo jets because they’re just not cost effective to operate. Half as Interesting takes us on a one-way flight to Victorville, California to see where these flying behemoths are often retired.

Making an R/C Ekranoplan

Making an R/C Ekranoplan

Back in the 1960s through the 1980s, the Soviet Union developed a low-flying aircraft that could skim like a hovercraft over the water. R/C flying enthusiast Peter Sripol decided to see if he could build a working miniature replica of the so-called “Caspian Sea Monster,” and attempted to keep it flying just inches off the ground and water.

Propeller Tip Vortexes

Propeller Tip Vortexes

When an airplane encounters just the right weather conditions, its wingtips and propellers can generate visible patterns in the air. Redditor cburnett shared this wild footage of the patterns made by the four props on a Hercules C-130. A google search for “propeller vortexes” turns up more incredible images of the phenomenon.

Potato Cannon Glider

Potato Cannon Glider

There are thousands of videos out there showing how to make a potato cannon. But this clip from The Backyard Scientist shows how to use one to launch a glider. Working with his pal Joe – with a nod to the guys at FliteTest – they work out the most balanced and airworthy glider design.

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Folding Stunt Airplanes

Folding Stunt Airplanes

Want to fold some awesome paper airplanes? Learn from the best. John Collins aka “The Paper Airplane Guy” got together with WIRED to show off some of his stunt flyers, and how to fold your own. Be sure to check out the second video for more detailed folding instructions.

LEGO Air Force One 747

LEGO Air Force One 747

LEGO and aviation enthusiast BigPlanes shows off an incredible custom build – a scale replica of U.S. Air Force One. He used roughly 25,000 bricks to build the 6-foot-long model of the 747 jumbo jet, which features a fully-detailed interior. Be sure to check out his YouTube channel for more amazing LEGO aircraft.

A380 Night Landing

A380 Night Landing

This amazing 4K footage from High Pressure Aviation Films is the closest that most of us will ever get to landing a modern jumbo jet. The view from the cockpit of the Airbus A380 offers up a fantastic show of nighttime illumination outside, and digital displays inside.

Air Travel in the 1930s

Air Travel in the 1930s

While we’re tempted to complain when dealing with the inconveniences of air travel, the fact is, getting around used to be so much worse. Bright Side looks back at the early days of commercial flight, and some of its many downsides, from zero climate control, to constant refueling stops, to far more turbulent flying.

Paper Airplane Machine Gun V2.0

Paper Airplane Machine Gun V2.0

YouTuber Papierfliegerei made a significantly better version of his playful gun. The portable paper plane factory now has a modular construction for easier repair, and is more durable and more powerful. It can make and fire up to 120 paper planes in a minute.

Airplanes from Drones

Airplanes from Drones

During the opening ceremony for China’s 2019 Nanchang Flight Convention, a veritable army of 800 illuminated drones took to the sky, arranging themselves to conjure images of a propeller plane, a jumbo jet, and a fighter jet, among other images to kick off the air show.

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