Awesome Airplanes

Making a Soap Bubble Glider

Making a Soap Bubble Glider

ViralVideoLab shows off a 3D-printed glider which is able to remain airborne when its frame is covered with a film of water and dish soap. The surface tension creates a temporary wing covering and provides the proper amount of resistance to keep it aloft. Here’s an alternative design with a different wing structure.

Making an Electromagnetic Launcher

Making an Electromagnetic Launcher

Electromagnets can be very powerful. They’ve even been used to get roller coasters and trains rolling and to launch fighter jets. Tom Stanton made a miniature system of homebrew linear synchronous motors which use electromagnetism to propel a small sled and launch various items including a hot dog and a paper airplane.

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Phantom of the Raptor

Phantom of the Raptor

Filmmaker Dustin Farrell captured this awe-inspiring footage of an F-22 Raptor aircraft as it was piloted through the skies by Maj. Joshua “Cabo” Gunderson. The 1000 FPS Phantom Flex4K slow-motion video shows every minute detail of the wake turbulence left behind by the fighter and its powerful jets.

Airport + Runway Rugs

Airport + Runway Rugs
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Airportag makes lots of fun products inspired by by airports and aviation. Among our favorites are their rugs, including a top-down airport map, a long and skinny runway runner, and a round one that looks like a jet engine. Each one is printed on a soft woven polyester chenille and is easy to clean.

Rolls-Royce Jet Engine Time-Lapse

Rolls-Royce Jet Engine Time-Lapse

Rolls-Royce shared this brief, but fascinating look at the process of building one of its Pearl 15 jet engines at their factory in Germany. Each engine is assembled by hand by a team of skilled mechanics out of thousands of individual components. This particular engine was later attached to a Bombardier Global 6500 business jet.

The World’s Shortest Flight

The World’s Shortest Flight

The flight between Scotland’s Papa Westray and Westray islands is incredibly short, covering a distance of 2 kilometers in less than 90 seconds. But it does actually serve a purpose. Tom Scott took flight, and let San Denby from Wendover Productions narrate instead of annoying people on the flight with his own explanation.

50-Motor R/C Airplane

50-Motor R/C Airplane

Most airplanes do just fine with one to four engines. But that didn’t stop the guys at FliteTest, their pal Peter Sripol, and a team of volunteers from building a remote-controlled plane with 25 engines on each of its wings. The massive foam and cardboard plane has a wingspan of 30 feet. We’re amazed it could lift its own weight.

RC Jumbo Jet Build, Flight, Crash

RC Jumbo Jet Build, Flight, Crash

RC aircraft enthusiast Troy McMillan spent countless hours planning, designing, 3D printing, and assembling a scale model of a jumbo jet. Here, he shares the time-consuming build process, its maiden flight, and tragic demise after a battery failure rendered his flight controller useless.

Underneath the Cockpit

Underneath the Cockpit

We’ve caught glimpses inside of airplane cockpits, mostly when boarding or deplaning. In this video from Bjornpilot, he takes us on a tour of the flight crew rest quarters, the avionics bay, and part of the cargo hold of an Airbus 350 jumbo jet. The sheer amount of computer equipment and wiring down there is incredible.

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.

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.

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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
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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.

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Aircraft Window Bar Shelf

Aircraft Window Bar Shelf
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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.

POWERUP 4.0 Plane + Flight Manual Bundle

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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.

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