Awesome Flying

Mall of America Drone Flight

Mall of America Drone Flight

Twin cities’ drone pilot Jay Christensen previously wowed us with an awesome flight through a bowling alley. Now he’s taken his aerial acrobatics inside of the Mall of America, zooming past storefronts and through its indoor amusement park to chase a group of rollerbladers celebrating the return of the Mighty Ducks to the ice.

Hoverboard Drone

Hoverboard Drone

Omni Hoverboards is working on a flying machine that allows pilots to take to the skies while standing atop a drone. In this clip, you’ll get a look at one such flying machine they showed during a Japanese TV show that imagines what sort of technology Doraemon might bring back from the future.

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Pinball Warehouse Fly-through

Pinball Warehouse Fly-through

The Pacific Pinball Museum is home to thousands of vintage pinball machines. Video producer Eddie Codel toured their warehouse and shot some awesome aerial stills and videos of the collection. Some machines are kept for archival purposes, while others will be repaired and placed in the museum for the public to enjoy.

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.

DIY Rubber Band Helicopter

DIY Rubber Band Helicopter

It’s pretty easy to find toy airplanes that are powered by a rubber band. On the other hand coming up with something that replicates the dual rotor movements of a helicopter is more of a challenge. Maker Peter Sripol managed to create one. Download the 3D printed part designs on Thingiverse and watch the build video here.

Jetson ONE Test Flight

Jetson ONE Test Flight

How’d you like a drone you can fly inside of? Jetson is working on a single passenger manned drone and is showing off test footage from its production prototype. The electric quadrotor is expected to have a 25 minute flight time (plus 20% reserve) depending pilot weight. Here’s footage of an earlier prototype with a pilot aboard.

Drone Chases Ice Skater

Drone Chases Ice Skater

Photographer Brandon Rieck of Wanderlust Imagery captured this glorious FPV footage by flying his drone along the top of an ore dock in Marquette, Michigan, then diving down to follow a hockey player skating on the ice below. The transition from above to below is buttery smooth. (Thanks Craig!)

Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020 Scenic Tour

Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020 Scenic Tour

With an amazing amount of graphical detail and real-world map data, Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020 is closer than ever to recreating the experience of flight. Digital pilot TheNinjaCowboy shared this video footage of some of their favorite locations from the game, looking out from the pilot’s window and above their single-engine plane.

Salt-Spreading Drone

Salt-Spreading Drone

Covering sidewalks and driveways with salt in the wintertime can be a pain. Sure, there are salt spreading machines out there, but how many of them can fly? FliteTest created an over-engineered solution which uses a powerful drone to lift a hopper of salt into the air, then spits it onto the ground below.

Mountain Surfing the Austrian Alps

Mountain Surfing the Austrian Alps

Drone pilot Shaggy FPV takes us on a ride through the mountains of Austria with breathtaking footage of the Dorfertal Valley he captured with his aerial photography rig. The reverse perspective offers a great sense of speed and changes things up a bit from the typical forward view.

Paper Airplane Aerodynamics

Paper Airplane Aerodynamics

If you want your paper airplanes to stay airborne for a long time, you could add motors to it, or you could watch this clip from Wired and paper airplane expert John Collins and learn a thing or two about the four main aerodynamic forces that that influence your folded paper’s flight.

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.

BMW Electric Wingsuit

BMW Electric Wingsuit

While BMW is best known for its cars, SUVs, and motorcycles, they can now add “electric wingsuit” to their list of accomplishments. Working with pilot Peter Salzmann, they created a solo flying machine that gives a flyer a boost of power, the ability to stay airborne longer, and to also increase altitude.

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Herding Sheep Drone View

Herding Sheep Drone View

If you’ve never seen sheep being herded by sheepdogs, it’s a pretty impressive sight. A few years back, New Zealand-based photographer Tim Whittaker piloted his drone over a farm to observe thousands of sheep as they moved in concert between their paddocks.

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.

New Zealand Speedflying

New Zealand Speedflying

Skydiving expert Angus Sellen takes us on a death-defying flight through some incredibly rocky ravines of Shark’s Tooth Mountain in New Zealand. The fisheye perspective of his GoPro MAX camera captured a truly immersive visual that’ll have you holding on for dear life.

Austrian Alps Stunt Flight

Austrian Alps Stunt Flight

Take a scenic flight through the Austrian Alps with former Red Bull Air Race World Champion Matthias Dolderer, as he spins his single-seat stunt plane between snow-capped mountains as sunlight casts dramatic shadows across his wings and cockpit.

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.

Vulture Visits Paragliders

Vulture Visits Paragliders

While enjoying a tranquil tandem paraglider flight over Andalucia, the folks from Skywings Adventures made a new friend while airborne. We’re impressed that the pilot didn’t drop his selfie stick when a huge vulture momentarily landed on it.

Birds in Bubbles

Birds in Bubbles

Researchers in London, England used a fascinating method to view the aerodynamic properties of flight. Using helium-filled soap bubbles, they were able to visualize the vortices created by birds’ wings, and made interesting observations about the role their tail feathers play in flight. Details here.

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Slow-mo Helicopter Blade POV

Slow-mo Helicopter Blade POV

We already know that the view from a helicopter’s spinning rotor can be incredibly dizzying. That’s why we’re happy that Chuck Aaron Aerobatics recorded this blade spin POV at 240 fps, then slowed it to 30 fps, giving us a more digestible look at what a helicopter blade sees as it takes to the skies.

Light Painting with a Drone

Light Painting with a Drone

Builder Tom Stanton attached a long vertical LED light bar to his drone, and managed to fly it horizontally to capture some cool long-exposure images. His design is based on Ivan Miranda’s light bar, but you might be able to pull off something similar with a Pixelstick.

Misconceptions About Flying

Misconceptions About Flying

Would firing a bullet inside of an airplane really cause explosive decompression? Could an airplane’s toilet suck your intestines out? Does autopilot fly a plane all by itself? Mental Floss host Justin Dodd takes a look at these and other myths and mistaken beliefs about flight.

Insect Takeoffs

Insect Takeoffs

Despite their size, insects feature some incredibly sophisticated organic engineering. Using high-speed macro photography, Ant Lab shows off the way that eight different types of bugs take to the air. That plume moth looks a little drunk when it takes off.

Honest Pre-flight Safety Video

Honest Pre-flight Safety Video

(PG-13: Language) Those videos they show you at the beginning of commercial flights cover a few basic things about safety, but avoid the nitty gritty details. This clip from tourism expert Doug Lansky offers some much more practical advice for surviving an airplane emergency, based on details from an active commercial pilot.

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.

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