U.K. regulatory agency approves a system that would enable mobile phone use on airplanes
By Gregory MonePosted 04.01.2008 at 1:06 pm 1 Comment
European travelers may soon have a chance to chat away on their own phones while in flight. For the new system to work, planes would be outfitted with small mobile base stations known as pico cells. The cells would be switched off during take-off, and turned on once the planes reach a given altitude, which would be a minimum of 3,000 meters. Phone signals would be routed to the mobile base stations, which would in turn dispatch signals to ground-based networks through a satellite link.
Scientists uncover the secret to faster plane boarding—but it turns out nearly anything would be speedier than the current system
By Matt RansfordPosted 03.05.2008 at 1:37 pm 2 Comments
Everyone can guess the worst way to load passengers on to a plane is to do it front to back. People would have to wait at every row or squeeze awkwardly past. It would stand to reason, then, that the way airlines usually do it—back to front—would be the best way. But according to Fermilab physicist Jason Steffen, that's not the case. As it turns out, it's far from the best: it's the second worst.
Environmentalists and everyday air travelers alike are growing increasingly aware of the airline industry's greenhouse-gas problem. As demands for greener air travel grow, will technology come to the rescue of the jumbo jet?
By Dennis GaffneyPosted 02.04.2008 at 5:13 pm 3 Comments
Last summer, more than 1,000 environmentalists in the U.K. staged a weeklong protest in a "Climate Camp" at Heathrow Airport, where about 70 people were arrested. Their immediate purpose was to block a planned expansion of Heathrow, but the protests highlighted a growing complaint in Europe—that the ride to global-warming catastrophe is being fueled not only by coal-fired power plants and SUVs, but also by the ever-rising number of commercial jets. Now governments are starting to listen.
Missile-jamming lasers and â€œrefuse to crashâ€ software are ready to fly on civilian aircraft
By Tom LeComptePosted 03.27.2006 at 2:00 am 0 Comments
Nearly five years after September 11, the airline industry is finally adopting new in-flight technologies to keep planes safe from terrorists. With $110 million in grant money from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the Federal Aviation Administration is currently in the process of certifying two antimissile systems designed for commercial airliners. The technology uses infrared sensors to detect and track incoming missiles, then fires a laser beam to jam a heat-seeking missile´s infrared guidance system.