You always knew there was something creepy about LAX. Now, a pair of researchers has discovered four new species of legless lizards—technically not snakes—one of which lives underneath the dunes at the end of a runway at Los Angeles's major airport. The others live in other sandy areas in California.
A plane engulfed in flame is about the hardest fire to extinguish. How does this truck do it?
By Andrew RosenblumPosted 04.11.2012 at 10:25 am 0 Comments
Aircraft fires pose unusual challenges for first responders. Extinguishing jet fuel requires thousands of gallons of flame-smothering foam, and the fuel burns so hot (up to 2,500°F) that firefighters typically have only three minutes to respond before passengers would be overcome by heat and smoke inhalation. Aircraft Rescue and Fireghting (ARFF) vehicles, then, must balance a heavy payload with quick acceleration. Since its release in 2001, the Oshkosh Striker has become the industry-leading ARFF; today it's used at the White House, nearly every Air Force base, and more than 200 U.S. airports. In 2010, Oshkosh revamped the $600,000-to-$800,000 vehicle for the first time, streamlining the design and refining the controls. See how this fire truck works here.
According to Jaunted, the TSA has begun rolling out a new style of body scanner to select airports that will hopefully have the effect of maintaining security while reducing the "random TSA agents in some dark room are seeing me naked" problem the current scanners struggle with.
Driverless cars are just catching on in this country, but they're already zooming around London's main airport, ferrying passengers from their people-driven cars to the terminal.
Twenty-two of these automated pods are operating at Heathrow's Terminal 5, the shiny new terminal occupied by British Airways.
Going out of town for the weekend? In the future, highway traffic won’t make you miss your flight — just grab a bus to the air taxi field down the street, then take a pre-flight flight to the airport in an autonomous Suburban Air Vehicle.
A government scientist who helped develop the controversial new naked-body airport scanners says the images could easily be distorted into “grotesque” shapes, much like you would see in a funhouse mirror, to preserve passengers’ privacy.
Environmental monitoring has come a long way since the proverbial canary in the coal mine. Now we use bees.
Airports in Germany are using honeybees as "biodetectives," regularly testing their honey for a suite of pollutants, the New York Timesreports. This year's first tests were conducted in early June at Düsseldorf International Airport, and the bees got a clean bill of health. That means the air was clean, too.
A group of scientists from the University of California-San Francisco is worried that a new generation of airport security scanners could present a cancer risk, NPR reports. But skeptics say people flying at 30,000 feet are already bombarded by cosmic rays, so a brief trip through an X-ray machine on the way to the plane is a drop in the radiation bucket.
After the "underwear bomber" incident on Christmas, the Obama administration ramped up deployment of advanced scanners that can spot explosives or weapons, NPR says. Some 1,000 new machines will be in use by the end of next year, roughly half of which are X-ray back-scatter scanners. The machines, which can look beneath passengers' clothes, expose passengers to ionizing radiation for about six seconds.
Most of us consider airports an unglamorous, necessary evil. Between the inevitable delays, grumpy travelers, long lines, and lost baggage, we can barely summon the energy to appreciate our surroundings, let alone how they were conceived.
Like us, past generations have envisioned a future of efficient, aesthetically-pleasing airports, and our 137-year archive certainly yields a few fantastical gems.