“But you’d never see a plane [flying] like that,” says Paul Lagace, an aerospace engineer at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, of the plane’s ice-swathed exterior. Even when a fighter streaks by at chilly high altitudes, air friction against the craft keeps the surface significantly warmer than the air around it, he explains. Planes are most likely to acquire ice buildup while still on the tarmac.
Five amazing, clean technologies that will set us free, in this month's energy-focused issue. Also: how to build a better bomb detector, the robotic toys that are raising your children, a human catapult, the world's smallest arcade, and much more.