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This kind of technology probably isn’t coming to the Boeing 787 anytime soon, because after all they kind of have plenty of issues to work out with their current technology. All kidding aside, this stuff is more geared toward the military, but who knows if it could eventually land aboard commercial aircraft in the future. We’re talking about lasers—the ones that go "pew pew"—and they could be attached to military planes before too long.
It might be straight out of your favorite science fiction movie, but it looks like lasers on planes are chugging along to becoming a reality. We know virtually nothing about lasers, but we’ll fill you in with what the news knows. It’s the Navy and Air Force behind the new venture, as they’re going to test out some liquid-cooled, solid-state lasers in airplanes. They won’t be blasting bad guys back on the ground, but they will be used to intercept stuff shooting up into the air from bad guys on the ground. Think surface-to-air missiles and other not-so-friendly stuff like that.
Historical Travel / Airlines / Around the World Travel / Pan Am / Intrepid / Military Travel / Ships / → All Tags
When was the last time you flew over the Equator and, at the exact moment, toasted the occasion? Probably never, right? That's because it's not that big a deal anymore and airplane pilots have stopped announcing it. But trust that there was a time when heading over the equator was a very big frickin' deal and flight crew not only noted it, but celebrated it by passing out official certificates of equatorial passage to passengers.
This was a time before seatback TVs and the moving map channel, of course. In fact, the ritual of "Crossing the Line" goes back to the days of exploration by tall ship, a fact that wasn't lost on Pan Am when they borrowed the practice to break up the monotony that set in on those long Clipper (also a maritime term) flights, from the 1930s through the early 1960s.
From winglets to entire 787s, we’re all about what Boeing engineers and designers are cooking up over at their headquarters. Usually the stuff that comes out of the design room and assembly line is primarily focused on things that head into the skies, but this latest Boeing innovation is intended to remain firmly on the ground—at least for now.
Boeing has been working on some new laser technology, and if all goes according to plan it just might be zapping bad guys before too long. What they’ve been working on is a ten-kilowatt—we’ll assume that’s a decent amount of power—solid state laser, and they’re calling it the High Energy Laser Mobile Demonstrator, or "HEL MD" to its friends. The plan is to slap the thing on top of one of those Oshkosh Heavy Expanded Mobility Tactical Trucks, and then you can kind of figure out what the thing will do next.
Free Stuff / Cheap NYC / New York City / Military Travel / Air Force / Air Force Week / Events / → All Tags
What with all the summer air shows, this last weekend being Aviation Day and all sorts of airline announcement in anticipation of fall travel, it's no wonder we've been all above airplanes lately. This only continues this week as NYC celebrates Air Force Week.
You know how it's said that there's always something going on in NYC? Well it's true and this week that something just happens to be military jet demonstrations. flyovers, water rescue drills and some on-deck action at the Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum. For your drooling-over-autos pleasure, Air Force Project Supercars, the X-1 Mustang and the Vapor Challenger, will be on hand as well.
Videos / Photo Gallery / Military Travel / Air Force / Air Force Week / War Travel / JFK / Airports / Airplanes / Men in Uniform / → All Tags
"This is my day off!"
Not words you want to hear from a man in a flightsuit, controlling a plane on which you're flying. That is, unless it's Wayne Hanna, who spends his work days in American Airlines aircraft maintenance and his free days as a KC-10 Extender Flight Engineer with the U.S. Air Force Reserve.
Hanna would be the reason why yesterday thousands of passengers on AA flights out of New York-JFK Airport witnessed an Air Force KC-10 Extender plane taxiing around and parking at a gate. His seemingly crazy idea to bring together his two passions to draw attention to the upcoming NYC Air Force Week was given the green light. So we joined him onboard the aircraft for an up-close demonstration of what to expect during the event.
A couple weeks ago United announced some changes to their pet policy, and that didn’t sit too well with passengers looking to bring Fido or Fluffy on vacation too. This especially didn’t go over well with the brave men and women of the military, as the new policy was definitely going to screw up any plans they had to transport their pets along with the rest of the family.
Well it looks like United has listened to their flyers, and they’ve made a little bit of a change when it comes to flying with your furry friends.
Instead of shelling out plenty of cash in extra pet fees and fares, members of the military are now welcome to bring along their pets without the extra handling charge. Of course the type of pets allowed will be somewhat limited—no snakes on the plane obviously—but this is still good news for those that have way more important stuff to deal with then arguing with the agent at the airport ticket counter.
Traveling today? Who isn't?! Luckily not flashmobbers, since the holiday airport flashmobs are done for the season; airports don't want to crowd up their walkways on one of the busiest travel days of the year, you see. Flashmobs already got their dancing and videos out of the way over the last few weeks.
Without a doubt, the winner for best airport flashmob of winter 2011 is Denver International, with their swing-happy routine. Essentially they Lindy-bombed the place. The video above is energetic enough to hold your attention all the way through, and perhaps even get you grinning.
The following two videos are flashmob-esque:
Dangerous Travel / War Travel / Communism Travel / North Korea Travel / Kim Jong Il / Pyongyang Travel / Travel News / Military Travel / → All Tags
So, North Korea's "Dear Leader" Kim Jong Il died this weekendat 8:30am local time on Saturday, to be specific. According to NK state media and CNN, the cause of death is heart attack. The sudden news will start this week with uncertainty, as North Korea enters a period of mourning (until December 29) and South Korea holds emergency government meetings.
Naturally we're thinking about how all this will impact travel, and while weekending in Pyongyang isn't exactly around the corner, the tense situation between North and South Korea will almost certainly end visits to the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ), at least temporarily.
You might not be able to make it to an overseas military base to thank a soldier in person this holiday season, but there is still time to send the troops a holiday card through the Red Cross Holiday Mail For Heroes program.
The American Red Cross and Pitney Bowes are partnering for the fifth time to ensure all Americans have the chance to send "a touch of home" to U.S. military members who are far away from their homes during the holidays.
To send a holiday card to a member of the U.S. Armed Forces, all you need to do is write out a card using the salutation "Dear Service Member," include a note of gratitude, and send it to the address below by December 9, 2011:
Are you prepared to read a travel tale so pathetic, that it could very well either be the best or worst thing you read today? Here goes: the NY Post reports that a man was arrested for impersonating a US Army soldier in order to score a free First Class upgrade on American Airlines. Wow. Just wow.
It seems that Rock Diaz (pictured at right in his faux army duds) was caught by a detail-oriented customs agent at JFK Airport after he disembarked an AA plane from the Dominican Republic and couldn't correctly answer questions about his rank and station. Nor could he produce a military ID. All this came after Diaz enjoyed the long flight in First Class, as a flight attendant spotted his uniform and upgraded him.
He blames the whole thing on a misunderstanding and language barrier, but he has a history of pulling this stunt; Diaz has impersonated military for flight upgrades (and even a cockpit visit) in the past.
This the smartest/stupidest upgrade idea ever. It's smart because it's so low that it's almost unexpected and depending on the uniform details, flight crew may never be the wiser. It's stupid because it's ridiculously cowardly, cheap, and underhanded. We feel sorry for the flight attendant and other crew he's duped in the past, because here they thought they were being patriotic and kind to a real soldier, and here it's just another petty criminal looking for a free meal.
My First Flight / Pan Am / Retro Travel / Vintage Travel / Military Travel / Historical Travel / Hawaii Travel / → All Tags
A Pan Am Boeing B-314 Flying Boat. Click to see a cutaway.
Everybody has a story about their first time. The anticipation, the nerves, the worry...but then the pure wonder when you finally take off. Of course we're talking about your first flightthe first time you boarded an airplane and discovered the skyways. We're telling those stories in a new series simply called "My First Flight." Want to share your first flight story? We've love to have it! Send it along to us here.
This story comes from Mr. Ed Dover, a Jaunted reader. Enjoy!
My very first time aloft in an airplane was an orientation flight over San Francisco Bay on board one of the Martin M-130 Clippers. The flight deck of the Martin was rather cramped compared to the Flight deck of the Boeing B-314. I was a Flight Radio Officer, and radio operators sat at a small desk directly behind the co-pilot and the flight engineer sat on what amounted to a small shelf just above and behind that. If the radio operator was in his seat, he would have to get out and step down to the main deck in order to allow the flight engineer access to his respective operating location.
My next assignment was to get outfitted for my uniforms...
Here's to a three-day weekend! We may all enjoy the first taste of summer relaxation with this upcoming Monday off of work, but it's okay to remember why the day has been dedicated a national holiday. Memorial Day isn't just sleeping until noon on a weekday, boozy brunching and maybe driving through the closest cemetery to view all the flags placed on veteran's graves. Memorial Day is about remembrance, and before we start into some Hallmark card-like spiel, we'll leave you with a photo of a touching scene we accidentally walked into while at San Francisco International Airport last week.
After disembarking our flight and heading out beyond security, towards the BART train, we passed by firefighters and policemen hoisting up American flags, and families decked out in red, blue and white awaiting the arrival of a very specific flight. Our first thought? Maybe they were here to welcome home servicemen on active duty. But no...