Commercial Aircraft

Inside Boeing’s net-zero vision

By Aaron Karp

November 1, 2023

The two companies that manufacture the vast majority of the world’s airliners, Airbus and Boeing, have diametrically opposed visions about the kind of aircraft and fuels that will be required if the air transport industry is to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. In our September issue, we took a close look at Airbus’ vision, “A Manhattan Project for the climate.” Now, Aaron Karp looks at Boeing’s thinking.

Ending runway incursions

By Keith Button

May 1, 2023

The spate of near collisions at U.S. airports this year has energized discussions in the industry over technical and human factors solutions. An alert system rolled out so far to only 20 airports in the U.S. could point the way. Keith Button tells the story.

AI: how it’s delivering sharper route planning

By Karen Kwon

February 1, 2023

Planning a passenger aircraft’s route has historically been a manual process for the specialists in airline operations centers. Now some dispatchers have a new tool: Artificial intelligence software that can rifle through weather, flight congestion and other data faster than a person can. This could be a timesaver, not just for dispatchers but for the flying public. Karen Kwon tells the story.

Ending the frantic searches

By Keith Button

September 2, 2019

Cockpit voice and data recorders almost always survive crashes, but finding them can take years if they are ever recovered. Two concepts could potentially solve that problem, but regulators have yet to embrace either of them. Keith Button looks at the technical and regulatory questions swirling around this issue.

Don’t wait for disaster

September 27, 2018

Just because hackers have not brought down a commercial aircraft or paralyzed global air travel does not mean it can’t happen. Cybersecurity strategist 
James Vasatka offers a blueprint for commercial aviation cybersecurity.

Danger in the air

By Debra Werner

February 28, 2018

Meteorologists might have a way to wave pilots around dangerous pockets of cold air

Performance predictor

By Joe Stumpe

February 1, 2018

Researchers work on a computational tool to predict the performance of long, narrow wings

Solving engine icing

By Keith Button

August 31, 2017

One hurdle has been the inability to accurately model partially melted ice crystals

Going broadband

August 31, 2017

Airline passengers and crews can look for some bold innovations in technology

War on wiring

May 1, 2017

A look at the payoffs and challenges of removing wires from airlines

Stall recovery

March 6, 2017

Businesses are racing to meet an FAA mandate for training

Always fascinated by engineering

By Debra Werner

February 7, 2017

Nadia Zerelli, 33, Senior Manager, Heat Transfer and Secondary Air System Methods, Computational Fluid Dynamics and Coupling at MTU Aero Engines

Flying fast, flying quiet

By Keith Button

January 27, 2017

The curves and features of Lockheed Martin’s supersonic X-plane model have specific purposes in the quest to show the feasibility of Mach 1-plus passenger jets.

Doing No Harm

By Vahid Norouzalibeik

October 18, 2016

Preventing ground personnel from damaging aircraft

Fly by Voice

By Michael Peck

October 18, 2016

Voice-controlled cockpits would have advantages