Many people simply think of airplanes as a way to get from point A to point B, but every day, these incredible protected aircraft travel through the harshest, most dangerous environments on Earth.
Sonic Boom (F/A-18 Hornet)
Most of us know what a sonic boom sounds like (or at least we can imagine it), but not many people have actually seen one! As a plane breaks the sound barrier, unusual clouds sometimes form. The origin of the cloud is unknown, but it’s thought that a drop in air pressure occurs around the plane, causes moist air to condense and form water droplets.
Plane Hit By Lightning
This incredible photo of a plane at Heathrow Airport was taken by Chris Dawson. The lightening hit right above the pilots’ heads before passing through the body of the plane and hitting the ground. This all sounds very frightening, but actually, it’s not unusual for planes to be hit by lightning. Manufacturers design airplanes to withstand lightning strikes by including metal in the plane’s body that acts as a conductor.
Airplane Flying Over Beach
Runway 10 at Princess Juliana International Airport in St. Maarten is only 7545 feet long. To compensate for the short distance, pilots must touch down as close to the beginning of the runway as possible, which means they flight unbelievably close to sunbathers on Maho Beach. Despite the tricky landing, there have been no records of major incidents.
NASA Solar Airplane
Helios is a remotely-controlled, highly flexible wing aircraft made of carbon fiber, graphite epoxy, Kevlar, Styrofoam and a transparent plastic skin. It weighs less than 900 kg, has a wingspan of 247 feet and incorporates 14 solar-powered propellers. On August 14, 2001, the Helios Prototype reached an altitude of 96,863 feet―more than 2 miles above the previous altitude record for sustained flight by a winged aircraft.
This airplane house is often said to be a private residence, but it’s actually part of the Costa Verde Hotel in Costa Rica. The refurbished vintage 1965 Boeing 727 is perched on a 50-foot pedestal and features two air-conditioned bedrooms, private bathrooms, a flat screen TV, a kitchenette, a spiral staircase and an ocean view terrace.
Plane Crossing the Moon
This amazing photo is of a Qantas Dash 8 Q 400 crossing the moon in Australia. According to the photographer, Christopher Tomas, this plane flys over his property every day at the same time. Once the moon was in the line with the flight path, he caught this incredible shot.
F-15 Eagle Fighters Intercept Two Soviet MiG-29
In 1989, these Soveit MiG-29 fighters were on their way to the Abbotsford International Airshow in Abbotsford, British Columbia. As they entered Alaska, they were met by F-15 Eagle fighter jets, who actively guard North American and United States airspace. Photo by Kevin L. Bishop.