Tag Archives | airplanes

Air New Zealand Reprimanded Over Sexist Safety Video

As a frequent flier, I’ve become accustomed to tuning out the boring, rehashed safety demonstrations. I know I’m not the only one, as it only takes a quick glance around to see people with their heads bowed pouring over their books, people staring out the round windows, and others resting their tired eyes with head in hand. Apparently Air New Zealand also noticed this plight and teamed up with Sports Illustrated to make a more “exciting” safety video with bikini clad models.

Unfortunately everyone involved failed to consider how these sexed up, objectified beauties would be received by the female population.

Regardless of the objectification criticism, the entire video is weirdly cringe-worthy and awkward. Why are you giving me that flirty smile when telling me to obey illuminated signs? Odd.

From NBC News:

The video immediately sparked online outrage, with Natasha Young of Australia among the most notable after starting an online petition calling for its removal and saying the video was “an excuse to objectify the sexualised female body.” The petition sparked outcry on Twitter with the hashtag #AirNZsexism and attracted more than 11,000 signatures.

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Hacker Demonstrates Android Smartphone App To Hijack A Plane Midair

hijack a planeOn your next flight, you may want to look over your shoulder at what the person next to you is doing. Help Net Security reports:

An extremely well attended talk by Hugo Teso, a security consultant at n.runs AG in Germany, galvanized the crowd attending the Hack In The Box Conference in Amsterdam. Teso showcased an Andorid app, PlaneSploit, that remotely controls airplanes on the move.

Teso has been working in IT for the last eleven years and has been a trained commercial pilot for a year longer than that. By creating an exploit framework (SIMON) and an Android app (PlaneSploit) that delivers attack messages to the airplanes’ Flight Management Systems (computer unit + control display unit), he demonstrated the terrifying ability to take complete control of aircraft.

His testing laboratory consists of a series of software and hardware products. But the connection and communication methods, as well as ways of exploitation, are absolutely the same as they would be in an actual real-world scenario.

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A New Bermuda Triangle Off The Coast Of Venezuela?

Fancy a trip? The Guardian reports:

The as-yet-unexplained disappearance last Friday of the plane carrying six passengers and crew, including Italian fashion mogul Vittorio Missoni, has prompted some to blame the “Los Roques curse”.

There have been a series of mysterious plane crashes and “vanishings” over the past decade or so between the Caribbean archipelago of Los Roques, where Missoni’s plane disappeared mid-air, and the Venezuelan capital Caracas, 140km to the south. Inevitably, comparisons have been made with the infamous Bermuda Triangle, the area between Miami, Bermuda and Puerto Rico that has long had a reputation for unexplained disappearances of ships and planes.

To date, no wreckage of Missoni’s plane has been located since it took off from Los Roques for Caracas. Venezuela’s civil aviation authority said the aircraft’s last recorded position was 18km south of the Los Roques.

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U.S. Military Plane Can Fly London-Sydney In Less Than Hour

Speed_is_Life_HTV-2_Reentry_New

Hypersonic Technology Vehicle HTV-2 reentry (artist's impression)

Wow – so once this thing goes commercial you’ll only spend 5 hours having your “junk” scanned and probed at the airport and less than an hour in the air. Report from the Guardian:

By the time you finish reading this sentence, the Falcon HTV-2, the fastest plane ever built, could have flown 18 miles. It would get from London to Sydney in less than an hour, while withstanding temperatures of almost 2,000C, hotter than the melting point of steel.

At 3pm BST on Thursday , the US Defence Advance Research Projects Agency will launch the Falcon Hypersonic Technology Vehicle 2 on the back of a rocket from the Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. If all goes to plan, engineers will launch the Falcon HTV-2 to the edge of space, before detaching the plane and guiding it on a hypersonic flight that will reach speeds of 13,000mph (about 20 times the speed of sound) on its return to Earth.

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China’s Footage Of Its New Fighter Jet Revealed To Be Dubbed From ‘Top Gun’

Twenty-first-century military brinkmanship looks a lot like an '80s Tom Cruise movie. The Telegraph reports:
The footage showcasing the J-10 fighter, which showed an air-to-air missile destroying another jet, was aired last week during the main evening broadcast of the state-sponsored channel China Central Television. Bloggers on internet message boards quickly picked up the similarities and the footage was removed from the CCTV website but not before the clip had been copied.
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Laser Attacks On Planes Rising

Warning for laser beam, symbol D-W010 according to DIN 4844-2

Warning for laser beam, symbol D-W010 according to DIN 4844-2

Years ago pilots were developing the symptoms that indicated laser attack (retina damage, seizures etc, vision loss) and were dismissed as unrelated medical issues. Now there is too much evidence to ignore, and too many incidents to brush them aside. Marnie Hunter for CNN:

A spike in the incidence of people pointing lasers into the cockpits of planes has the Federal Aviation Administration worried and encouraging public vigilance.

“It sounds silly, but this is a serious problem,” wrote FAA Administrator Randy Babbitt on Wednesday in a Department of Transportation blog post highlighting the agency’s concerns.

“Why is this dangerous? Lasers can distract pilots or temporarily blind a pilot while he or she is taking off or landing an aircraft,” Babbitt said.

This year, 2,200 instances have been reported nationwide. In 2005, there were 283 reports of people pointing lasers at planes…

[continues at CNN]

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