Yesterday morning we let you know that we'd be spending some quality time with Boeing's 787 Dreamliner, the current talk of the aviation world. While All Nippon Airways in Japan took delivery of its Dreamliner last year, we've been waiting to find out which US-based carrier would be the first to have its livery emblazoned across the fuselage of Boeing's current flagship aircraft. As it turns out, that carrier is United Airlines.
I must confess that I sometimes neglect to power down my iPad, iPhone, and other electronics during takeoff and landing. People near me also don't switch off their iPods either, and yet, despite flight attendants' instructions to turn off our electronics, the plane arrived at its destination safely.
Chances are, we weren't the only ones who broke the familiar rule. So just why does the Federal Aviation Agency (FAA) still require people to turn off their gadgets?
A Sunday report from the New York Times claims that even the FAA hasn't found proof that the use of electronics pose a threat during takeoff and landing. But FAA spokesperson Les Dorr told the Times that it would prefer to be overly cautious when it comes to the policy.
In 2006, the FAA commissioned the Radio Technical Commission for Aeronautics to test the effects of cell phones and other portable electronics on flights.
It concluded that there was "insufficient information to support changing the policies," Dorr said. "There was no evidence saying these devices can't interfere with a plane, and there was no evidence saying that they can."
Nintendo has announced Star Fox 64 3D for the Nintendo 3DS portable. The game will support both analog movement, as well as supporting the Nintendo 3DS accelerometer, allowing you to simply tilt the console to fly throughout the vast levels. The other big feature touted is that you'll be able to see the faces of up to three other friends who you are playing multiplayer with, thanks to the Nintendo 3DS front camera. Each player will have a small box over their vehicle, where you can see exactly who is in control. Star Fox 64 3D will be available in September 2011 in the US.
Dazzle your relatives at the next family picnic since this is no ordinary Frisbee. Toss this Flying Disc-O around and its LED and fiber optic illumination system goes through 7 different colors. Durable, yet comfortable to handle, the disc has a 10.5-inch diameter and comes with two replaceable lithium coin cell batteries. Not recommended for kids under three or dogs that like to chew their toys, the Disc-O can be yours for $29.98.
Read More | Things You Never Knew
The Draganflyer X6 is a deluxe adventure into spydom. Remotely operated, the mini-helicopter has 11 sensors and thousands of lines of code to self-stabilize while flying. It features a 6 rotor co-axial design with 3 counter rotating pairs at the ends of the arms and matched sets of counter-rotating rotor blades. The X6 has brushless motors and its blades are the only moving parts, so no gears will wear out. The company claims it can fly indoors easily as well as in winds of up to 18 mph. Contact Draganflyer for price, availability and particulars about differing camera modules selection.
Read More | Draganfly
Once you tire of playing with your MSN Missile Launcher, take a few shots with the Dueling Space Marines Copter Set. Once the little bugger gets into the air, use the remote to blast your opponent with plasma while the gun flashes with simulated firepower. One shot will make your enemy spin, the second will make him lose some power, and the third shoots him down completely. One 15 minute charge will give you about 6 minutes of aerial destruction time. While we expect that this will take some practice after reading their instructions, it would certainly be worth a mini-war or two. The set needs 6 AA batteries (not included) and comes at a $49.99 price.
Read More | ThinkGeek
Speaking of WowWee, their FlyTech Butterfly will soon be available. The toy is lightweight and as garish as it can be. You charge it, then push launch and there it goes, running into walls, furniture, and people as depicted in this video. With a wing span of 11.8-inches, the winged insect can fly for about 20 seconds after a recharge time of 10. The company claims that its being constructed from durable, highly flexible materials makes it “safe and able to withstand multiple crash landings.” We’re not sure that your lamps and electronics would agree with that. Needing 3 AAA batteries (not included,) the Butterfly will be available in upcoming weeks.
Read More | WowWee
With all that fuss about the recent Endeavor launch, we just couldn’t resist this ZFlyer Hand Command. This astronaut is no ordinary toy. You can lead it around since it has stabilizing rotors and sensors. It will then recharge on its base unit in 10 minutes for another 7 minute flight. We don’t know if it will make it all the way up to the Space Station, but maybe it will meet the returning paper airplane half way. The ZFlyer will become available March 30 and you can pre-order for £17.99 (~$36.00.)
Read More | Toyology
Somehow we managed to overlook this rather unique ornithopter from our CES reports. Interactive Toy’s i-Fly Vamp is less than 10-inches, will soar both indoors and out, and is recommended for those over the chronological age of 8. It features a built-in lithium polymer battery that can last up to 30 minutes. The controller itself need 6 AA batteries. We have to admit the kewlest feature, however, is that glowing red eye. The Vamp is available at Radio Shack for $35.99, recently marked down $5.00. Here’s looking at you, kid.
Read More | Interactive Toy
There are now different rules if you intend to fly this year with spare batteries. Here are the basics from the our ever-wary government and the FAA:
- Spare batteries are the batteries you carry separately from the devices they power. When batteries are installed in a device, they are not considered spare.
- You may not pack a spare lithium battery in your checked baggage.
- You may bring spare lithium batteries with you in carry on luggage - see our spare battery tips and how-to sections to find out how to pack spare batteries safely!
- Even though we recommend you carrying your devices with you in carry on baggage as well, if you must bring in one in checked baggage, you may check it with the batteries installed.
While all this seems a bit too obvious to us, we figure that the elementary way of explaining the rules isn’t just for the casual business traveler. Check the site for more details.
Read More | Safe Travel