Boeing 737 vs. McDonnell-Douglas MD-80

JetHead compares two classic airliners: the Boeing 737 and the McDonnell-Douglas MD-80.

Transaero Boeing 737-400 (with Irish registration EI-CXK) takes off from London Heathrow Airport, England. Photographed by Adrian Pingstone in August 2008 and released to the public domain.


Diamond DA40 pilot report

Test pilot Rob Erdos conducts a flight evaluation of the Diamond DA40.

Diamond DA40-TDI Diamond Star (UK registration G-JKMF) at Kemble Airfield, Gloucestershire, England. Date of manufacture 2003. Photographed by Adrian Pingstone in July 2005 and placed in the public domain.

Photo of the week

Photo of the week

A modified Stearmann departs North Little Rock Municipal Airport.
Credit: Andrew Thomas

I met Andrew about decade ago when we both were photographing aircraft before the Kansas City Airshow. Since then, I have followed his superb work at Thomas Aircraft Images and on Facebook.

Saturn V engines found on the ocean floor and recovered

Jezz Bezos, the founder of, has sponsored an expedition which has found on the ocean floor the F-1 engines from the first stage of the Saturn V rocket used on Apollo 11 mission, and recovered them for eventual display.

Cassini fly-by of the Saturnian moon Rhea

Cassini has made its last fly-by the Saturnian moon Rhea.

This image was taken by NASA’s Cassini spacecraft on March 10, 2013, and received on Earth March 10, 2013. The camera was pointing toward Rhea at approximately 174,181 miles (280,317 kilometers) away, and the image was taken using the CL1 and CL2 filters.

ISS Expedition 34 returns to Earth

ISS Expedition 34 returns to Earth

The Soyuz TMA-06M spacecraft lies on its side March 16 after bringing home Expedition 34 Commander Kevin Ford of NASA, Soyuz Commander Oleg Novitskiy and Flight Engineer Evgeny Tarelkin to a landing northeast of Arkalyk, Kazakhstan following a one-day delay due to inclement weather in the area. The Soyuz initially landed upright before being tilted on its side for servicing after touching down to wrap up 144 days in space and 142 days for Ford, Novitskiy and Tarelkin at the International Space Station.
Photo credit: Sergey Vigovskiy


From left are are the Expedition 34 crew: NASA astronaut Kevin Ford, commander, with Roscosmos Flight Engineers Oleg Novitskiy and Evgeny Tarelkin.

ATC tower closings

The FAA has decided to close 149 contract towers to reduce expenses. Some Congresscritters and AOPA are unhappy. Not so Avweb’s Paul Bertorelli.

The man who invented the Predator

Smithsonian Air & Space has a fascinating profile of Abe Karem, the man who is the father of the Predator remotely-piloted aircraft. The author, Richard Whittle, wrote an outstanding book about the V-22 Osprey is currently writing one about the Predator.


Photo of the week

MV-22B Osprey lifts off to depart from NAF El Centro, CA.
Credit: Randy Rothhaar

Randy is outstanding photographer who displays his work on Facebook and elsewhere. Thanks to Randy for permission to display this image of an aircraft that is near and dear to me.

Innovative thinking about the American military

Admiral Jonathan W. Greenert, USN argues that the United States Navy needs to move from ‘luxury-car’ platforms—with their built-in capabilities—toward dependable ‘trucks’ that can handle a changing payload selection.

Captain Henry J. Hendrix, USN questions the viability of the aircraft carrier, long the capital ship of the USN.

In an era of rapid technological progress and highly constrained defense spending, innovative thinking like this is essential.