Airplanes

Wilfredo Lee / AP

Airplanes are expensive to build, and relatively few are made each month. A Boeing press release from January touts the company has a seven-year order backlog for the Boeing 737, and is increasing production of the model to 52 airplanes each month.

Mike Wereschagin / The Caucus

On today’s program: Allegheny County District Attorney Stephen Zappala has a vast surveillance camera system with the ability to recognize license plates, faces and more; drug testing strips could help prevent overdose deaths, but they're illegal in Pennsylvania; a UPMC symposium centers on transgender and non-binary health care needs; a tour of World War II aircraft comes to Butler; and a preview of Trump’s visit to Shell’s new Beaver County ethane cracker.

DA’s camera network spurs privacy concerns
(0:00 – 12:28)

Trump Hails Bravery Of Crew & Passengers Aboard Damaged Plane That Landed In PA

May 1, 2018
Amanda Bourman / AP

President Donald Trump on Tuesday hailed the "tremendous bravery" of the crew and passengers aboard a damaged Southwest Airlines plane that was forced into an emergency landing in Philadelphia last month, saying, "Everybody's talking about it."

Trump also paid tribute to Jennifer Riordan, a 43-year-old Wells Fargo bank executive from Albuquerque, New Mexico, who died of injuries suffered after she was partially sucked out of a window that had been broken by shrapnel.

Katie Blackley / 90.5 WESA

Pittsburgh International Airport is planning to add a calming room for people with autism in the Airside Terminal. 

Icelandair via AP Images

Pittsburghers are used to seeing Uber’s self-driving cars on local streets, and one Bloomfield-based startup is partnering with aerospace giant Boeing to bring similar technology into the air.

Passenger jets can already guide themselves through a planned trajectory in the air, but it's limited. They can't make their own decisions along the way or land themselves.

A cross-country JetBlue flight bound for Sacramento, Calif., was forced to divert to South Dakota after hitting severe turbulence, and passengers described the plane suddenly plunging as people went flying.

"About two dozen passengers and crew were injured, and the plane was diverted to Rapid City Regional Airport in South Dakota," South Dakota Public Broadcasting's Gary Ellenbolt reported on NPR's Newscast. "Katherine McMillan with JetBlue says the airline has sent care-team members to help the injured people."

Fighting An Airplane's Natural Enemy: Ice

Dec 23, 2015
Jennifer Szweda Jordan / 90.5 WESA

A Canonsburg-based company’s superfast computer simulations are helping airplane designers learn about something that the rest of us might not want to think about: how ice forms on airplane wings and engines.

Once an airplane takes off, it soars into hard-to-predict natural elements. One of the most dangerous of those elements is ice. A technology stalwart in the region called ANSYS is addressing this problem.