Interesting Engineering's top 10 transportation stories of 2022

From flying ships to boomerang-shaped aircraft, 2022 was a good year for transportation.
Can Emir
three images of aircraft
Top 10 transportation stories of 2022

Ibrahim Can/Interesting Engineering   

2022 was a great year as many inventions and different kinds of transportation got more and more attention daily. As the world is trying to reduce emissions and ban internal combustion engines in the coming years, engineers are shifting their focus to different transportation methods.

New ways of transportation, such as using automated flying vehicles or using other energy sources other than gas and diesel, are seeing a lot of hype.

Countdown of the top ten transportation stories from 2022

Now that we are getting ready to wrap up 2022, we have compiled Interesting Engineering's most-read news articles in the transportation section for you. Who knows? Maybe the clues about what kind of developments await us in the coming years are hidden in this year's developments.

10 -New footage shows the world’s largest plane Antonov An-225 is completely destroyed

Interesting Engineering's top 10 transportation stories of 2022
The An-225

A short video clip shared by a U.K.-based news outlet shows the world's largest cargo plane, the Antonov An-225, on fire and unattended, after the Russian attack on Gostomel airport in Kyiv, Ukraine. 

Measuring 275 feet long, the An-225 became the biggest cargo plane thanks to its 290-feet wingspan. Each of the engines under the wings was capable of producing 51,600 pounds of thrust during takeoff. 

9 - A DHL Boeing 757 has made a harrowing crash landing in San Jose

After attempting an emergency landing at Costa Rica's San Jose Juan Santamaría International Airport, a DHL Boeing 757 took a sharp turn, angling the wings out of alignment with the runway, and then all control of the vehicle was lost. This led to the jet careening off of the runway as its gigantic fuselage snapped in two.

Luckily, neither of the pilots suffered serious injury through the crash landing, but the incident forced the airport to close for landings and further takeoffs while emergency responders rushed to the scene.

8 - Saudi Arabia, the top oil exporter, signs an agreement to buy up to 100k Lucid EVs

The U.S.-based electric vehicle maker, Lucid Motors, announced in a press release that the company and the world’s largest oil exporter, the Government of Saudi Arabia, have signed an agreement concerning the purchase of 100,000 electric vehicles.

According to the agreement, the Middle Eastern country has committed to initially buying 50,000 vehicles and has the option of buying up to an additional 50,000 vehicles over the same period.

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7 - Norwegian company unveils a vessel concept with a thorium molten salt reactor

Norwegian maritime solutions company, Ulstein, has unveiled a new vessel concept that holds the potential to deliver zero-emission cruises and other ocean industry applications, the company said in a press release

A molten salt reactor uses a naturally occurring metal with low radioactivity to produce electricity. Usually, thorium is dissolved in molten salt, and the chain reaction that ensues heats up the salt to produce steam, which is then used to drive turbines and produce electricity without any emissions. 

6 - The U.S. is reportedly planning on sending captured Soviet-era tech to Ukraine

The Whitehouse announced in a press release that various Soviet-era anti-aircraft defense systems acquired by the United States over the years are to be gifted to Ukrainian military forces to aid in their fight to defend their country. First reported by the Wall Street Journal (WSJ), the United States initially captured these systems through various means for intelligence analysis and training purposes. 

5 - It’s a Snowboard. It’s a Snowmobile. No, It’s a MoonBike!

Imagine cruising up a steep, snowy mountain without the noise or smell of a snowmobile. All you hear is the gentle hum of an electric motor. Once you reach the top, it’s a smooth ride back down the slope. It was impossible until the MoonBike — the world’s first electric bike designed to ride on top of the snow. The French company behind the invention shipped its first batch of 250 bikes last month, and it’s on track to continue delivering units in 2023.

4 - The new Flying-V substantially upgrades speed and carries passengers in its wings

A novel plane project called Flying-V, which comes with improved fuel efficiency, speed, and passenger room, has already demonstrated that it's more than just a concept with a long-range model flying in Germany, and it's just getting started.

Thanks to its revolutionary design, the passenger cabin, cargo compartment, and fuel tanks are all located in the wings of the Flying-V. According to some experts, the plane's aerodynamic form will lower fuel consumption by 20 percent when compared to contemporary aircraft, which is pretty significant. 

3 - Lockheed Martin unveils the U.S. Navy's next doomsday plane

Lockheed Martin has provided the first glimpse of the Navy's next "Doomsday plane," the EC-130J. Powered by four Rolls Royce AE turboprop engines, this almost 100 feet long aircraft has a cruise speed of 400 mph and climbs at 2,100 feet per minute to reach operational altitude in less than 15 minutes. 

Used largely to transport cargo, the aircraft has a load-carrying capacity of 130,000 pounds. It has a crew capacity of six-plus, which includes five electronic communication system operators. 

2 - China plane crash: Boeing 737 suddenly nosedives from 29,000 feet

China Eastern Airlines's Boeing 737 aircraft was just 100 miles away (163 km) from its destination when the aircraft nose-dived into the mountains instead of slowly descending.  The final moments for those inside the ill-fated MU5735 must have been horrifying as the aircraft dropped to the ground from 29,000 feet in just over a minute. According to tracking data on FlightRadar24, the aircraft seems to have suddenly taken a downward turn at this altitude.

1 - Watch the nuclear-powered flying hotel that can stay airborne for years with 5,000 passengers

A concept video of Sky Cruise, a giant flying machine that can carry 5,000 passengers and has all the luxuries you can imagine, has gone viral on the internet. The maker of the video claims that such an aircraft built in the future would have no carbon footprint.

Interesting Engineering's top 10 transportation stories of 2022
The animator's vision of what Sky Cruise would look like

The ship will be steered by artificial intelligence (A.I.), which would be so adept at reading weather conditions that it cannot only predict turbulent weather but also glide over it, providing a hassle-free experience to the onboard tourists.  

According to the maker of the video, Hashem Al-Ghaili, the Sky Cruise will be powered by 20 electric engines that will keep the aircraft afloat in the sky. Powered by nuclear fusion, the ship will be able to remain afloat for years together, all without carbon emissions. 

We've reached the end of IE's top ten most-read transportation stories of 2022. As you can see, there are many different vehicles you were excited to read about this past year.

We wish 2023 to be full of new groundbreaking developments in transportation and leave emissions in transportation behind us in the future.