By tgardner on Aug 20, 2008
American Airlines is now offering WiFi in-flight on certain routes cross-country and New York - Miami. Soon we will be seeing tweets from passengers aboard commercial aircraft. To extend that in an interesting way, it would be useful to have the aircraft itself tweet about itself and its environment. In a way aircraft already tweet - actually that would be called "squawk": almost all aircraft have a transponder that transmits certain information automatically on a commanded frequency. For example, the transponder "tweets" altitude, which ATC uses for spacing and assignments. Extend that capability - if it hasn't been already - to have the aircraft tweet weather conditions. This capability would be a powerful enhancement to aircraft routing and give warning to other aircraft of undesirable invisible weather conditions like clear air turbulence, wind shear, and rotor waves.