United's first 737 MAX 9 at the Seattle Delivery Center (Photo: Boeing)

Aireon: Space-Based Global Aircraft Tracking

When Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 disappeared on its way from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing most of the world was stunned that a large airliner could simply disappear. To many who aren’t well versed in the aviation industry it was unfathomable how there wasn’t any sort of tracking system to monitor planes over large empty expanses of the open ocean. Radar generally isn’t useful once an aircraft passes 100 to 150 miles off the coast and away from the nearest radar…