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Just a small question along these lines, aren't the engines the heaviest, most sold parts of an aircraft? why wouldn't their be two holes where they punched through the wall and the body pankcaked on the outside?

I'm not trying to push some conspiracy, it's just something that has always been sitting there with a questionmark hovering over it, and I've never found anyone who had enough technical knowledge to explain it to me.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.

by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Fri Sep 15th, 2006 at 06:30:22 PM EST
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aircraft engines do tend to stay in one piece more or less in an aircraft accident.  

the parts are pretty heavy, mechanically fitted together, wired into place (every bolt has to have wiring around it so it doesn't loosen) and many of the parts are designed to withstand extremely high temperatures

by manon (m@gmail.com) on Fri Sep 15th, 2006 at 06:44:00 PM EST
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the reason I ask is that I know of at least one aircrash where the plane was reduced to inconvenient confetti, apart from the engine, which passed entirely through one building, coming to rest about a mile beyond the crash, somewhat battered, but still essentially in one piece.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Fri Sep 15th, 2006 at 06:49:16 PM EST
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really?  do you remember where or when this happened?

the Pentagon is reinforced so it would not replicate the same conditions, but there would be some similarities to your incident

maybe if you could give us some more details of what you remember about it?

by manon (m@gmail.com) on Fri Sep 15th, 2006 at 06:59:37 PM EST
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Oh yes, I've been looking for details of it on t'internet, but so far no luck. It's one of my fathers stories from when he was doing his National Service somewhere at the end of the 1950's at el Adam airbase. a Hawker Hunter hit the ground and was basically reduced to scrap. According to my father the largest part left was about the size of your hand. However the engine bounced across the airfield clearing several bulidings, and demolishing one half of one building. fortunately just missing the cleaner, who had heard a bang, and found the building behind him was missing when he turned round. from what I remember of the story it finally came to rest somewhere just short of a mile and a half away.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Fri Sep 15th, 2006 at 07:12:43 PM EST
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I'm no specialist in planes (though I know some tidbits on structural engineering and materials), and not paranoid enough to follow intricate plots...
But if the modeling of the crash shown here is not too far from reality (or at least a straightforward hypothesis), those engines went through the ground floor.

In Dodo's links you'll find those pictures of the damages on the outer part of the building. The structural damages were mostly at the ground floor and is consistent with the flight path and height level (in fact the plane must have been on a an air cushion effect, "effet de sol" in french).

One of them, left wing, chunked out a bit of concrete railing and the right one hit the generator (two structures at less then 1m and 3m high respectively) and went inside (picture of one engine inside the wrecked building) through the ground floor part of the facade.

Not surprisingly, the pictures show that posts and beams are damaged much further then the central big hole... (the famed wing problem)!

The Pentagone building shape and built technique had the same effect (my feeling) then the multiple layers of plastic sheets used to stop a bullet in forensic tests... The shape charge effect of such a plane at such a velocity would have otherwise reached the central courtyard. While it seems that only two holes were blown up on that side  (either perpendicular corridors, or part of the engines)!

I would agree with some that the chances to hit the target, flying so low and in such a short distance to maneuver and align the plane is really hard to achieve even for a trained fighter pilot !

My two euro cents worth of explanation !


"What can I do, What can I write, Against the fall of Night". A.E. Housman

by margouillat (hemidactylus(dot)frenatus(at)wanadoo(dot)fr) on Fri Sep 15th, 2006 at 07:07:00 PM EST
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