The European Tribune is a forum for thoughtful dialogue of European and international issues. You are invited to post comments and your own articles.
Please REGISTER to post.
The Pentagon may cover the biggest surface area of any building, but it's not particularly tall. In fact it only has four storeys, at maybe fifty feet. There's a scale photo from a recent study here. For comparison the tail fin on the 757 is just over 44ft.
Let's be conservative and say the approach speed is 300mph, or five miles a minute.
Let's say you're a minute away from your target at an altitude of a couple of thousand feet. How tall does a four storey building look five miles away at a shallow angle?
Fifteen seconds from impact, that four storey building is still more than a mile away.
Because I'm in a pedantic mood, I've worked out the visible width of the target corridor from a mile away. It's a little more than half a degree. And that's just to hit the damn thing at all, never mind score a bullseye on the ground floor.
Let's call it a degree if you assume that some overshoot into the body of the building still counts as a success. (And that's generous considering the actual shallow angle of approach.)
Unlike a car, which is fairly responsive, any altitude and pitch correction is going to take at least a few seconds to work itself through your brain, the avionics, the engines and flaps. Mostly likely you'll overshoot any correction and have to compensate in the other direction, which will eat further into your time allowance. What you certainly can't do is throw a 757 around the sky like a sports car.
Still, being even more generous, the reality is that if you're more than a few degrees out a mile away, you've already missed - by a long way.
As I said - impressive flying.
Do you if the pilot was aiming for the ground floor?
And if so ... how?
(Just being my usual amiable self ;-)
She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre
by Frank Schnittger - Sep 15 57 comments
by Frank Schnittger - Sep 13 38 comments
by Frank Schnittger - Sep 11 9 comments
by Frank Schnittger - Sep 12 22 comments
by Oui - Sep 16
by Bernard - Sep 10 12 comments
by Frank Schnittger - Sep 9 25 comments
by Oui - Sep 14 3 comments
by Oui - Sep 16
by Frank Schnittger - Sep 1557 comments
by Oui - Sep 143 comments
by Frank Schnittger - Sep 1338 comments
by Frank Schnittger - Sep 1222 comments
by Cat - Sep 1126 comments
by Frank Schnittger - Sep 119 comments
by Bernard - Sep 1012 comments
by Oui - Sep 1019 comments
by Oui - Sep 1022 comments
by Frank Schnittger - Sep 925 comments
by gmoke - Sep 87 comments
by ATinNM - Sep 833 comments
by Frank Schnittger - Sep 5200 comments
by Frank Schnittger - Sep 438 comments
by Oui - Sep 447 comments
by ARGeezer - Sep 428 comments
by Cat - Sep 34 comments
by john_evans - Sep 253 comments
by Bernard - Sep 182 comments