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Airplane windshields cracked????
Old 02-17-2007, 01:23 PM   #1
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Airplane windshields cracked????

This news story is a little scary. 13 airplanes windshields cracked while taking off or landing at Denver International. Anyone have a clue to this mystery? Those winds night Thurs night were definitely crazy. Kept me up all night. And it was definitely cold. But it was nothing new to Denver.

http://www.cnn.com/2007/WEATHER/02/1....ap/index.html
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Re: Airplane windshields cracked????
Old 02-17-2007, 02:21 PM   #2
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Re: Airplane windshields cracked????

No idea what happened. Airplanes face far more temperature variations and wind speeds than could possibly have taken place during these events.

Around fifteen years ago a bunch of guys (including me) were standing around a Ford Explorer (tail gate was up). No one near the car, conditions were windy. A side window, with no one near it, burst into a million pieces. Beats me.
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Re: Airplane windshields cracked????
Old 02-17-2007, 04:08 PM   #3
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Re: Airplane windshields cracked????

Many years ago I was driving across the mountains near San Bernardino CA, when a small crack appeared in the lower left of the windshield and slowly spread up to the right until it was about 2/3 of the way up.
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Re: Airplane windshields cracked????
Old 02-17-2007, 05:26 PM   #4
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Re: Airplane windshields cracked????

Tempered glass thats suffered a scratch, minor crack, or even some slight stress on one of its edges or corners can suddenly explode for what seems to be no reason. But at least it breaks into very small, safe pieces...

I'm going to guess that the side window and the windshield were mounted irregularly or someone used force to set them in place. Then it was just a matter of time...
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Re: Airplane windshields cracked????
Old 02-17-2007, 06:12 PM   #5
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Re: Airplane windshields cracked????

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cute Fuzzy Bunny
I'm going to guess that the side window and the windshield were mounted irregularly or someone used force to set them in place. Then it was just a matter of time...
Yeah, I was thinking that all the mechanics are checking their torque wrenches, reviewing their maintenance procedures, and trying out their alibis...
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Re: Airplane windshields cracked????
Old 02-17-2007, 07:40 PM   #6
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Re: Airplane windshields cracked????

http://wokeuptoday.blogspot.com/2007...cause-our.html
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Re: Airplane windshields cracked????
Old 02-17-2007, 07:51 PM   #7
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Re: Airplane windshields cracked????

In 1996 a United States Air Force AWACS surveillance aircraft ran through a flock of geese on take off from Elmendorf Air Force Base in Alaska. The aircraft lost two engines due to ingestion, rolled over and crashed. Twenty-four service men were killed and the aircraft was totally destroyed. In 1986, a B1 Bomber was brought down by a single American pelican. The cost for this single aircraft was U.S. $215 million.

http://www.parl.gc.ca/36/1/parlbus/c...s=1&comm_id=54
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Re: Airplane windshields cracked????
Old 02-17-2007, 09:48 PM   #8
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Re: Airplane windshields cracked????

Birdstrikes= bad news.

This picture below is of an Air Force F-111 that struck a bird, the fiberglass radome completely delaminated and streamered. Sounds like what might have happened to DanTien's airplane. It doesn't take a big bird to do a lot of damage, though the bigger ones are devastating.

I was TDY in a very austere location in Central America in the early '80s. A DC-8 flown by a US contract carrier had taken a bird in the leading edge of the wing, tearing a considerable hole in the sheet metal. The MX crews said you could look "way inside" and see the wing structure through the hole The USAF maintenence guys were willing to install the new parts, but when the crew saw how we were living they decided not to wait there two days for the parts to be shipped. They told the mechanics to put some 100-mile-an-hour-tape over it and they would fly somewhere else. The MX chief got them to sign a release acknowledging that they knew what was wrong and were taking respsonsibilty. They flew away, I never heard anything more about it.
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Re: Airplane windshields cracked????
Old 02-17-2007, 10:00 PM   #9
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Re: Airplane windshields cracked????

http://www.snopes.com/science/cannon.htm

The chicken gun (also known as the chicken cannon, turkey gun, or rooster booster) has been around since 1972. It's used for the "chicken ingestion test," one of a series of stress tests required by the Federal Aviation Administration before a new jet engine design can be certified. The tests take place in a concrete building large enough to enclose an entire jet engine. With the engine operating at full speed, the cannon uses compressed air to shoot chicken carcasses into the turbine at 180 mph. (The Air Force is known to launch its poultry projectiles at 400 mph into F-16 canopies.)
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Re: Airplane windshields cracked????
Old 02-17-2007, 10:08 PM   #10
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Re: Airplane windshields cracked????

Quote:
Originally Posted by Oldbabe
. . . Anyone have a clue to this mystery? . . .
Bad opera?
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Re: Airplane windshields cracked????
Old 02-18-2007, 08:52 AM   #11
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Re: Airplane windshields cracked????

I guess the moral of this story is beware of areas with flying pumpkins...

Mythbusters:Chicken Gun

Update: This myth was revisited and it turns out that frozen chickens are more damaging (REVISIT)

Cool Myth #1: NASA builds a chicken gun to fire chicken carcasses at their windshields. A European company hears about this and uses a chicken gun to test their railroad cars. When they fire, the chicken flies through the windshield and embeds itself in a seat way back in the car. They write NASA about this, to which NASA replies, "thaw your chickens."

So, in essence, they were testing whether a frozen chicken does more damage than a thawed chicken. But I just think they wanted to build a chicken gun. And a chicken gun they did build.

Jamie ended up using a 250 psi tank with a butterfly valve on the cannon and a big fat lever to pull down in order to launch the chicken. This thing annihilated the chickens, turning them into puree. They also loaded in a pumpkin for good measure and managed to puncture the fuselage of the plane they were using for target practice. Result of myth: when a chicken is flying that fast, it don't matter what temperature it is.
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Re: Airplane windshields cracked????
Old 02-18-2007, 09:33 AM   #12
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Re: Airplane windshields cracked????

Maybe it's because Denver isn't that far from Roswell?
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Re: Airplane windshields cracked????
Old 02-18-2007, 09:51 AM   #13
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Re: Airplane windshields cracked????

Still nuthin' :

Quote:
On 9NEWS Saturday Morning, Frontier spokesman Joe Hodas said there may have been a power surge while airplanes were connected to auxiliary power lines at the gates.

Hodas said the surge could have done something to weaken the electronically heated windshields.

Hodas says itís unlikely, but the only theory as of Saturday.

http://www.9news.com/news/article.aspx?storyid=65009

A bit more detail than the original article had:

Quote:
At Denver International Airport, officials were still "baffled" Saturday by cracks that formed during the storm in the windshields of 12 airliners, airport spokesman Steve Snyder said.

Investigators had found no evidence of wind-blown debris that could have caused the cracks, which delayed some flights, Snyder said.

Windshields on two Frontier airliners were cracked while they were airborne near Denver, and two others were cracked while the planes were on the ground, said Joe Hodas, spokesman for Denver-based Frontier Airlines.

Airplane windshields are heavily reinforced, designed to handle travel at hundreds of kilometres per hour and even survive collisions with birds, Hodas said.

SkyWest Airlines reported cracked windshields on eight planes that were taking off or landing Friday, spokeswoman Marissa Snow said. One plane's windshield cracked while it was airborne.
http://tinyurl.com/29k6md

Quote:
One plane's windshield cracked while it was airborne.
"Only the outermost layer was affected," Snow said of the windshields, which are made of multiple layers of glass.
SkyWest, a regional carrier for United Airlines, said the planes were Embraer EMB120 Brasilias and Bombardier Canadair Regional Jets.
Frontier Airlines Airbus had two planes whose windshields cracked in flight, and two others that cracked while sitting at gates, airline spokesman Joe Hodas said.
Hodas said it wasn't clear if the wind was to blame.
"It's not exactly unusual weather for Denver," Hodas said. "We don't know what it is... It's kind of a mystery at this point."
http://tinyurl.com/28d2no
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Re: Airplane windshields cracked????
Old 02-18-2007, 10:05 AM   #14
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Re: Airplane windshields cracked????

You've seen those videos of icebergs cracking and falling off into the sea? The same thing is beginning to happen with aircraft windshields. It's another of the many manifestations of global warming.

As a precaution, DW and I have placed tape across all our windows and mirrors, both in our cars and at the house. Can't be too careful.

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Re: Airplane windshields cracked????
Old 02-18-2007, 10:14 AM   #15
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Re: Airplane windshields cracked????

Quote:
Originally Posted by REWahoo!
You've seen those videos of icebergs cracking and falling off into the sea? The same thing is beginning to happen with aircraft windshields. It's another of the many manifestations of global warming.

As a precaution, DW and I have placed tape across all our windows and mirrors, both in our cars and at the house. Can't be too careful.


Don't forget to put some across the bridge of the nose area for your glasses, too!
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Re: Airplane windshields cracked????
Old 02-18-2007, 10:24 AM   #16
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Re: Airplane windshields cracked????

Too bad that Anna Nicole Smith hadnt died of global warming. Then we'd have heard very little about it.
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Re: Airplane windshields cracked????
Old 02-18-2007, 10:32 AM   #17
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Re: Airplane windshields cracked????

Quote:
Originally Posted by Khan
http://www.snopes.com/science/cannon.htm

The chicken gun (also known as the chicken cannon, turkey gun, or rooster booster) has been around since 1972. It's used for the "chicken ingestion test," one of a series of stress tests required by the Federal Aviation Administration before a new jet engine design can be certified. The tests take place in a concrete building large enough to enclose an entire jet engine. With the engine operating at full speed, the cannon uses compressed air to shoot chicken carcasses into the turbine at 180 mph. (The Air Force is known to launch its poultry projectiles at 400 mph into F-16 canopies.)
Here is an actual picture of it...
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