1988 F-4 Crash Test Faked? Apparently, 9/11 had a LOT of planning…

March 20th, 2008

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One of the biggest arguments which keeps coming up amongst the 9/11 conspiracy crowed is that the sites of the terrorist attacks did not appear to have large, immediately recognizable pieces of aircraft such as fuselage or wing sections. The counter argument (fact) which has been brought up is that aircraft often are reduced to relatively small pieces of debris during violent crashes.

In order to make this point, one of the most dramatic graphic displays of just how an aircraft can be completely destroyed is a 1988 test conducted by the SanDia National Laboratory. Even before 9/11, the test has been nearly iconic in the way it displays what happens to an airframe when colliding with a solid surface. The test involved an F-4 phantom airframe which was mounted on a rocket sled and slammed into a large block of reinforced concrete.

The original intent of the test was to gauge the impact forces of an aircraft moving at full speed and impacting a structure. The data collected would later be applied to nuclear security such as containment dome designs, storage casks and similar structures which are designed for even the most extreme catastrophic events. Although the F-4 is smaller than the Boeing 757 and 767 aircraft used in the 9/11 attacks, the principle is the same and the event is so visually dramatic that it has been a thorn in the side of the whole 9/11 “Troof” movement.

So how to deal with this problematic demonstration of what happens to an aircraft during a full-speed head-on crash? Just claim it’s fake. Yes that’s right. Claim its fake. A few pages have now come out claiming that a plane could never be “atomized” by a crash. Of course, the plane was not atomized but was indeed reduced to fragments. The following comment from one of the pages pretty sums up the mindset of these clowns:

ZOMG!!11eleventyone!111!!!!

Huge smoking gun dude. The video is obviously faked. Proof that 9/11 was being planned over a decade ago.

Great find. Can’t wait to see it in court to bring these bastards down!!!!

Mind you, this was in 1988. So why was this done so far ahead of time? Well aside from the possibility of decades-long planning for 9/11, it’s claimed that it was done as part of the nuclear energy industry’s attempt to provide inflated data on the safety of plants. Of course, this would be ridiculous in any case, but it’s worth noting that the crash was not into any existing containment structure but rather just into a block of reinforced concrete. It was not to test any single structure but to gauge the forces one might be subjected to in such a crash.

The reality:

Aircraft are designed to be lightweight. For this reason they’re built primarily out of aluminum sheetmetal. The structures are more than strong enough to contend with aerodynamic forces and the occasional rough landing, but comparatively speaking, they’re not that solid compared to a steel structure. Even when colliding with soft ground, an airliner moving at a large fraction of the speed of sound is easily ripped to shreds like tinfoil. Add to this the fact that aluminum metal can actually burn (no it won’t burn if you take a match to a chunk of aluminum, but when the temperatures are high enough it can be reduced back to aluminum oxide), and it’s not hard to see how an aircraft crash could result in a debris field that, at first glance, looks nothing like an aircraft.

Don’t believe me? There are plenty of historical examples. Here are just a few:

AeroMexico Flight 498

In 1986, an AeroMexico DC-9 collided in mid air with a general aviation Piper Archer and crashed in Cerritos, California while on final approach to Los Angeles International Airport. A subsequent investigation found the pilot of the Piper had suffered a heart attack and the plane then strayed, uncontrolled into the AreoMexico flight’s approach path. The crash resulted in 67 fatalities, including 15 on the ground. Most of the aircraft was reduced to small debris and the largest pieces recovered included the engines turbines and some structural components of the wings and mid-fuselage. The largest structural components were only a few feet long and most were much smaller

Valujet Flight 592

In 1996, a DC-9-32 operated by Valujet crashed in the Florida Everglades. The crash would later be determined to be the result of an onboard fire sparked by oxygen generators which were being shipped in the cargo hold despite being improperly secured. Initial wittinesses to the crash reported seeing an aircraft go down and then seeing “no sign of the aircraft” on the surface. The only immediately visible signs of the crash were scattered metal fragments, a deep pool of water in the otherwise swampy area and a slick of jet fuel. The recovery operation pulled pieces from the deep mud of the Everglades. Most of the structure was reduced to small fragments. Only the landing gear struts and parts of the engines remained relatively in one piece.

All passengers and crew perished in the crash. The total fatalities were 110. The recovery of human remains was difficult due to the fact that most bodies were reduced to fragments of bone and tissue. Many would require DNA or other forensic tests to confirm the identity.


FedEx 727 Crash in 2002

In 2002, a Federal Express 727 crashed shortly after takeoff in Talahasee Florida. Failing to climb rapidly enough, the aircraft clipped several trees and then crashed in a field resulting in moderate damage to the aircraft. However, an ensuing fire destroyed most of the aircraft’s midsection. Despite a rapid response by firefighters, the only parts of the aircraft to remain mostly intact were the tail section and parts of the wings. The three crew members narrowly escaped with only minor injuries. Within minutes of their escape the cockpit was engulfed in flames.

This crash is a dramatic example of the damage which fire along can do to an aircraft, as the aircraft was in one piece and only moderately damaged when it struck the ground.

Air Inter Flight 148

In 1992, an Air Inter Airbus A320 crashed in the mountains near Strasbourg Airport in France. The crash was ruled to be due to pilot error. An investigation concluded that the pilots were not adequately experienced with the flight controls and navigation system of the A320, which was different than aircraft the flight crew had been accustomed to. Most of the aircraft structure was completely destroyed, however a small part of the aircraft’s midsection was intact enough to allow for 9 of the 96 on board to survive, although with serious injuries.

A few others:
Nigerian Airlines 737 Crash in 2006
1994 USAir 737Crash Near Pittsburgh PA
1994 Crash of an American Eagle AR-72
1980 Crash of a 727 in Brazil
1984 Crash of a Japan Airlines 747 Following a Catastrophic Depressurization
1979 Crash of an American Airlines DC-10 Near Chicago
1970 Crash of an Air Canada DC-8

Sorry guys. You loose. Fail. Pwned. The whole “there was no aircraft” at the pentagon crash site is nutty enough, but now that some conspiracy theory nuts are claiming that even the World Trade Center crash which was witnessed by hundreds of thousands in one of the largest population centers in the world was smoke and mirrors or a hologram… Well, now it’s getting (more) ridiculous.

Seriously though. As a native of New York, an Americana and a human being, I have no more respect for the 9/11 troofers than I do for holocaust deniers. Their opinions may be protected, but is my opinion of them.


This entry was posted on Thursday, March 20th, 2008 at 5:21 pm and is filed under Bad Science, Conspiracy Theories, Not Even Wrong. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.
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68 Responses to “1988 F-4 Crash Test Faked? Apparently, 9/11 had a LOT of planning…”

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  1. 1
    Dave G Says:

    I never understood the whole idea that “you have to respect the opinions of others.” Why do you have to? Having the right to an opinion doesn’t mean it’s protected from criticism or that you can’t think it reflects poorly on someone. There are some opinions I can agree to disagree on, but there are others where I think “Okay, you have a right to think that but you’re an a-hole if you do”


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  2. 2
    Chic Geek Gurl Says:

    Not just offensive, but extremely idiotic and crazy too. I’m not sure if it’s more idiotic or crazy. These guys just get an idea in their head and anything that opposes it must be fake.


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  3. 3
    DV82XL Says:

    I tend to agree with Dave. I respect facts, but opinion? I don’t think so.


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  4. 4
    1 4 truth Says:

    Funny that you never actually show a flaw in the evidence that the test was a complete fake. You just write it off and say “yeah other aircraft were destroyed.”

    I don’t see anything here which proves anything other than you are totally dismissive to any idea that violates your love and trust for the government without even looking at. Sheep like you are the reason they can get away with this kind of thing. I think it’s a lot more respectful to those who died that day to demand the culprits are accountable then to just say “oh well the government must be right”

    open your eyes.


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  5. 5
    Dave G Says:

    Are you serious? I think he showed pretty well that’s exactly what happens to aircraft. Besides that the whole idea of the 1988 test being faked is laughable.


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  6. 6
    Jim Strathmeyer Says:

    “I don’t see anything here which proves anything other than you are totally dismissive to any idea that violates your love and trust for the government without even looking at. Sheep like you are the reason they can get away with this kind of thing. I think it’s a lot more respectful to those who died that day to demand the culprits are accountable then to just say “oh well the government must be right””

    Sheep don’t provide an overabundance of evidence when seeking to validate and otherwise simple explanation.


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  7. 7
    DV82XL Says:

            1 4 truth said:

    Funny that you never actually show a flaw in the evidence that the test was a complete fake.

    This is where all of your type fall flat on their faces. You have absolutely no grasp of the physics involved, have absolutely no idea of the behavior of the materials involved, and then you pull ‘evidence’ out of your asses to ‘prove’ your forgone conclusions, then demand the rest of us answer for your ignorance and paranoia.

    How about this: I want you to come up with evidence that shows that titanium and hardened aluminum do not behave the way we see in the video. Saying you have never seen anything like it before BTW does not meet the standard for proof. You have to demonstrate that something different would have occurred, by showing that the physics are wrong (with the math please) or that these materials behave differently (with the data).

    Dismissing a test out of hand because it doesn’t come out the way you want is not science.


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  8. 8
    Tdub Says:

    I skimmed over that linked webpage claiming it was all faked, and the author used low-resolution animated gifs to try and illustrate there was ‘no resistance’.

    A quick search later and I came up with this video, which shows from many angles and, importantly, in slowed high-speed footage the impact. At about 0.47 there’s a slowed profile-view of the impact, and you can clearly see the aircraft’s nose deflected downwards from the pressure, the concrete assembly move backwards (and subsequently flex about the point of impact), and then as the ****pit is crushed the pressure change causes the clear enclosure to flex outwards (the sun’s reflection changes quickly).

    If there were indeed “no resistance” the wall would not have moved, let alone flex as much as it does, as by that claim the airframe was not putting any energy into the wall.

    Also fun: the troofer complains that the effect of a subsequent fire was not simulated, showing their ineptitude for the scientific process: the variable here is the structure’s ability to resist a high-speed impact from an airframe, and the airframe’s ability to withstand the same. To isolate this variable, one must remove all other potential hazards to structural integrity, including combustible fuel.


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  9. 9
    WarOnManIsReal Says:

    If airplanes really were that weak why aren’t they always falling apart? They’re a lot more solid then that. I’m suspicious about a lot of other plane crashes because a plane crash is a great way to get rid of someone the powers don’t want around (remember the TWA flight that was shot down a long time ago and they silenced it).

    You don’t know anything. The reason there are just little pieces is that if you only have tiny pieces you can’t prove much. Airplanes are not tinfoil, you jackass. You ever seen a car hit a wall and turn to dust? Airplanes are going to be a lot stronger then a car, so there’s your proof!


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  10. 10
    Finky Says:

    Your contention is so absurd and idiotic I’m not even going to humor it by taking it apart. You are beyond hope.


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  11. 11
    Finky Says:

            Tdub said:

    Also fun: the troofer complains that the effect of a subsequent fire was not simulated, showing their ineptitude for the scientific process: the variable here is the structure’s ability to resist a high-speed impact from an airframe, and the airframe’s ability to withstand the same. To isolate this variable, one must remove all other potential hazards to structural integrity, including combustible fuel.

    Wouldn’t the fire make it *worse* for the airframe as opposed to better?

    What is their contention? That if you add fire to the equation that the aircraft comes out ***more*** intact? It makes no sense. Just idiotic!


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  12. 12
    DV82XL Says:

            WarOnManIsReal said:

    You don’t know anything.

    Irony your name is WarOnManIsReal


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  13. 13
    Tdub Says:

            WarOnManIsReal said:

    You ever seen a car hit a wall and turn to dust? Airplanes are going to be a lot stronger then a car, so there’s your proof!

    I love this. Just love it. Find me an all-aluminum partial-monocoque car and slam it into a reinforced concrete wall at 0.8 mach and we’ll see just how well it holds up.


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  14. 14
    Q Says:

    Where do these people come from? (Not most of the commenters. Just two of them. Take a wild guess which ones I’m referring to)


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  15. 15
    WarOnManIsReal Says:

    This is the same idiotic website which says that depleted uranium doesn’t kill babies and cause cancer. Remember that. I don’t know how anyone could trust this site.

    Besdides even if they didn’t fake the 1988 crash that doesn’t prove 9/11 wasn’t an inside job. That is just obvious. 19 hijackers could do an attack like that on the world’s most powerful nation? Give me a brake. That’s so stupid I can’t believe anyone would think that’s true.


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  16. 16
    WarOnManIsReal Says:

    There are a lot of scholars, scientists and 911 families who support investigating it and proving the government did it. They come out eventhough they know it puts their lives in danger.

    You are safe by saying it’s not that way but you’re a coward for not standing up for what is right.


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  17. 17
    J Carlton Says:

    The two differences between airplanes and most of the stuff are material structure and velocity. Aircraft are designed with as little excess structural material as possible. indeed some surfaces like the outside of the wing are a lot like tinfoil. If you see “No Step” marked on a wing or something there is a reason. An aircraft only has strength where it is needed. The other half of the equation is 1/2 mass times velocity squared. This is kinetic energy. An object going twice as fast as another has 4 times the kinetic energy. Going 4 times as fast and you have 16 times the kinetic energy. An airframe designed to be as fragile as possible combined with a lot of kinetic energy and large thick essentially immovable object and not much of the aircraft will be left.
    This test was an expensive test for a client who probably spent several million dollars for the results. The client above wants good results to make conclusions from and data he can use. In a test like this a lot of effort is made to control extranious factors and not introduce error. This was a controlled test designed to measure specific things about impact and obtain specific data, most of which would have nothing to do with the film. The expensive setup for this test means that the client would have been very upset if he thought that any of the results were in any way “faked.”
    All we saw here was simple physics, with nothing to hide. Any middle school physics student would understand that which completely escapes the troofers.


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  18. 18
    DV82XL Says:

    And you are a deluded crank, wallowing in your own paranoia. If things were a fraction as bad as you think they were, you’d be on the Gulag right now.


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  19. 19
    DV82XL Says:

    The above remark was addressed to WarOnManIsReal not J Carlton who is right on the money


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  20. 20
    Tdub Says:

            WarOnManIsReal said:

    There are a lot of scholars, scientists and 911 families who support investigating it and proving the government did it.

    You are safe by saying it’s not that way but you’re a coward for not standing up for what is right.

    The consensus among accredited physicists and engineers who submit peer-reviewed findings and have studied the 9/11 attacks is that from a purely physical point of view (airplanes taking out the buildings, etc.) it is completely plausible.

    The troof movement is based on misquoting/misinterpreting (with intent or not) claims by scientists, who frequently re-assert their view that the conspiracy notion is incorrect. We scientists stand up for what is right every day we correct misinformation and poor science spewed out by the tinfoil hat crowd.


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  21. 21
    Robert Hoogenboom Says:

    Good, now apply all that to what happened at the World Trade Center. By your own analysis, the planes should have smashed to bits and burst into flames, and there should have been a cloud of debris that would have disbursed down the walls. Instead, what we saw on the video so-called of the plane flying into WTC2 was such a weak, aluminium-made plane go into the steel and concrete wall like a knife into butter, without loss of speed and through a hole neatly the contour of itself. (Just search for “9/11 TV fakery” or “fake planes” in YouTube, to remind yourself of the video that was broadcast by the media on 9/11.) That plane was flying at an angle, so, in addition to the wall, it would have had to go through several horizontal steel and concrete floors, again purportedly without loss of speed and with nothing smashing or shearing off, not the wings, not the tail upright, not the plastic nose cone, nothing. Clearly an absurdity. Those videos were fake all right, broadcast by a compliant media. It’s time you Americans indicted Bush and Cheney for mass murder and high treason. You might thereby save the human race by stopping them attacking Iran and continuing the criminal insanity of their use of depleted uranium. (Not that the Brits aren’t totally complicit in this!)

    Sydney, Australia


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  22. 22
    Tdub Says:

            Robert Hoogenboom said:

    Good god I can’t believe I’m still replying about this (mostly because it’s fun, I admit.)
    Hoogenboom- neither of the planes hitting the towers left a cartoon-like ‘punched hole’. There’s no evidence for thin punctures as would be associated with the tail section or wings. Instead, as the (aluminum) planes hit the (steel frame) buildings, the planes penetrated the bits that weren’t steel. You know, the glass. The comparatively weak fuselages were torn apart by the impact, in much the same way as the F-4 video. It was the fact that in doing so, a huge amount of jet fuel was spread over a large area of the impact floors, causing fires, and yadda yadda yadda huge pile of rubble. Watch that F-4 video again and notice how much of the plane debris makes it around the concrete wall, which is *much* less porous than the steel frame of an office tower, and you get a good idea of the forces involved.

    I also don’t see why you seem to think the plane didn’t lose speed- clearly it didn’t come out the other end, so it was slowed from 0.7-0.8 mach to zero in a very, very short time.


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  23. 23
    Brad F Says:

    Doc, you could have also added Swissair 111 to your list. The MD-11 experienced an in-flight fire and crashed at high speed into the ocean off Nova Scotia. The airframe and occupants were shredded. It was difficult for some people to understand how hitting water could cause such damage, but as you point out, the general physics are well known. It is the search for details that causes staged tests like the F4 crash to be run.


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  24. 24
    josephdietrich Says:

    FWIW, you are aware that “ZOMG!!11eleventyone!111!!!!” is a cue for sarcasm, right? While the stupidity of the 9/11 conspiracy types is clear (as proven here by WOMIR), the comment is not from one of them.


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  25. 25
    josephdietrich Says:

    Correction: as proven here by WOMIR and 14t


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  26. 26
    Finky Says:

            Tdub said:

    Good god I can’t believe I’m still replying about this (mostly because it’s fun, I admit.)
    Hoogenboom- neither of the planes hitting the towers left a cartoon-like ‘punched hole’. There’s no evidence for thin punctures as would be associated with the tail section or wings. Instead, as the (aluminum) planes hit the (steel frame) buildings, the planes penetrated the bits that weren’t steel. You know, the glass. The comparatively weak fuselages were torn apart by the impact, in much the same way as the F-4 video. It was the fact that in doing so, a huge amount of jet fuel was spread over a large area of the impact floors, causing fires, and yadda yadda yadda huge pile of rubble. Watch that F-4 video again and notice how much of the plane debris makes it around the concrete wall, which is *much* less porous than the steel frame of an office tower, and you get a good idea of the forces involved.

    I also don’t see why you seem to think the plane didn’t lose speed- clearly it didn’t come out the other end, so it was slowed from 0.7-0.8 mach to zero in a very, very short time.

    Well, they did not hit a solid thick block of concrete but steel columns. There is plenty of kinetic energy and destruction to go around. The fact that the aircraft was about obliterated and the tower columns were not all completely destroyed (until after the flames burned for a bit) shows this pretty well.

    You do realize that much of NYC saw this happen first hand? Thats hundreds of thousands if not millions of people. Plus all the viewers who saw it live (every single network in the US and forign broadcasters with NYC branch offices were in on it??!?!?)


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  27. 27
    An Actual Scientist Says:

    Robert Hoogenboom: I don’t think anyone here implied that the San Dia test was a 100% perfect analog of the 9/11 attacks, but only that it made a dramatic visual point about what can happen to an aircraft and that the San Dia test was not faked. There are other plane crashes which show the same thing. Even if they are not identical to the WTC they show that a plane is easily reduced to fragments by a crash at speed.

    Lets remember that the towers were not solid. They were hallow and the outside was not a single solid mass but had support columns running versicle with windows between them. The event therefore was a lot different and most of the aircraft continued into the tower interior because of the momentum it had. The side of the towers did not present a completely solid and unbreakable barrier.


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  28. 28
    Larry G Says:

    WarOnNitwits/Hoogenbottom:

    Go to http://wtc.nist.gov/ and the linked site http://wtc.nist.gov/reports_october05.htm

    If you have the courage to do a little reading about how the planes destroyed the towers, these sites have a bunch of really good investigation reports, 250+ pages each, that explain the physics of the destruction in great detail. I’ve read them and they are fascinating. Here’s a direct link to one of the reports: http://wtc.nist.gov/NISTNCSTAR1-2B_Chaps1-8.pdf


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  29. 29
    KLA Says:

    I have actually witnessed an aircraft crash myself and can attest that they do disintegrate into small pieces. Not an airliner, which is mostly a hollow shell, but fighter aircraft, which are a lot more “dense”. I was about 15 years old, living in Germany and was at the time camping with some friends in a field outside my home town. Two Canadian F104s practiced dogfighting overhead and we watched them. At one point they came too close and one aircraft hit the other one at a right angle in the midsection. The hitting aircraft disintegrated into pieces mostly smaller than a hand that rained down all around us. The largest unbroken piece of it was the turbine shaft. Of the hit aircraft the largest piece was the front part of the ****pit that came down about 1 mile away with the pilot still in it. Fortunately nobody of us was hurt, but both pilots died. Neither aircraft hat live ammo or missiles on board that could have exploded.


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  30. 30
    Tdub Says:

            KLA said:

    . Two Canadian F104s practiced dogfighting overhead and we watched them. At one point they came too close and one aircraft hit the other one at a right angle in the midsection.

    Heheh, there’s a reason the F-104′s were called “tent-pegs” or “lawn darts”.


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  31. 31
    drbuzz0 Says:

    I realize that they are aerodynamically sound, but every time I see a picture of an F-104 in flight I feel a bit unsettled because it looks like it would just drop from the sky like a stone, or at the very least that it would need to maintain speeds of mach 1.5 or so just to get enough lift not to stall out in level flight.

    I realize that they were designed for high speed but obviously they can fly subsonic as this would be necessary for landing, takeoff and things like air refueling and flight over areas where supersonic flight is not permitted.

    The wings are just so tiny it looks like they’re fins more than wings!


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  32. 32
    Brad F Says:

            Tdub said:

    Heheh, there’s a reason the F-104′s were called “tent-pegs” or “lawn darts”.

    The 104 was often referred to as the “Widowmaker”. It was notoriously unforgiving.


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  33. 33
    KLA Says:

    OT: Another case with an F104 I know of involved an US pilot in Hahn, Germany. He had a flameout at altitude and was ordered to bail out. He didn’t, but “dead-sticked” the aircraft back to Hahn airbase and landed safely. From what I hear he was awarded for saving the aircraft and a superb bit of piloting, and was at the same time reprimanded for disobeying orders.


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  34. 34
    KLA Says:

    Yeah, and also my post #29 PROOFED that the Canadian government was in a secret war against 15 year old German kids, according to troofer logic. Which also proves Heinleins statement:

    Logic is an organised way to go wrong with confidence.

    I should add: if you start out with garbage data.


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  35. 35
    Dave G Says:

            KLA said:

    Yeah, and also my post #29 PROOFED that the Canadian government was in a secret war against 15 year old German kids, according to troofer logic. Which also proves Heinleins statement:

    Don’t you realize that every government, major corporation and organization (even the non-existent ones) is at war with every individual except for a few insiders who run the world from their secret evil bunker?

    (by troofer logic that is)


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  36. 36
    KLA Says:

            Dave G said:

    Don’t you realize that every government, major corporation and organization (even the non-existent ones) is at war with every individual except for a few insiders who run the world from their secret evil bunker?

    Except for a few insider troofers who also know about it. From which logically follows that the troofers must be also in on the conspiracy. And so it goes in circles. Crop circles that is.


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  37. 37
    DV82XL Says:

    In fact they are ALL controlled by the UFO’s that are plotting to depopulate the Earth and turn what’s left of us into mindless but useful slaves (as typified by WarOnManIsReal and 1 4 Truth.)

    Don’t believe me? All the proof you need is in the Bible, all you have to do is open your eyes!


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  38. 38
    KLA Says:

    Seriously, I would not be surprised if Al Quaeda did not start this original troofer garbage. They seem to be the only ones profiting from it from a propaganda standpoint. Seeing that most of the world is disgusted by the 9/11 act.
    Basically the same as the DU stuff was most likely originally started by Saddam as a propaganda measure against the West.
    With the given idiot density/mi^2 in the US and Europe, it is easy to get it rolling.

    But that’s how it goes.
    Democracy assumes two idiots are smarter than one genius.
    Science proves that one genius is smarter than an infinite number of idiots.


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  39. 39
    DV82XL Says:

    The DU thing started with that other saint Slobodan Milošević, Saddam picked up where he left off with Yasser Arafat singing harmony.


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  40. 40
    An Actual Scientist Says:

    The NIST report, which I have read much of does a very good job of going into the science of what happened very deeply and confirming the observations with data and multiple tests, including some which were conducted on recovered steel from the structure which was not damaged by the attack.

    However, on the topic of the aircraft being broken up into mostly small parts (although some parts certainly did survive such as turbines) the principle of the thing is not that complicated or hard to understand. Aircraft are very commonly reduced to small debris in crashes especially CFT (controlled flight into terrain). It does not matter if it is mud or concrete because there is so much momentum that the aircraft cannot stop. It will partially telescope as the material is fragmented.

    If you have ever heard the saying that water is as hard as concrete when hit from a certain height, this is the same idea. The material cannot “get out of the way” fast enough. It has nowhere to go other then to be smashed to the point where it fragments into little pieces.

    It’s an unpleasant reality of many crashes and I don’t see why anyone would doubt it given the number of times it has been observed.


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  41. 41
    J Carlton Says:

            An Actual Scientist said:

    Robert Hoogenboom: I don’t think anyone here implied that the San Dia test was a 100% perfect analog of the 9/11 attacks, but only that it made a dramatic visual point about what can happen to an aircraft and that the San Dia test was not faked.

    There are other plane crashes which show the same thing.

    Even if they are not identical to the WTC they show that a plane is easily reduced to fragments by a crash at speed.

    Lets remember that the towers were not solid. They were hallow and the outside was not a single solid mass but had support columns running versicle with windows between them. The event therefore was a lot different and most of the aircraft continued into the tower interior because of the momentum it had.

    The side of the towers did not present a completely solid and unbreakable barrier.

    The failure modes of objects with high kinetic energies is not always obvious. The F4 disintigrated in the Sandia test because the wall was solid and had a much larger mass than the F4. In the WTC crash the situation was different. The walls of a building are not solid and only carry a part of the lead even in the style of construction the WTC had, hollow core with the wall carrying a large part of the load. Also, the wing spars and floors of a commercial aircraft carry most of the loads and are fairly strong structures, especially along the direction of motion. This strength and the aircraft’s fast rate of speed meant that the columns on the towers didn’t have time to react like ductile members and acted as if they were brittle rather than elastic. Here’s the Purdue University animation made from a large finite element model of the collision:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gH02Eh44yUg
    Note how the wing spars and fuselage act like knives because the collision happens too fast for structures to react and deflect.


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  42. 42
    An Actual Scientist Says:

    Of course, you’re right J Carlton. I think I may have oversimplified, but I was just trying to make a point about aircraft being able to fragment and this not something surprising or unusual.

    I may have made the error of oversimplification on this. I apologize. I was trying too address the fact that people have a knee-jerk reaction to think that an aircraft could never be completely destroyed in this manner.

    Really the F-4 test and the 9/11 attacks are not the same thing. As it has been observed, it is not that good of an analog but it is a very good visual example of what can theoretically happen to an aircraft. It may be a somewhat more useful example for the pentagon. The pentagon seems to be more of a mainstay of the “there was no plane” claim.


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  43. 43
    Q Says:

    the 9/11 attacks and the 1988 test have something in common: Neither was faked and those who claim that they were are out in left field. I think the 1988 test has more in common with the pentagon anyway.


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  44. 44
    Q Says:

    Oops. I was preempted. I think the actual scientist is right to say that the intuitive response that a “plane can’t do that” is not right. I also think you might need to simplify things for these idiots to understand. No matter how you slice it, that kind of speed results in massive damage to the projectile and the building.


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  45. 45
    An Actual Scientist Says:

    I should apologize if I overstepped things and passed off some speculation and assumptions as if they were fact. I want to also mention that this is not my direct area of expertise (failure analysis of structures and aircraft).


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  46. 46
    DV82XL Says:

            An Actual Scientist said:

    I should apologize if I overstepped things and passed off some speculation and assumptions as if they were fact. I want to also mention that this is not my direct area of expertise (failure analysis of structures and aircraft).

    Not to worry, commonsense and a grasp of physics is realy all you need in a case like this.

    I do think that a lot of folks that see something odd about these crashes are trying to extrapolate from automobile accidents, and can’t quite grasp that 2024 aluminum in a hardened condition will not crumple at 400mph the same way mild steel does at 90mph. The material used in an aircrafts skin is also about half the thickness of the body of a car. The skin of an aircraft tends to crack when impacted, as well as deform; in almost all cases repair involves cutting out a fillet and replacing it rather than bang it out as is done with a car. This I can attest to because it is a direct area of expertise for me.

    As well, as was mentioned in the original post when you are dealing with an aluminum assembly in failure, and fire is involved, everything concerning the metals behavior in the as-fabricated state is out the window.

    Also these aircraft that were involved in the 9/11 affair all have keel beams (not wing boxes)which would allow them much deeper penetration into any structure they hit nose on. These are also Al structures so they would burn unlike the LPT shafts we see tumbling off the engines in the movie – those are made of Hastaloy a type of steel.


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  47. 47
    A Brainy Blond Says:

            An Actual Scientist said:

    I should apologize if I overstepped things and passed off some speculation and assumptions as if they were fact. I want to also mention that this is not my direct area of expertise (failure analysis of structures and aircraft).

    I don’t think you’re that far off. It’s the same basics. Besides that I don’t think anyone in the Troof (as it is put) movement would have the intellectual honestly to say something similar and apologize for overspeculating or reaching too far on a generalization. That kind of intellectual honesty and respect is totally non-existent with conspiracy theorist.


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  48. 48
    Tyler Says:

    I don’t doubt that planes crashed into the WTC (the pentagon maybe or maybe not. There’s evidence for both). However, it is undeniable that the hijacker theory is totally false and so is the government’s story. It seems highly likely that the planes were only part of the story of why the buildings fell and diverted attention from the fact that the buildings had been prepared at least weeks before the event for demolition.

    I think we all know that around the same time as 9/11 the government came out with the preditor and the globalhawk and clearly showed that they had made progress in remote controlled and automated aircraft. It is no coincidence that this is the exact technology which was installed in the aircraft and allowed the government to control the entire thing from a distance. Perfect alliby as well


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  49. 49
    J Carlton Says:

            Tyler said:

    I don’t doubt that planes crashed into the WTC (the pentagon maybe or maybe not. There’s evidence for both).

    However, it is undeniable that the hijacker theory is totally false and so is the government’s story. It seems highly likely that the planes were only part of the story of why the buildings fell and diverted attention from the fact that the buildings had been prepared at least weeks before the event for demolition.

    I think we all know that around the same time as 9/11 the government came out with the preditor and the globalhawk and clearly showed that they had made progress in remote controlled and automated aircraft. It is no coincidence that this is the exact technology which was installed in the aircraft and allowed the government to control the entire thing from a distance. Perfect alliby as well

    There’s just one problem with your logic. None of the four aircraft involved in 9/11 were out of service long enough to have the kind if modifications made to them needed to convert them for remote control. Remote control is easy if you have access to all the parts need to make the modifications. Getting that access isn’t so easy as most of those components are long cycle maintainence items and don’t need to be accessed until the aircraft is undergoing a heavy rebuild where all of the things on top are replaced anyway. Here’s a link showing what it would take to modify a Boeing 757 or 767 for remote control:http://www.911myths.com/Remote_Takeover.pdf
    A commercial aircraft’s every minute is tracked in its log. If an airplane is not flying it’s not making money and that becomes expensive very quickly. An aircraft out of service long enough to have the modifications done would be noticed. With this in mind, the only possibilities left are that the pilots deliberately crashed the aircraft and their passengers into the WTC, which is highly unlikely or the planes were hijacked by Muslim Jihadis bent on suicidal destruction, which is supported by all the evidence available.


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  50. 50
    OhioDruid Says:

    Tyler, there is not evidence for both sides of the plane hitting the Pentagon argument. There are things that people have read into the evidence to support both views, but the evidence (properly understood) only supports the truth. Which is that a plane hit the Pentagon.

    Your talk about remote controlled and automated aircraft is pure s–t. RC controlled aircraft were possible (and existed) in World War II. Both the Axis and the Allies had them and used them as large guided bombs. The big advances with the Predator and GlobalHawk were in size, range and electronic surveillance capabilities.


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