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- Tue Feb 02 09:19:25 1999
As you may know, for aircraft, one of the biggest dangers out there in the
skies is flying into birds, or "Bird Strikes". Many times these Bird
Strikes can result in the aircraft being damaged, usually when it smashes
the windshield and lands in the pilot's / co-pilot's face.
The FAA recently started using a new tool to test the safety of new
planes. A "gun" of sorts is now used to test the strength of the
winshields of new aircraft. It can be set for different strengths of
firing, based on how fast the aircraft will be traveling. Testers load a
dead chicken into this gun, and fire it directly at the windshield of the
plane, simulating a bird strike. Thus far, it has proven rather effective
in diagnosing problems with aircraft design.
A group in England has recently produced the world's fastest locomotive,
surpassing the Japanese. They caught wind of how the FAA was doing their
tests, and thought it was a great idea. The FAA was more than happy to
loan one of their "chicken rifles" to them for the test. Well, when they
fired a chicken at the windshield of the locomotive, they were rather
disappointed to find that the chicken not only went through the
windshield, it severly damaged the conductor's chair, and made a large
dent in the wall behind the chair.
Needless to say, they were rather concerned that their rather costly
locomotive was so vulnerable to bird strikes. They called the FAA to make
sure they had gotten the speed settings correct on the gun, and that all
of the conditions were proper for this experiment. The FAA told them they
had done everything right, with one exception. They instructed this group
of English engineers to re-create the test, but use a dead chicken that
was not FROZEN.
The moral of the story? Next time you're driving/flying through that
aisle at the back of the supermarket, take care to avoid those rare frozen
Never trust a man wearing a better suit than your own. (Ferengi ROA 47)