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Ashes To Ashes, Dust To Dust

If you have even been around an Air Force flight line you would have seen a truck that had the letters “FOD” on the sides. It is a trash truck used to get rid of anything that doesn’t belong on the flight line to prevent “Foreign Object Damage”. Jet engines are very large vacuum cleaners that tend to fail when they suck up things like birds, rocks, or enough dust. One of the possible causes of the recent CV-22 crash is the dust kicked up by the engine exhaust as the aircraft was landing. You don’t knowingly fly a jet into a dust storm.

When the BBC reported that Europe’s airlines and airports question flight bans, it was obvious to me that these people were thinking about the effect of the flight ban on their bottom line, without considering the effect of losing an aircraft and hundreds of people.

The airlines said they had flown test flights and there were no problems, which is interesting in light of the fact that the ABC reported Fighter jet engines suffer volcano damage from test flights.

No planes crashed, but when the F-16 engines used by the military were examined, FOD, volcanic glass, was found. They have to replace the engines and send the ones that were used in the test flights back to a depot for cleaning, inspection, and testing. If damaged, the titanium blades used in jet engine turbines can fly off like knife blades piercing the fuselage and anyone inside. Of course they might just destroy themselves in a fiery explosion.

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April 20, 2010   5 Comments

Math Flashback

funny pictures of cats with captions

A month late.

April 20, 2010   7 Comments