Exposing Falsehoods and Revealing Truths
I don't know why no one is responding to my earlier query, it's either because no one
cares, or because it's difficult work. In any event I'll have to muster my lay skills
to give the effort a boost.
Well here's my shot at it, such as it is:
The outer wall columns were 12"x12" boxed steel columns 39" on center.
It seems that one square inch of steel can withstand a shear force of some 490,000 lbs/sq.in.
144x490k = 35280 tons of shear force needed to break them.
39" on center / 13 foot fuselage width = 4.8 columns hit.
Force needed to break 4.8, 12" boxed steel columns = 4.8x 35,280 or 169,344 tons of force.
The aircraft is 100 tons moving at 450 mph, or has some 45,000 tons of force.
Now here's the way the problem plays out, at least for my lay persons mind:
Let's say you have a brick wall that takes 1,000 lbs/sq.in. of force to break.
Let's say you have a 1lb egg and you hurl it at the wall at 2,000 mph.
The egg in the hypothetical, has enough energy to break the brick wall.
But can it really accomplish the feat?
Well, it could if it could continue to contain it's energy carrying mass on the
point of impact. But that's not the case!
The problem is with the shell of the egg, which cannot withstand the 2,000 lbs/sq.in
force of impact. So it breaks and the energy containing mass inside it, that is required to
breach the brick wall, is allowed to spread over a wider area, thus increasing the
amount of force needed to break through the wider area of spread. So, the egg merely goes
sploosh against the wall and nary a breach is made.
This is what I suspect would have happened with the aluminum "putty" plane "shell".
It would deform and disintegrate upon impact, allowing it's energy containing mass
to escape and spread the force of impact over a wider area, thus increasing the amount
of force, needed to break the steel columns.
Of course my figures are not precisely correct, but I'm convinced my analogy will stand up
to professional scrutiny, as should my conclusions come very close to what the science
I'll be very interested in seeing what the professionals come up with, most especially since,
I find it increasingly difficult to believe that the aluminum plane skin between the boxed
columns, could sustain the amount of force coming behind it, to transfer that force to the
columns, without separating itself, in the 33" spans between the columns. Sort of like
expecting a boiled egg, to withstand the force of the wires of an egg slicer.