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...and turn the plane around and head back towards the D.C. area and try to crash into the Pentagon any place you wish. You can hit it from the side, from the top, or where ever. It doesn’t matter where you hit it as long as some part of the plane touches the building, even if it’s just the tip of the wing.
A 757 has a cruising speed of 550mph. It should have been able to go much faster than cruising speed before things started breaking off. These planes can dive, pull out and do a barrel roll without coming apart. One reply to this idea has been that the 550mph speed is only at "altitude". Flying that fast at low altitude would have doomed the structure of the aircraft.
In fact, all three other WTC jets were reported to have been flying around 500mph when they crashed. The Pentagon jet was 50 feet off the ground and clipping trees. They didn't fall apart.
It's difficult to imagine what could have been done from the cockpit to overstress a 757 at 500 mph. The consensus from the 757 pilots that have emailed is that it would be possible to overstress this aircraft, but they are really not sure what it would take to do that. It is not built into the simulators. One believed the debris may well look as it does in this case, but he always thought a shoot down debris field would look similar.
Jet engine mounts ARE designed to break away before the wing does. There are instances of engines falling off when struck by large blocks of ice formed by lavatory plumbing leaks. I have yet to read of a large passenger jet engine falling off due to overstress. Flight 427 spun in due to a stuck full rudder and didn't lose an engine. It's hard to imagine a more violent entry than that. Alaska Air 261 dove and rolled inverted, flew inverted for quite a ways as pilots tried to unstick a jammed down elevator. Engines stayed on just fine.
He recalled the case of a China Air 747 that tumbled out of control over the Pacific in 1985. The pilots were able to recover by subjecting the jumbo jet to upward of four times the force of gravity.
Passenger jets, by definition, must be designed with a fairly high structural tolerance in comparison to other aircraft due to their precious cargo. We can anticipate they might fly through thunderstorms, lightning, high wind conditions, unexpectedly turbulent air with heavy loads. Flight 93 had 38 passengers. 1/4 full... so theoretically should have been able to handle more than a fully loaded aircraft.
Originally posted by Vinci
I agree a plane could of easily hit the pentagon, just not like...5 feet off the ground, and going fast as it was, and the way it hit the pentagon.
Originally posted by Killtown
You know I'm not even sure about that. Imagine yourself in the cockpit and looking out the windows. Can you really get a good angle looking down? Unless you had some coordinates plugged in to give you some navigation, hitting a particular spot on the ground is like standing across the street and trying to hit the bullseye on a dart board with a dart.