reply to post by Thermo Klein
Thermocline (see, I saw your avatar, and figured out your clever name) the wingspans are the same, within inches (the addition of the winglets, by a
later STC, increases the span slightly, but is irrelevant since AA77 did not have winglets, and the STC did not yet exist anyway in 2001...)
Point is, I LIVE here, drove past the Pentagon numerous times, in the immediate aftermath (even from I-395 the west portion is visible, if you crane
your neck). The size and extent of the damage NEVER looked wrong to me --- it is only these many years hence, when people post photos such as the one
you are using, and try to convince you of something that they really don't represent as truth.
There are ample OTHER photos, unadulterated and not so misleading, if you care to search for them.
Keep in mind, also, that merely looking at the total wingspan doesn't tell the entire story, IE, the portions of the wings that extend beyond where
the engines are mounted aren't nearly as strong, or as heavily constructed, as the inner portions...BECAUSE of the engine and landing gear mounting,
and the strength needed in the center wingbox where it attaches to the fuselage.
The majority of the strength of the construction of the wing is, also, designed for "up/down" loads....it is NOT designed, nor does it encounter in
normal flight, very strong horizontal load forces (except, of course, those from the force of the air, in as I said, normal flight regimes. Actaully,
not very strong forces, compared with impacting a building such as the Pentagon facade at over 480 knots...).