I flew into NY/JFK on Monday so I’m glad me and my family wasn’t on that plane.
With all of our knowledge of sending men to the moon, 850+ billion & TARF money to bail out the economy, then lose it to a giant Madoff ponzi sceme, from a crony that paid for a seat as a senator that can make it all possible, we can’t figure out how to make a bird proof plane engine! Do we have any mech. engineers in the house? You can’t place a stronge grill or something to prevent birds from entering the engine?
And why not equipe our planes with more blow-up life boats already incase of frigid weather where you can’t float on top of your seat?
Most engines are designed to swallow a bird and survive or at least be able to be shut down safely.
The planes can also safely land with 1 of the 2 engines out (remember a planes minimum speed and its crusing speed have different power requirements), but when you have something like a plane hitting a flock of geese, then it gets ugly.
It’s generally not an issue up until yesterday. If he was such a good pilot he would’ve avoided the birds in the first place.
Oh yeah, and if you want to see birds getting launched into jet engines (morbidly awesome) check youtube for bird strike videos.
Maybe it’s not the engines that need the protection, but the space around the aircraft, like a deterrent device using sound, microwaves, etc.
Some airports hire bird handlers that use hawks and falcons to scare off wandering flocks.
When engines are designed they do lots of impact testing that focuses on bird damage, like throwing frozen turkeys though a mounted engine, so they are rated to sustain a certain amount of damage. In order for what happened yesterday those engines must have sucked up quite a few birds, guess we’ll find out.
FYI a bird strike != a bird in the engine of a commercial jet.
Realize that many of those accidents happen on smaller planes, or effect the plane in structural areas like windshields.
You can’t just expect to put up a net over the engine and have it solve the problem. Imagine you build a sweet metal cage around your engine duct…now a bird hits it at 200 mph, shatters the metal, and launches shrapnel into your engine duct.
Not to mention you’d have to have every single different engine type on every single aircraft in the world be replaced or retrofitted for a problem that really isn’t that big of a problem.
Trying to bird proof an airplane engine is like trying to deer proof an automobile.
wow finaly somebody with a bit of smarts, the rest did give me a laugh during my morning coffee. The aircraft engine market is multi billion, employing ten’s of thousands of the worlds best engineers, I think they are pretty up on the subject. I loved the comment on “a better pilot would avoid the birds” shows the typical thought process of too many designers, witch is none. Real aircraft are not some scifi video game 200 g platform, think first, type second.
From you, I’ll take that as a compliment…and the avoiding the birds comment was a joke.
I went to school with a bunch of aero engineers and sit down the hall from one of the ME’s of the F14. We all love to hope that one day we’ll live in a world where planes won’t crash, people won’t get sick, carbon fiber costs as much as plastic, etc…but in the mean time we’ve got bigger fish to fry.
The reason they don’t put grates on the front of engines is that even a very sparse grate would reduce the airflow by maybe as much as 10%. Given that birds take down commercial aircraft at a rate of about 1 every 4 decades, it’s cheaper not to worry about it. Birds crack windshields all the time, but that is not typically very serious. At the most it depressurizes the cabin and they have to divert. If this plane had ingested a bird in one engine, it would have turned around and landed, and not warranted any national news coverage at all. This was a one in a few hundred million event.
As others have noted, they launch thawed (not frozen- that would be like throwing a cinder block in there) poultry into engines on test beds, which covers about 90% of all likely bird ingestion scenarios. This aircraft reportedly flew through a large gaggle of geese. What the hell can you do about that? And why should you when it almost never happens? You simply can’t plan for everything.
OK flounder and C.demon,
I guess I should have been more clear in the beginning. I wasn’t talking about a metal net or even a net at all. I would laugh at anyone who would write that. An “X” shaped thick bar perhaps designed in a way where it can’t or resist to bend the other way like a one across the side of a car.
So $600 million a year isn’t that much for a troubled industry? USAir alone is a 843 million dollar company. The largest is Delta which is a 3 billion dollar company. Small planes or not, money adds up. If it is possible to better protect an aircraft engine then I hope we develop it so it won’t turn into a Detroit big 3 situation in the airline industry. That’s all I’m saying.
I’d rather fly slower in a plane then gargle Hudson river water.
have the airports hire about 50 jobless auto workers, give them 12 gauge shotguns loaded with birdshot and tell them they get to eat what they kill…hey it makes more sense than some of the ones presented here.
I guess I’m making a stink about because I just flew in on Monday in NY and my wife is flying to LA in a couple weeks. I had to leave from work early yesturday to avoid any delays on NJ transit while hearing sirens while walking to Penn station. So I’m a little antsy about it. But atleast they can put more boats on the plane!
Boats? Hell, most planes don’t even have life vests. You’re expected to use the seat cushion as a flotation device.
If it makes you feel any better, up until yesterday, there had never been a successful water landing of a commercial aircraft. And I don’t think this guy was necessarily expecting to succeed either. He could have diverted to Teterboro (and most pilots probably would have), but I think he chose not to because he was afraid of coming up short and wiping out a big swath of populated NJ.
Large aircraft are certified to be able to keep flying after impacting a 4-pound bird, however 36 species of birds in North America weigh more than this, according to the committee. Even smaller birds, such as starlings, can cause engine failure.
The greater the difference in the speed of the plane and the bird, the greater the force of the impact on the aircraft. The weight of the bird is also a factor, but the speed difference is a much bigger factor. …see a bunch of blue collar types with shot guns…problem solved