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Hauksbee

Expolsions upon impact...

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When I see film footage of planes being shot down, they nearly always explode in a fireball upon impact. Admittedly, this has always been WWII footage. But when flying OFF & ROF, it is, by far, the exception rather than the rule. Why is that?

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Well, there isn't that much in these buckets worth igniting. It can happen, but in general it's just like dropping a large wooden object from 1,000 feet. The thing just shatters instead of exploding.

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Only a guess but the advance in fuel technology between wars could have produced a more easily combustible fuel plus there was more metal to provide the spark upon impact in WWII aircraft.

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Remember the rules of Hollywood....

 

1) All films have a happy ending

2) All cars in accidents burst into flames (even if they go over a cliff into the sea)

 

I suppose rule 2 applies to aircraft as well

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Google 'WW1 plane crash' and view results under 'images'. Some are minor landing accidents or crash landings but others...

 

I recall a pic in one of the Pen & Sword 'Airfield & Airmen' series that showed a Camel that appeared to have gone in vertically, into a field with some mud on the surface. It was just shattered, with the wings completely compressed right up to the leading edges where they hit. Just two lines of compressed wood & fabric sitting on the mud, with some crushed debris where the fuselage had hit, in the middle.

 

Equally there are shots of planes which crashed and DID burn. A burst fuel tank spreading liquid and aerosol fuel over hot engine components...

 

At the other extreme, isn't RoF notorious for a violent impact leaving a slightly-bent lawn dart?

 

PS there's a lot more here if you've the stomach for it:

 

http://www.earlyaeroplanes.com/archive5.htm

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