Re: DC 10-ski topples on to its rear when unloaded!

From:         kls@ohare.Chicago.COM (Karl Swartz)
Organization: Chicago Software Works
Date:         08 Feb 94 02:15:57 PST
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In article <airliners.1994.914@orchard.Chicago.COM> D.M.Procida wrote:>sci.aeronautics.airliners. s.a.a is a very polite group, so remember your
>manners, and change the followup line when things start to get silly.

I'm glad you think we're polite!  Polite or not, please, everyone,
note that followups have been directed to alt.folklore.urban.  If you
really intent a reply to go to s.a.a, please edit accordingly.

>The Russians 'copied' the DC-10 as soon as they could.

(I can feel the flamefest brewing already! 8-) )

>That is, they immediately built an aeroplane with three engines- one
>on the tail- of approximately the same size and capabilities.

Other than the DC-10, and its close cousins the KC-10 and MD-11, the
only example I've seen of a jetliner with an odd number of engines
that has a straight duct for the center engine (instead of an S-duct
like a 727, L-1011, or Tu-154) is an early sketch of the Trident.

Moreover, while the Soviets had built some very large airplanes, the
Il-86 was their first widebody jetliner, of very roughly comparable
size and capability as the DC-10, but with four engines because their
engine technology was comparatively lacking.  All of their tri-jets
were a lot smaller than the DC-10.

>The story of the tipping aeroplane rings a distant bell, but still
>sounds perfectly implausible.

It's not at all implausible; I have photographic evidence that a DC-10
itself can tip if you misload it.  (FedEx did this at LAX a couple of
years ago.)

True to a lot of folklore, there's probably some basis for the Russian
tipping plane as well -- the Il-62 has a small strut and wheel at the
rear that's used to keep the plane from tipping while it's parked.
This isn't a design flaw but rather an artifact of the inherent weight
imbalance of the Il-62's four aft-mounted engines.  The 727 suffers
the same problem, except the clever folks in Seattle disguised the
prop as the aft stairs, which you always (or almost always) see down
while the plane is at the gate.  (The DC-9, VC-10, and Trident may
also do the same, I'm not sure offhand.)

There's more on this in the context of the Il-62 and VC-10 in the
sci.aeronautics.airliners archives, on your choice of or

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