Re: Airliner Windows

Date:         08 Sep 97 02:03:45 
From:         Marc Schaeffer <>
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jf mezei wrote:

> TLC (The Learning Channel TV in the USA) had a programme about airliner
> crashes last week. They talked about the COMET plane in the UK back in
> the 50s which suffered structural failures at altitude due to pressure
> differentials.

Looks like that even the Learning Channel can still learn :-)

The Comet 1 crashes you relate to (especially YP) occured because of
metal fatigue which started at the rear A.D.F aerial hatches which was
located in the upper part of the fuselage. The fatigue started at the
corner of this window. As a consequence the center fuselage splitted
along the top center line. The pressure differential you relate to was
therefore pretty obvious ...

> One of the comments made was that the structure was weaker due to the
> large picture windows of the COMET. Not sure how true this is, but it is
> a beleivable argument.

The coating of the fuselage was too thin as the DH engineers
underestimated the forces at high speed and altitude.

Marc Schaeffer, Luxembourg //
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