Saturday's attack is the biggest on Saudi oil infrastructure since Saddam Hussein's invasion of Kuwait in 1990.Energyread more
"Blaming Iran won't end disaster. Accepting our April '15 proposal to end war & begin talks may," Zarif said on Twitter.Energyread more
Oil prices are expected to jump as much as $10 per barrel after a coordinated drone strike hit Saudi Arabia's largest oil field, forcing the kingdom to cut its oil output in...Marketsread more
Apple's new iPhones can still send texts, download apps, and make video calls, but the company spends a lot of time and effort marketing its new phones as powerful photography...Technologyread more
Some U.S. manufacturers say tariffs, if targeted, will help address longstanding unfair trade practices like intellectual property theft.Traderead more
The trucking industry is worth hundreds of billions of dollars per year. Uber is going after this market with Uber Freight, an online platform that matches truckers with...Technologyread more
Supporters of a $15 minimum wage ballot initiative in Florida argue the state's inflation-tied pay hikes have not gone far enough.2020 Electionsread more
Saudi Arabia shut down half its oil production Saturday after drone strikes hit the world's largest oil processing facility in an attack claimed by Yemen's Houthi rebels.Politicsread more
Trusii's hydrogen water machines were supposed to help users with their health problems, but customers claim the company is involved in a giant scam.Technologyread more
The decoupling of the world's two weightiest economies seems as inescapable as its extent and global impact remains incalculable.Politicsread more
BlackBerry has reinvented itself to become a leader in securing mobile communications and in embedded communications. Next year it plans to roll out new products. CEO John...Evolveread more
As you make your way home from a turkey-filled weekend, spare a thought for some late birds that didn't even make it to the table: the fowl that jet-engine makers shoot into airplane engines to ensure your flight is a safe one.
Long before your airplane's engines are installed, manufacturers, such as General Electric and United Technologies unit Pratt & Whitney, shoot dozens of bird carcasses into jet engines from giant air guns to test the machinery's ability to safely ingest such animals without disrupting the takeoff and climb.
The tests, mandated by the Federal Aviation Administration and other aviation safety agencies, are crucial to ensuring safe flying for passengers, as birds flock near airports and pose a threat to planes.
In what is perhaps the most famous case, on Jan. 15, 2009, the twin engines of a U.S. Airways Airbus A320 lost thrust after colliding with a flock of Canada geese moments after taking off from New York's LaGuardia Airport. Capt. Chesley "Sully" Sullenberger safely landed the plane in what became known as the "Miracle on the Hudson" as all 155 people on board survived.
Because engines are often tested on the ground, and not while flying, engine makers need to simulate the speed with which an aircraft would slam into birds during takeoff and its climb. That's where pneumatic barrels come in. Using pressurized air, the bird carcass is shot at engines at speeds of around 250 to 350 feet per second, according to GE. (A military engine test required speeds of 750 feet per second.)
Pratt & Whitney uses pheasants from farms, a spokeswoman said. They are frozen for shipping and then thawed before testing.
The barrel at GE's engine-testing center in Ohio is 50 feet long. GE said it has tested engines for a variety of bird sizes, including a Canada goose. Four to six birds are used for a medium-bird test, for those weighing 2.5 pounds. GE purchases the frozen carcasses of birds including geese, ducks and gulls through federal programs because they are often protected species.
These birds may have been roadkill, or kills taken from poachers when no longer needed as evidence, or those trapped by government agencies because they had become aggressive and dangerous in public areas, the company said. GE does not use live birds in its testing it said.
"The feathers stay" on the bird when they are shot into the engine, said a GE spokesman.
The FAA logged 166,276 wildlife strikes with civil aircraft between 1990 and 2015, nearly 97 percent of them from birds. Damage to aircraft occurred in just under 9 percent of the cases.
They can be costly. In that period, wildlife strikes cost $731 million in damages and lost revenue over that time period, according to the FAA.
The bird strike tests are just one of several brutal trials engine manufacturers use.
Engineers simulate heavy hailstorms, ice and other extreme conditions and record how engines perform. In blade-off testing, they test the movement of a rapidly-turning fan blade. Such a projectile could be catastrophic if it tore through the fuselage.