Saturday, May 30, 2009

A Conspiracy Theorist Debunks

Why is it that conspiracy theorists only manage to use facts, logic and the scientific method when addressing their even kookier no-plane brethren. One of them actually does a pretty good job addressing the no-planers claim (UFO cultist John Lear specifically) that the planes which crashed into the twin towers could not have attained the speeds they did, by testing it in a simulator, and finds that it is actually quite easy.

The aircraft continued to increase speed until it reached .86 Mach (654mph), which is its rated airframe Mach speed limit. This makes complete sense, as the manufacturer does not want you to exceed this but wants you to have the maximum thrust available in case of emergency. At this air speed I was surprised at how easy it was to maintain my attitude once the aircraft was trimmed.

Originally thinking I was going to have to do a dive to attain the speeds of AA11 and UA175 due to the engines possibly struggling to make enough thrust, I thought it would be good to see what speed we could achieve in a shallow dive. We took the aircraft to 10,000ft and I commenced a 5 degree dive to 2,000ft and found that the aircraft attained and maintained a speed of .89 Mach (approaching 700mph) and was reasonably easy to control for a non-pilot. We did these tests a couple more times to be sure and then at about 3:45am I left the simulator.

For more entertainment value, check out Uncle Fetzer's response to this in the comments.