A giant nylon safety net to catch a hurtling B 52 bomber was demonstrated at Edwards Airforce Base in California this month.
Aerial view net stretched across runway
LV B 52 bomber
MV flashing light
LV B 52 travelling down runway
Travelling shot of B 52 approaching net
TV B 52 crashing into barrier
CU hydraulic device in action
TV slow motion, B 52 into barrier
TV B 52 after going into barrier
MV B 52 stationary with net draped over wings.
CU nets (2 shots)
LV stationary aircraft
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Background: A giant nylon safety net to catch a hurtling B 52 bomber was demonstrated at Edwards Airforce Base in California this month. The net is designed to bring aircraft the size of Boeing 707s or DC 8s to a stop during emergency take-offs or landings.
Similar nets have been installed at two airports in France and England where the Concorde supersonic transport is being test flown.
Although nets have been used for some time to save smaller aircraft, this crash barrier is the first capable of stopping the biggest aircraft being flown today.
The barrier is constructed of a webbing of individual nylon nets -- each one inch wide (2.5 cms) and an eight of an inch thick (0.3 cms). Each strap is capable of withstanding 6,000 pounds weight.
Installed closed to the runway, the barrier can be raised to 36 feet (12 metres) in second by the pilot, the control tower officer, or by electronic sensors that can determine whether a plane is in trouble.
The net runs 1,200 feet (400 metres) while a rotary hydraulic energy absorber called "the water twister" provides the braking action.