mens timberland boots on sale Accidents that changed aviation
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How do you know an airplane was properly designed for a safe flight? How good are the designers and manufacturers? These are some of the questions regulators must ask every time a new airplane is built. How do they know what questions to ask? What are the standards?
The safety and reliability of today modern airplanes has come from decades of improvements and some tragic accidents. One of the early ones was in March 1931, when a TWA F 10 crash killed one of the most well known football coaches in America, Knute Rockne of Notre Dame. The Fokker F 10 tri motor was flying from Kansas City to Wichita when the wooden wing spar failed due to moisture. Department of Commerce (predecessor of the Federal Aviation Administration) grounded all F 10s until safety inspections proved the airplanes were safe for flight.
After this accident, airplanes would have metal spars never again would an airliner lose a wing due to wood rot. Designs improved and the first modern airliner, the Boeing 247, began to fly passengers. However, it was the DC 3 that became the icon of American aviation in the 1930s.
The certification of the DC 3 required many new safety standards. Should an engine fail, the airplane must be able to climb, fly and land safely. Fire extinguishing systems and modernized navigations systems were included. These were new, but as World War II approached these additions were critical to the improving safety of aviation.
During the war years, the need for range, payload and speed brought new designs and new certification standards. Pressurized cabins, engine fire extinguishers and weather radar became a part of airline operations. Each of these improvements had to meet growing standards by expanded testing.
In the early 1950s, the jet age arrived in the United Kingdom. The De Havilland Comet flew higher, faster and smoother than any other airliner. Sadly, the airplane had a fatal design flaw causing the fuselage to rip open in flight. They were grounded while investigators determined the cause. Once the problem, primarily metal fatigue, was understood, every future airliner would be safer due to upgraded certification standards.
Today, airplanes such as the Boeing 787 and Airbus A350 are no longer built of metal. Lighter and stronger composite material is the primary component. Again, testing and standards had to be modified and improved. Years of testing and proving the design are now the norm before a passenger walks down the aisle and settles into a seat for a flight. The evolving standards for the issuance of an airworthiness certificate have helped the number of design related problems or threats drop to near zero.
On rare occasions a problem still occurs, such as the battery issues in the early Boeing 787s. The FAA grounded the airplane for testing before anyone was injured or an accident occurred. Improvements proved to the FAA the airplane was safe, and it returned to service, now flying thousands of flights daily.
Today, airliners fly more than 40 million flights transporting 4 billion passengers each year to their destinations safely. The designs continue to improve and the certification standards evolve, making aviation safer than ever.