The ‘Coffin Corner’ and a ‘Mesoscale’ Maw
By Miles O’Brien, Jun. 8 2009 – 10:05 am
The Air France 447 mystery may never be solved beyond a shadow of doubt, but there are some telling, tragic clues to consider based on what we know about the airplane systems and the extreme weather and aerodynamic conditions it encountered before it went down a week ago.
First, a bit of aerodynamics: The doomed Airbus A-330-200 was flying ever so close to its maximum altitude – in a zone pilots call the “Coffin Corner”. It refers to the edge of so-called “flight envelope” of an aircraft. At this altitude, the air is much thinner and that significantly narrows the swath of speed at which the airplane can safely operate. Continue reading at LINK.
aura writes; Miles O’Brien, CNN’s former sceince reporter, has written a series of excellent journalist blogs analyzing the aeronautic and weather conditions that led to the horrific, terrifying and massively brutal break up of Air France flight 447. Miles in the best in the business when it comes to gathering and analyzing all the factors involved in crashes of airliners and in covering NASA and space travel in general. He left CNN when they axed their science operation (sadly for them). I would strongly suggest you subscribe to Miles O’Brien’s blog, or check in to mysticalmaven regularly to get the latest information that Miles posts on this cruelest of airline crashes. I will link to anything Miles writes about the doomed flight for the benefit of those thoroughly spooked by the overarching terror the crew and passengers of flight 447 must have endured during their death flight over the dark depths of the Atlantic on that cruelest of nights.