Re: Plane crashes and other accidents

Tony B. Csoka (
Fri, 17 Apr 1998 20:31:10 -0700

Greg Burch wrote:

> I spend a LOT of time on airplanes and have thought about this quite a bit and
> have to agree with Hal -- individual parachutes seems a completely unworkable
> solution. Almost every idea I've ever considered to make large commercial
> airliners more safe has always ended up making the plane too heavy to fly, or
> at least fly profitably.
> Two ideas contiue to intrigue me, though. One is a detachable passenger
> compartment that has SOME sort of deployable aero-drag device or combination
> of devices. The other is an internal fire-retardant foaming system that
> activates in anomolous situations (read crashes). Even if done with the
> lightest, cleverest materials and designs, both would add significantly to the
> weight and therefore operating cost of the planes and both would also have
> safety COSTS, since accidental deployment of either system would tend to ruin
> your whole day . . .

Yes, I agree that parachutes are impractical in most scenarios. I just
find it hard to forget the fact that 150+ people had 1/2 hr. to bail
out in the crash I saw on TV. I mean, the plane hit the ground at 200+
mph !! I like your idea of a foaming system.

Michael lorrey wrote:

> f) building into passenger seats some sort of automatically deploying
> environment suit, possibly with attenuation capability, which will protect
> the passenger against smoke, ignition of vaporized fuel, and minor high
> speed airborn objects.
Yes, this sounds good too, as did your other suggestions.

Extrapolating here, I think in the (distant ?) future, when we have
mature nanotech', it will be possible to design full body armour for
people that will protect them from otherwise fatal accidents. But maybe
by that time posthumans won't be inhabiting "flesh" bodies anyway! And
then there's uploading...

Thank you everybody else for your suggestions