Friday, April 30, 2021

This Might Be a True Story


Chicken Gun

Scientists at Rolls Royce built a gun specifically to launch dead chickens at the windshields of airliners and military jets all travelling at maximum velocity. The idea was to simulate the frequent incidents of collisions with airborne fowl to test the strength of the windshields.
American engineers heard about the gun and were eager to test it on the windshields of their new high speed trains. Arrangements were made, and a gun was sent to the American engineers.

When the gun was fired, the engineers stood shocked as the chicken hurled out of the barrel, crashed into the shatterproof shield, smashed it to smithereens, blasted through the control console, snapped the engineer's back-rest in two and embedded itself in the back wall of the cabin like an arrow shot from a bow..
The horrified engineers sent Rolls Royce the disastrous results of the experiment, along with the designs of the windshield and begged the British scientists for suggestions.
Rolls Royce responded with a one-line memo:
Defrost the chicken..


  1. I have heard this before, only it was Boeing testing plane windshields.

    1. Whoever it was, it is still funny.

    2. Engines...

      I used to work for a printing company in Hartford and we printed manuals that had survival specs for jet engines based on bird size.

      One pamphlet had a note about a 30# vulture that a Pratt & Whitney(?) ingested once in India. Now that's a big bird!

  2. The basis of this is true even if this actual event is an urban legend. I've seen videos of chickens being shot into jet engines, at aeroplane windscreens and a real life bird strike which featured an F4 pilot (as I recall) who suffered very serious injuries (a lost arm among other things) when his jet hit a largeish bird at highish speed. I recall an F16 being one that was novel as it has no separate screen - the deformation without breaking was amazing.