CLEARANCE: Top Secret
- Sep 27, 2006
- Reaction score
Found this piece about podded engines on airliners
There was a series of articles on this subject in Flight in the mid-40s in which all the pros and cons were discussed. I find it odd that just about all British designers chose to go down the embedded engine route, very little dissent of note. Whether this was customer favour or just following the trend is not clear to me....... Was this because we did not have the technology to mount podded engines on swept wings like Boeing, Convair and Douglas? (Boeing also seem to be able to routinely offer wider fuselages)
On 2 September 2006, an RAF Nimrod crashed in Afghanistan. It was providing electronic over-watch to Coalition troops. The official explanation was that it developed a fuel leak after air-to-air refueling. Most likely the leak started at an over-flow valve. Leaked fuel drained into the lower, starboard fuselage, then into the starboard wing root where it saturated some insulation near hot air ducts. Eventually it got so hot that it burst into flames. The pilot immediately dived from 23,000 to 3,000' and turned towards Kandahar Airfield. A Harrier followed him down and watched a wing explode, soon followed by a second explosion. Fourteen crew members died when it crashed 25 miles west-northwest of Kandahar Airfield.
That was the official story, but I long suspected that the fire started in some experimental avionics (e.g. L3 electro-optical turret) only recently installed, specifically to track Taliban fighters on the ground.
I doubt if engine configuration made much difference in this crash.