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August 2, 2000

Concorde Crash - Aircrash Press Release 

The July 29/30 issue of the Financial Times carried a story on page 3 which referred to the latest announcement of the French accident investigation board (BEA) . " 'From the latest information available to this body it appears that at least one burst tyre could have set off the chain of events which damaged the structure, caused a fire and the loss of power in the engines.' Earlier the BEA had said debris gathered from the runway revealed that 'one or perhaps two tyres of the four on the main left carriage had burst'."

This is apparently not the first time tires on the Concorde have burst, and we predict it will not be the last. Many aircraft have this problem as we've outlined at Numerous accidents have been directly linked to tire explosions on take-off -- see previous link for a list. Furthermore, in the best cases, tires have merely made foot wide or meter holes in the fuselage of aircraft, in the worst case, the engines or the fuel tanks are hit, and given the proximity of fire and fuel, it is only a matter of seconds before fire dominates.

This horrific loss of human life powers a bright light on why we keep repeating the same thing over and over:

Most accidents are caused by the irresponsible common practice of hanging engines and landing gear onto fuel tank supporting structure in combination with excessively high take-off and landing speeds on overstressed tires. Add a fragile, tubular fuselage and there is a perfect recipe for a fiery disaster.

The gruesome scene of the Concorde crash site is explanation enough -- there's nothing left. Ninety-six metric tons of fuel exploded instantly almost a minute after a take-off roll that took this airplane to speeds in excess of 217 mph / 350 km/h.

Burnelli solved these fundamental problems eight decades ago and built nine planes that were superior to their conventional counterparts, not only in crashworthiness, but also in fuel efficiency and carrying capacity (both in internal volume and payload weight).

In terms of safety, Burnelli Lifting-Body technology eliminates the asymmetrical thrust problems in the event of an engine-out situation, isolates the fuel from the engines and landing-gear, reduces take-off and landing speeds and protects passengers with 65% of its structural weight while the conventional designs place a mere 15% of the structural weight of the aircraft around the passengers.

The cause of the accident is always the question posed after a crash, but wouldn't it be more productive to ask, "how do we keep people from dying in aircraft accidents"? The cause of the crash is one thing, but the cause of the deaths is quite another. In the former, the cause is usually due to bad aircraft design, which imposes egregious burdens on the pilots in emergency situations. In the latter, most fatalities can be attributed to the lack of crashworthiness, again because of flawed basic airframe design.

Visit, tell a friend that a solution exists. While commercial aircraft maybe be called safer than cars - because they don't crash as often - but you have a better chance of surviving a car accident than an airplane accident. Ask your airline why they don't fly safer airplanes with segregated fuel from engines and landing gear, and take-off and land at slower, safer speeds. Tell them about

Our deepest sympathy to the families of the Air France Flight 4590 victims and our thanks to all who support our efforts in trying to prevent more of this unconscionable perpetuation of obsolete "killer" technology. There is a proven safer alternative.

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