The Empire State Building
On the foggy morning of Saturday, July 28, 1945, Lt. Colonel William Smith was piloting a U.S. Army B-25 bomber through New York City. He was on his way to Newark Airport to pick up his commanding officer, but for some reason he showed up over LaGuardia Airport and asked for a weather report. Because of the poor visibility, the LaGuardia tower wanted to him to land, but Smith requested and received permission from the military to continue on to Newark. The last transmission from the LaGuardia tower to the plane was a foreboding warning: "From where I'm sitting, I can't see the top of the Empire State Building."1
Confronted with dense fog, Smith dropped the bomber low to regain visibility, where he found himself in the middle of Manhattan, surrounded by skyscrapers. At first, the bomber was headed directly for the New York Central Building but at the last minute, Smith was able to bank west and miss it. Unfortunately, this put him in line for another skyscraper. Smith managed to miss several skyscrapers until he was headed for the Empire State Building. At the last minute, Smith tried to get the bomber to climb and twist away, but it was too late.
At 9:49 a.m., the ten-ton, B-25 bomber smashed into the north side of the Empire State Building. The majority of the plane hit the 79th floor, creating a hole in the building eighteen feet wide and twenty feet high. The plane's high-octane fuel exploded, hurtling flames down the side of the building and inside through hallways and stairwells all the way down to the 75th floor.
World War II had caused many to shift to a six-day work week; thus there were many people at work in the Empire State Building that Saturday. The plane crashed into the offices of the War Relief Services of the National Catholic Welfare Conference. Catherine O'Connor described the crash:
The plane exploded within the building. There were five or six seconds - I was tottering on my feet trying to keep my balance - and three-quarters of the office was instantaneously consumed in this sheet of flame. One man was standing inside the flame. I could see him. It was a co-worker, Joe Fountain. His whole body was on fire. I kept calling to him, "Come on, Joe; come on, Joe." He walked out of it.2
Joe Fountain died several days later. Eleven of the office workers were burned to death, some still sitting at their desks, others while trying to run from the flames.
One of the engines and part of the landing gear hurtled across the 79th floor, through wall partitions and two fire walls, and out the south wall's windows to fall onto a twelve-story building across 33rd Street. The other engine flew into an elevator shaft and landed on an elevator car. The car began to plummet, slowed somewhat by emergency safety devices. Miraculously, when help arrived at the remains of the elevator car in the basement, the two women inside the car were still alive.
Some debris from the crash fell to the streets below, sending pedestrians scurrying for cover, but most fell onto the buildings setbacks at the fifth floor. Still, a bulk of the wreckage remained stuck in the side of the building. After the flames were extinguished and the remains of the victims removed, the rest of the wreckage was removed through the building.
The plane crash killed 14 people (11 office workers and the three crewmen) plus injured 26 others. Though the integrity of the Empire State Building was not affected, the cost of the damage done by the crash was $1 million.
1. Jonathan Goldman, The Empire State Building Book (New York: St. Martin's Press, 1980) 64.
2. Goldman, Book 66.
Goldman, Jonathan. The Empire State Building Book. New York: St. Martin's Press, 1980.
Tauranac, John. The Empire State Building: The Making of a Landmark. New York: Scribner, 1995.
"In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist." -Dwight D. Eisenhower
"We can't be so fixated on our desire to preserve the rights of ordinary Americans..." Bill Clinton (USA Today, 11 March 1993, page 2A)
"Imagine a world in which one could jump through Grand Central Teleport in New York City, travel through a vortal tunnel in the time-space continuum, and emerge several seconds later at Union Teleport in Los Angeles. Such a world has been possible since 1968, when teleportation was first achieved by DARPA's Project Pegasus. When my quest, Project Pegasus, succeeds, such a world will emerge, and human beings linked globally via teleportation will proclaim the Time-Space Age has begun."
would this be the right place to post that ^
if not please direct me to the right place thanks!
Last edited by fusew3rks; 09-12-2008 at 11:28 AM.
This could be an interesting discussion. Don't forget to include (1) differences in construction between the ESB and the WTC, (2) differences in mass between a B-25 and (3) the quantity and type of fuel onboard each plane.
There is an excellent comparison between the impacts on one of the aeriospace sites on the web.
The twin towers of the World Trade Center, by comparison, were struck by Boeing 767 airliners traveling over twice as fast and weighing nearly 15 times as much as a B-25. The energy of impact. for the two planes ranged from 2 billion ft-lb (2.6 billion Joules) to 3 billion ft-lb (4.1 billion Joules), some 60 to 100 times greater than that absorbed by the Empire State Building. This estimate is also conservative since it does not account for the energy released by the exploding jet fuel, which greatly exceeded the energy released by the much smaller B-25 fuel supply as well. The greater kinetic energy allowed the 767 aircraft to penetrate much further into the twin towers than the B-25 was able to do at the Empire State Building. Most of the B-25 impact was absorbed by the building's exterior wall leaving very little to damage the interior structure. The 767 impacts, however, not only produced gaping holes in the WTC exterior but also destroyed much of the structural core at the center of each tower.
Reading further, differences in the fuel loads between the B25 and the 767 are discussed:
Even so, the impact alone does not fully explain what doomed the World Trade Center towers. A fatal contributing factor was the fires ignited by the exploding fuel tanks. A 767 has a maximum fuel capacity 35 times greater than that of a B-25D. The aircraft that struck the Empire State Building was nearly out of fuel when it crashed while each 767 still carried approximately half of its maximum fuel load at impact. The Empire State Building fire exhausted its supply of fuel rapidly while that at the World Trade Center ignited the office contents across several floors and burned much longer. The type of fuel carried may also be a significant factor. The B-25 burned avgas, a high-octane version of gasoline still used aboard piston engine aircraft today. The 767 instead uses Jet-A, a derivative of kerosene that fuels all commercial jetliners. Jet fuel tends to reach higher temperatures than gasoline causing the fires in the WTC to burn more intensely than that in the Empire State Building.
Finally the damage from the impact is discussed:
Furthermore, the Empire State Building is a reinforced masonry structure in which the structural steel beams are encased within limestone walls or slabs of concrete 8 inches (20 cm) thick. This heavy mass provides exceptional fire protection that insulates the steel within from excessive heating. Many modern skyscrapers like the WTC towers have eliminated this extensive use of stone and concrete to reduce cost. The World Trade Center instead relied on lightweight spay-on coatings for insulation. This insulation was simply blown off the WTC structure by the 767 collisions exposing the steel beams and floor trusses to the raging fire.
The Empire State Building is also a heavily compartmented structure. Each floor is self contained with its own independent heating and cooling ducts, elevator and utility shafts are surrounded by thick masonry walls, fire partitions separate each floor and rooms within each floor, and the fireproof stairway prevents smoke from rising to upper stories. These features make it very difficult for fire to spread beyond a limited area. The World Trade Center instead offered vast open floor spaces that appealed to tenants but allowed fires to spread far more easily. Moreover, the fire suppression system in both towers lacked redundancy and the 767 collisions cut off the water supply to the sprinklers. For these reasons, the Empire State Building is still considered one of the world's safest skyscrapers in a fire.
Interesting in that the crash of the B-25 can be used to explain the impact damage of the 757 which struck the pentagon:
The Empire State Building crash of 1945 also offers insights into the Pentagon attack on September 11. Both buildings are reinforced masonry structures built using similar methods and materials, although the Pentagon has been considerably upgraded to survive impact damage. One topic often used to promote conspiracy theories is the size of the hole in the exterior wall of the Pentagon created by the Boeing 757 that struck it. The 757 has a wingspan of almost 125 ft (38 m), yet most conspiracy sites suggest the impact hole is only 15 to 65 ft (4.5 to 20 m) wide. The same can be said of the Empire State Building where a plane with a wingspan greater than 67 ft (20.5 m) created a hole no more than 20 ft (6 m) across.
Both aircraft caused damage consistent with the size of the plane and the structural materials used in the facade. Most of the mass of a plane is contained within the fuselage, inner wing structure, and engine nacelles. These portions of the aircraft have the greatest power to penetrate a wall upon impact, and the sizes of the impact holes at both the Empire State Building and the Pentagon are consistent with the dimensions of the fuselage and nacelles of the B-25 and 757, respectively. The outer wings and tail surfaces are much lighter structures consisting mostly of a thin skin enclosing empty space. Upon colliding a thick wall composed of a dense material like stone or concrete, these light aerodynamic structures simply disintegrate. The impact often produces surface gouging and perhaps small, localized holes, but the lighter aircraft structures generally cannot penetrate a reinforced masonry wall. Close examination of both buildings shows gouges extending outward from the central impact hole as would be expected from the collision of wings.
Last edited by JonsZX2SR; 09-12-2008 at 01:08 PM.
Wouldnt the top half be top heavy and just break off? Why would that have anything to do with the whole tower collapsing on it's self? I know the impact was tremendous and was built to withstand an accidental plane crash and strong winds. i also think the building was made to sway alittle because of the wind too.
Last edited by fusew3rks; 09-13-2008 at 03:44 AM.
The top half, in particular the overloaded floors did break off, just not the way you think they should have. What happened was the hottest floors collapsed on top of each other inside the tower until falling debris caused the walls to explode outwards. If you watch the videos carefully you see this is what happened.
The towers were designed to withstand wind loads and airplane impacts. For the top to just break off the way you expect would mean the building was designed improperly.
The problem with these discussions is that while references can be provided to provide all the correct engineering information (The same is true for financial, historical, religious, etc. debates.) people who don't want to believe explanations provided by those experienced in the field.
They have their own pet theories which are not based on solid information and keep asking quations, keep telling everyone else they are wrong and accuse the experts of being part of a coverup. Conspiracy theories are based on distorted or misleading misinformation and an unwilling to accept detailed analyses.
I provide more than a few reference links in this and other discussions. I suggest you read them in detail and if you don't understand them do some research on your own.
Each of the WTC towers survived an impact of a 757 jetliner which was far more catastrophic than the B-25 impact on the ESB. Each tower stood for more than a half an hour after impact and fire which burned at over 1200F.
Steel loses most of it's stiffness and strength when heated to 800-900F, retaining only 10-20% of these properties. Once the steel was heated to these temperatures, the load on the structure caused the hottest floors to collapse on the ones below them.
The floors and not the outer structire were subjected to the highest temperatures. This is the reason the floors collapsed first.
When 4 or 5 floors had collapsed, the next floor was so overloaded it failed causing a domino like effect. After 20 or so floors collapsed the volume and mass of falling derbris was enough to push the support columns outward resulting in the building collapse. This continued on the way down destroying the towers.
Unlike the ESB, the WTC was built to provide the maximum useable volume with the minimum building mass achievable at the time it was designed. (The ESB is a very overdesigned building which would have better survived impact. The outer stone facing would have prevented some of the fuel in the wing tanks from entering the building.)
When the Shanghai World Financial Center was under construction the design of the floor supports, the insulation around the steel and protection around the stairwells were redesigned using lessons learned from the WTC collapse.
When the WTC was built the idea that someone would crash a plane fully loaded with fuel to deliberately destroy the builing was not considered. Tall buildings designed after 2001 are more difficult (but not impossible) to bring down.
Last edited by JonsZX2SR; 09-13-2008 at 06:50 AM.
Here's another question i have. Why did the second wtc tower, that was hit second collapse first and not the first wtc that was hit first? both same planes, fuel etc...Having the second tower burning for a shorter amount of time(53 min) than that of the first tower(90 mins) roughly. Alittle wierd, i think and no i am not trying to find excuse's to differ but legitimate question's.
(I could be wrong, I'm sure if I am, Jon will correct me. But that's what makes sense to me)
Last edited by SoCalZX2; 09-14-2008 at 05:18 PM.
People should not be afraid of their governments. Governments should be afraid of their people.
The greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn't exist.
You are correct about the plane striking the tower at a lower level. Combine this with the 2nd plane going in at an angle causing a more asymmentric structural loading, possibly putting more fuel into the core resulted in the 2nd tower overloading sooner.
Regardless, the towers were easily destroyed by the plane crashes and no kind of explosive would have been necessary.
Did anyone read the link I posted that compared the B-25 impact of the ESB to the 727 impacting the Pentagon ??
I posted a link about the cell phone calls from Flight 77. Does anyone want to discuss possible anaomalies.
Last edited by JonsZX2SR; 09-14-2008 at 05:29 PM.
This what i got from UNDERWRITERS LABORATORIES
"We know that the steel components were certified to ASTM E119. The time temperature curve for this standard require the samples to be exposed to temperatures around 2000F for several hours. And as we all agree , the steel applied met those specifications." -Kevin Ryan Underwitters Laboratories
"Additionally, I think we can all agree that even fireproof steel will not melt until reaching red-hot temperature of nearly 3000F. Why Dr. Brown would imply that 2000F would melt the high grade steel used in these buildings makes no sense at all." -Kevin Ryan Underwritters Laboratories
Last edited by fusew3rks; 09-14-2008 at 06:52 PM.
You're still not grasping the fact that we're not saying the steel hit a melting point before it failed....
You put 100's of tons of weight on top of steel beams that are being heated with consistent temps of 1200deg + and see if it fails before melting point. As for the pools of liquid steel they found, the cement would act as an insulator in the piles of rubble heating the steel even further (and quite possibly to melting point)
Why bother asking questions if you're not going to be open minded enough to read the answers given without bias towards what you want to believe?
"This story just does not add up. If steel from those buildings did soften or melt, I'm sure we can all agree that this was certainly not do to jet fuel fires of any kind, let alone the breifly burning fires in those towers." Kevin Ryan, Underwritters Laboratories
There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)