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Old 11th Jun 2009, 23:03
  #1204 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Herts, UK
Posts: 742
No Will...

I have already answered that... the fall does not always remove clothes, certainly not at free-fall 170 mph. Which is why I used the term 'surprisingly'

Originally Posted by The Tale of the Comet - Derek Dempster
But why had the bodies been found in such different states of undress? To find out the experts dreamt up a test as elaborate and detailed in its way as the experiments on the Comet (airframe) itself.

With plastic & sorbo-rubber they made eight life-like dummies whose limbs moved as freely as any human's and dressed them like ordinary aircraft passengers in underwear, shirts, two- and three piece suits or sports jackets and trousers cut from cloth varying from tweeds to worsteds and even ties and socks to match. But the attention to detail did not end there: they went so far as to inject some of their own travelling habits into the experiments, like undoing the bottom waistcoat buttons on some of the dummies, giving one a fawn woolen cardigan, another a sleeveless grey pullover, and so on. And then, just to add that extra touch of realism, they undid the clasp and top two buttons of the eight dummy's trousers like a man who likes to loosen his belly for travelling.

The plan was to drop the dummies from aircraft flying at different altitudes to see what effect the fall and impact with the ground to see what the fall and impact with the ground would have on their clothes. the first one was pushed out at 10,000 ft and only lost a shoe - on impact!
The second went out at 12,000 ft, lost ashoe on the descent and another when he hit the ground. But his clothes stayed on.
The third, fourth and fifth dummies were dropped into ten feet of water off Pendine Sands in wales. they were left to float, however, until the ebbing tide left them high and dry. Not one lost his clothes in the 12000 ft drop, but when they were picked up some time later all showed signs of losing them - the third in moderation, the fourth and fifth without question. For some unaccountable reason, number five's cardigan & trousers were torn to shreds, although his sports jacket, found well of the shoulders and half-way down the body, was hardly damaged.

The last three dummies - six, seven and eight - were packed into the bomb compartment of a high-flying bomber and dropped over land from 30,000 ft, the height at which both Comets were believed to have come to grief. All were badly damaged by the impact with the ground, but though they dropped a distance of nearly 6 miles and reached a speed of 170 mph, none lost his clothes; and unbelievable though it may seem, none of the garments was spoiled.

From these observations, Farnborough naturally concluded that th Comet victims had not been unclothed by the fall, but that lapping waves of the Mediterranean had undressed them. Slowly, the pieces of the complex Comet jig-saw puzzzle were beginning to fit into place
Admiited, people dress differently and lighter today, but then the bodies inthis case were in the sea longer than the Comet disasters, and a much rougher sea too!
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