Sunday, July 25, 2010

Tell-Tale Tailpipes

It's hard to get a decent high-res picture of the CF-18 crash, but coupled with the witness comments about a pop-pop-pop noise and "sparks" from the engine just prior to the departure, this picture shows something interesting.

Take a look at the engine nozzles. You will note that one engine is streamlined while the other nozzle is closed. That would indicate huge differences in thrust between the two engines and could easily account for the yawing departure seen in the crash video.

Whether the differential was caused by a high-AOA compressor stall, a failure of an engine management control, or a last second attempt by the pilot to control the jet remains to be seen.


juvat said...

I'm just glad that my number of power on landings equals my number of takeoffs (and I'm glad that this guy gets to try to limit his differential to one.)

Randall said...

But would the airflow into the engines have been so disrupted by the time this picture was taken to have reduced the thrust in the left engine enough to cause the uneven opening of the nozzles?