Dear Daily Mail

No, no, thrice no.

Some planes are merely stored at the base between deployments, but for more than 80 per cent of the 4200 aircraft that call it home, it is a cemetery of steel – 350,000 items to be called on when needed.

Yes, it\’s a very nice photo from Google of the aeroplane graveyard.

The desert is a perfect place to store the mass of steel, because low humidity and rainfall means very little rust occurs.

No, it ain\’t steel. \’Coz you don\’t build planes out of steel, see? They would fly like bricks.

You build \’em out of aluminium…which doesn\’t rust.

10 thoughts on “Dear Daily Mail”

  1. Well if we’re going to talk about LVT, can I be the first to suggest that Richie is probably a WGCE?

  2. Trouble is, most journalists are so pig-ignorant about anything science or engineering related, KT, that if you said that to them they’d just look blank and cock their head at you like were trying to explain the Chern-Simons 5-form to a golden retriever.

  3. “most journalists are so pig-ignorant about anything science or engineering related..”: of course. But it also implies that the dimwit has never noticed that every plane he’s ever seen, even in our climate, is remarkably free of rust.

  4. The TSR-2 was built of (stainless)steel…and various modern war planes are built of funny metals/materials. Air displacement works as well for steel as any other material, It’s just that the lighter the craft the less air has to be displaced so, lower power engines, lower fuel costs shorter runways…

  5. So Much For Subtlety

    Nick Luke, air is displaced? By what? A hot air balloon? A Zeppelin?

    Are you sure the TSR-2 was built of steel? About 80 percent of the Mig-25 was supposed to be stainless steel, and certainly Soviet engines used a lot more than Western ones for a long time. But no one used steel if they can get aluminium alloys instead.

  6. Internal components do employ some steel, and the environmental conditions do ensure that *they* don’t rust. There are also fewer living things to come and colonise the aircraft. BTW, the B52s illustrated have not been cut up “for scrap”, but disabled as part of disarmament agreements.

  7. I can think of one plane made from stainless steel – the XB-70 (the Valkyrie). A seriously sexy aircraft.
    To be fair, though, the only remaining Valkyrie is at the USAF Museum at Wright-Patterson in Ohio (where, I might say, they really clutter up the hangar so you can’t get a decent look at it)

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