Aberdeen Test Center and DHS
Explosion Test of B-777
Protocols and Experiment
The United States Army Aberdeen Test Center in conjunction with the Department of Homeland Security Aircraft Vulnerability and Mitigation office (EXD) plan to conduct a test exploding a Boeing 777. Below are excerpts from articles about the program. They are copied verbatim; so aviation safety professionals can learn about this exercise which may have application beyond the DHS mission.
A $1,467,500 US Army contract was awarded on Thursday to (acquire and) deliver the plane to the Aberdeen Proving Ground in Maryland in November ($80,000 of this contract is actually for 4 Boeing 747 cargo sections).
The Aberdeen Test Center needs the plane, so they can blow it up.
ATC intends to use the aircraft solely for destructive testing purposes and agrees that it will not allow the aircraft, nor any of its component parts, to be used on any other aircraft by any party.
The 20-year-old aircraft has nearly 35,000 flight hours logged and has been in storage for nearly a year. So, if you’re going to blow up a plane, I suppose it might as well be this one. Although the big winner, Clear Sky Aviation, noted in their proposal that “they were in the process of acquiring other 777s that might have had even higher flight hours” and they wanted the option to substitute a different aircraft.
Once they’ve flown the plane to Maryland they’ll remove the engines, APUs, and several other components. The government doesn’t need those, and Clear Sky will sell those separately.
There’s speculation the government wants the plane as part of work to determine where a flight crew can toss a bomb if they found one inflight — figuring out where it would do the least amount of damage.
Here’s the plane flying last year, just before being parked. It’s final flight is expected to be coming in five months. And then it’ll be blown up.
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