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Airplane safety-turning mechanism

"A machine/computer on a tall building that will turn airplanes to its landing destination in a set range."
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When i was thinking about 9/11 and how much a plane can have an effect on a building... I thought of putting something like a transmitter or an antenna on 'Target' Buildings or area's, (Now when i say target i mean like the big buildings/area's like chicago's Sears Tower or the New York's Empire state building and even some historical sites) in which if the plane gets suspiciously too close to the target it is automatically turned or steered to towards the direction of the airport in which it is preparing to land on... This will reduce the chance of something such as 9/11 to happen by a great amount...
Sammeh, Aug 19 2005

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       //automatically turned towards the direction of the airport in which it is preparing to land on// I'm imagining an airliner "bouncing" from building to building around Manhatten, until it eventually runs out of fuel and crashes.
coprocephalous, Aug 19 2005
  

       Sorry, i meant like a skyscraper, not on each little building...
Sammeh, Aug 19 2005
  

       Oh, sorry, in that case I'm imagining an airliner "bouncing" from skyscraper to skyscraper around Manhatten, until it eventually runs out of fuel and crashes.
coprocephalous, Aug 19 2005
  

       your being mean, they are high up in the sky... besides its not as if some dumb pilot would go through DOWNTOWN where all the freaking SKYSCRAPERS are BUNCHED TOGETHER its just as if a terrorist SOME HOW got to the cockpit and planned flying the plane towards the most crowded and busiest part of the city. SO in that case the plane would turn AWAY from that area in a set range!
Sammeh, Aug 19 2005
  

       I misunderstood. I'll try again.
I'm imagining a _hijacked_ airliner "bouncing" from skyscraper to.. yadda yadda, you've heard the rest.
coprocephalous, Aug 19 2005
  

       Give the kid a break, welcome to the HB Sammeh.
skinflaps, Aug 19 2005
  

       Oh, yeah, sorry, Welcome to the HB. Forgot my manners for a moment there.
coprocephalous, Aug 19 2005
  

       Welcome [Sammeh]. Nice idea but there are some problems:
1)How does the plane determine where the airport is?
2)What's to stop a hijacker from spoofing either the implied airport signal or a skyscraper "bounce beacon"?
DocBrown, Aug 19 2005
  

       nicely put [doc], those were my questions exactly. This idea has some merit. It is truely halfbaked, which is what goes on here, and is basically a good idea. Something that will overrun the manual controlof an airplane if it is headed at a dangerous target and set it onto autopilot towards the airport. Maybe a seperate autopilot that you need a special code for. It could work. With some tweaks here and there. (But unfortunately, making this to stop things like 9/11 from happening is sadly overdreamt. The pilots on that occasion worked for the airline. They were trained and hired pilots, which meant that they had been planning it for a long time, and took the time to learn to fly, and get a job, and a schedule near there, etc. So that would assume that if this was in effect they would be trained on how to deal with it, and would then know how to get around it as well.)
babyhawk, Aug 19 2005
  

       Wow, a force field. Interesting. I can see how a proximity signal receive by a modern flight director could do this. Perhaps a more universally acceptable deflection is to have the aircraft gain altitude rather than turn.   

       Today's nav systems have every airport in the world, including approach plates, etc., all stored.
bristolz, Aug 19 2005
  

       I like this. You don't need to build it into the buildings, just into the airplane. Should be easy with fly-by-wire designs. Also possible in any design that has a navigational system and an autopilot.
Worldgineer, Aug 19 2005
  

       Ah, but having an external, absolute, signal is safer.
bristolz, Aug 19 2005
  

       [+] I like this one. It's not foolproof, but it would make it harder.   

       I think the crafty buggers would just install one of these "don't fly into me" beacons on an AIRPORT.<cringe>
sophocles, Aug 19 2005
  

       But that's counter to the spirit of invention.
bristolz, Aug 20 2005
  

       During 911 the hijackers were able to confuse the air traffic controllers because they turned off the transponders which would have identified the planes. Certainly the same could be done with a mechanism that redirects the plane away from a building.
Jscotty, Aug 20 2005
  

       Unless you don't provide such a switch, knowing there would never be a reason to turn it off.
Worldgineer, Aug 20 2005
  

       There would have to be a way to shut it off externally. Imagine a plane that is already crashing, trying to fly past or over a skyscraper to ditch into the water instead of Manhattan. All of a sudden the plane starts to steer back towards the general populace.   

       It could be a dual control thing, like two keys to launch a missle. The aircraft controller and pilot would have to be on the same page to turn it off.
Giblet, Aug 20 2005
  

       As a pilot, this is just a HORRIBLE idea. Let me just start with one thought... An aircraft's stall speed increases as the square root of 1 over cosine theta where theta is the angle of bank. If an aircraft is having trouble, gets slow, then is suddenly and without warning turned, a stall could ensue resulting in a stall spin accident more devastating than the original problem it's intended to avoid. This is only one of many troubles I see here.   

       Flying, turning fishbones for this one.
zigness, Aug 20 2005
  

       I think you're being a little harsh, [zigness]. Presumably autopilots are clever enough to avoid trying to do handbrake turns in mid air, aren't they? And if not, why hasn't anyone told me before now?
moomintroll, Aug 21 2005
  

       Of course they are. As a pilot, I think [zigness] simply resents (understandably)the idea that a machine is capable of performing such a task that requires fairly extensive training.
Laimak, Aug 21 2005
  

       [Laimak], I'm not resenting anything... I'm just reminded of the software bug that brought down an airbus a few years ago in France.
zigness, Aug 21 2005
  
      
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