Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Plane Proof Buildings

a building desing capable of sustaining high impact blows.
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The basics would be to use more flexible, more fire proof materials like the shit they use on the space shuttles to keep it from burning up when entering the earths atmosphere. The use of metals would be kept to a minimum seeing that they are weakened by heat. Concrete however does not have this problem to the same degree. Sprinkler systems must be changed to rather use a fire retardent substance in all situatios, water will only spread a petrol/benzien/oil/jetfuel fire. Of course to make a building plane proof would require the minimal use of windows which won't go down well with suicidal chartered accountants.

The other solution will be to change the planes so that they automatically refuse to fly into something that they can detect out front. This would be alot simpler. hang on this is a knew idea...

thinck, Sep 13 2001

Why they fell down http://news.bbc.co....1540000/1540044.stm
[hippo, Sep 13 2001, last modified Oct 04 2004]

Another similar idea http://www.halfbake...ationary_20Elevator
Don't move the elevator, move the building! [Canuck, Sep 13 2001, last modified Oct 04 2004]

Rubber band powered plane http://www.lubbocko...s/080397/rubber.htm
No news on if it ever flew? [pottedstu, Sep 13 2001, last modified Oct 04 2004]

Nuclear-powered plane http://www.sciam.co...sue/1097rennie.html
And other transport ideas that never took off. [pottedstu, Sep 13 2001, last modified Oct 04 2004]


       Self explanatory means self explanatory. there is no explanation as to how a building of any description other than one bunkered deep underground could possibly be plane proof. Please explain.
thumbwax, Sep 13 2001

       Magic, of course. Not only that, but costless magic.   

       Don't fault the engineers. They made a perfectly reasonable cost-benefit analysis (which unfortunately broke down due to a low-probability high-stress incident). Perhaps in a few thousand years one of the descendents of the Halfbakery will call for "meteor proof buildings"; does that mean we should increase the cost of our buildings by an order of magnitude?
bookworm, Sep 13 2001

       Maybe buildings should be able to dodge planes.
Aristotle, Sep 13 2001

       Does anybody here watch the "Rocko's Modern Life" cartoon? Where they take the Conglom-o building for a drive... Priceless.
sdm, Sep 13 2001

       Make them out of rubber so planes bounce back off.....
Susen, Sep 13 2001

       ...and hit the one next door?
lewisgirl, Sep 13 2001

       ...and bounce off that one and fall to the rubber pavement where they bounce up and down a couple of times like silly putty and then come to rest quietly on the ground. Of course, all the passengers would be OK b/c the plane would be made of rubber too and the inside would be completely padded and.......
Susen, Sep 13 2001

       Give them sails and cannons, a la Monty Python's pirate insurance company building at the start of Meaning of Life.
Guy Fox, Sep 13 2001

       ...instead of cannons...anti-aircraft guns....
Susen, Sep 13 2001

       Perhaps this wondrous building should have a giant sign that reads:

thumbwax, Sep 13 2001

       And the building next door would have a huge sign with "(sp.)" on it.

See link for explanation of why they fell down. It had more to do with fire temperatures (fuelled by airline fuel) reaching 800C and melting the steel core of the building rather than the impact.
hippo, Sep 13 2001

       Yes, that was a known characteristic - the concrete withstood temperatures up to what was actually 900 C (methinks) before the steel cores melted and dropped an estimated 2,000 + tons of above ground building structure alone (not including weight of furniture and humanity). The engineers have gone on record to say the firefighters and police officers should have evacuated the building much sooner - there was so much chaos that measure of safety was tragically overlooked. These two buildings withstood not only impact - but temperature extremes better than buildings constructed before and after that time could have withstood.
thumbwax, Sep 13 2001

       Yepper [hippo]. In fact I heard one interview wherein a structural engineer stated that the WTC was built using techniques no longer applied to new construction. In effect, a newer building would not have held up as long.
phoenix, Sep 13 2001

       or you could have perfectly spherical monocoque titanium buildings with 10ft thick walls - that should about do it
chud, Sep 13 2001

       Susen: AA guns or missiles wouldn't have stopped the planes. Airliners are such great waddling gadgets that even if it had been shot up and everyone on it killed, the inertia alone would have flown it right into the building anyway...
StarChaser, Sep 13 2001

       Too expensive.
gd, Sep 14 2001

       There is the Goalkeeper, an AA device that hangs a wall of steel in the air, built by the Dutch Navy against missile and aircraft impact onto the vessel. But the buildings were ok, they withstood the impact and the explosions. If the planes had't been fully loaded with kerosine, the steel construction wouldn't have weakened by the duration of the blaze. So it's more a question of non-flammable fuel, or less fuel. That implies shorter flights and refuelling mid-air for intercontinental flights.
rjwp, Sep 14 2001

       Here are some of my own 1/2B suggestions:   

       1. Stealth buildings that cannot be seen from aircraft (pretty cool, huh?).   

       2. All aircraft must be built with a huge magnet in the spine with the positive magnetic pole in the front, and all buildings and structures would have a positive charge. That way, if a plane approached a building, the like magnetic poles would repel and actually push the plane away from contact (or else it would spin the plane around for a tail-first collision - oops!)   

       3. Doughnut-shaped buildings (yeah, I know it's full of holes).   

       Yer welcome!
Canuck, Sep 14 2001

       Re: 2.; no credit cards, heart pacemakers, etc, etc, ever to be taken into buildings again. This positive polarity would be a massive strength... and how to balance buildings next door to each other that are repellent?
lewisgirl, Sep 14 2001

       King Kong on each building to swat planes out of sky
thumbwax, Sep 14 2001

       Rjwp: Apparently they deliberately picked those planes for the fuel load, for just such a reason.   

       Using tankers would just give them planes with bigger fuel loads.
StarChaser, Sep 15 2001

       Tankers wouldn't be carrying any passengers, though. And their flight patterns would be much more regular.
wiml, Sep 15 2001

       I'm pretty darn sure the same flights were a 'regular' pattern as well. The catastrophe of the past week wasn't an aim to see how many passengers could be taken out. Otherwise they would have gone straight into the ground. *Hands wiml a cup of strong coffee*
thumbwax, Sep 15 2001

       thumbwax, a tanker doesn't have passengers, which means that the passengers (being nonexistent) can't hijack it. A terrorist would have to subvert or replace the pilot/crew, which would be much harder.   

       As for regularity of flights: a tanker doesn't have to really *go* anywhere: it goes up, refuels a plane or three, comes down, repeat. If it starts wandering off towards a major city you know something's wrong. A passenger liner, by contrast, is *supposed* to go towards major cities (and their airports).
wiml, Sep 16 2001

       The tactical solution to this problem is what the North Vietnamese did during the war when faced with a similar problem (attack from the air); break up all vital factories, offices etc. into lots of small units and spread them out, making them safe from a single, massive attack. Think it's called "disperesement" or something like that in military jargon. Conveniently enough, telecomuting achieves exactly that...
BertieWooster, Sep 16 2001

       I can see clearly now
thumbwax, Sep 16 2001

       lewisgirl: the balancing of the magnetic forces between buildings would be left to the engineers (they know everything, right?) - every building must be spaced equidistant from its adjacent neighbours so they will push against each other equally. I guess that means buildings will have get shorter and shorter as you approach the outside edge of the city so they're not just pushed over. Klunk!   

       Deja Vu! I'm reminded of someone's suggestion (thanks futurebird) hereabouts that elevators stay put and entire buildings move so you can get to your floor......   

       Ow! Now I've been forced to think, and my head hurts.
Canuck, Sep 16 2001

       Barrage balloons - as used in WWII
bertram, Sep 18 2001

       I think this whole affair created some fine T.V (sorry victims) perhaps we should build big tall buildings, leave them empty and create a new sport of flying into builldings, don't think anyone would win more than once, so there's no worries of any one individual dominating the sport for years like Sampras in tennis.
sven3012, Sep 18 2001

       Since fuel seems to weigh in as a negative <<So it's more a question of non-flammable fuel, or less fuel. >>   

       let's ditch the fuel concept. Enter LARGE RUBBER BAND POWERED AIRCRAFT.
bobzaguy, Oct 07 2001

       Uranium's not flammable is it? If you use molten sodium as a coolant that might be a problem, but superheated steam only causes scaldings and might put the fire out once it condenses. (A quick search reveals nuclear powered and rubber-band powered planes have both been attempted.)
pottedstu, Oct 07 2001

       pottedstu, uranium fission-powered planes would be much worse in this kind of disaster and much more obvious targets for terrorists. The building might survive, but the whole area would almost certainly be irradiated after the accident.
cp, Oct 08 2001

       Yeah, and uranium's also highly toxic, and no one's made one of the things light enough to fly, but if we encase all our buildings in 3 feet of lead that should mitigate the worst effects, and keep traffic noise out too. (Actually nuclear-powered planes should be much quieter. I mean how often do you hear nuclear submarines round your way?)
pottedstu, Oct 08 2001

       «how often do you hear nuclear submarines round your way?» Not very often. I don't believe that we have any in Australia.
cp, Oct 08 2001

       I also have not heard/seen too many nuclear subs down my way. Bit difficult when the nearest bit of sea is 100 miles away.
sven3012, Oct 08 2001

       I live 8 miles from a major UK naval base (Rosyth), and I've never heard one either. I think this proves my point. Although rubber band powered planes may be even quieter, apart from the cries of "You could have somebody's eye out with that!"
pottedstu, Oct 08 2001

       I owned a rubber band powered plane when I was little. You had to wind the prop by hand to start it. It would take a big bloke to wind up a prop for a jumbo!
sven3012, Oct 09 2001

       How come *my* idea ("Airplane Direction Blocks") was scorned, while *this* idea wasn't??   

Galileo, Oct 09 2001

       as much as i think aa guns and and antiair missles are a cool concept there are two major flaws- one is that once you shoot a plane down and it blows up it is going to land somewhere in the same densely populated cities. the building owners who use the aa guns would be held liable for damage done due to hooting the planes down versus letting themselves be hit. also, does anyone else see a painfully clear problem here....if someone can hijack an airplane and smack it into a building, who says someone cant hijack a missle or turret defense system and shoot down any nearby planes. there would be more damage because more planes would be falling down on buildings, plus the guns and missles could be possibly aimed toward other buildings and incoming fighter jets much like a sniper can be hard to be taken out by the police because he shoots at the police. also, i don't think the terrorists want to attack in suspected ways. if multiple plans are hijacked and rammed into buildings, sure damage and fear would be extensive but people would to some degree grow somewhat used to it. attacking in different ways every time keeps the population afraid of what is next and keeps people unable to identify specific threats.
junkmail, Dec 21 2002

       actually what would be really really cool would be a system installed in every plane that when armed( either by hand in the cockpit or remotely by air traffic control) would somehow stall the plane into a directly vertical plunge and simultaneously release a huge superstrong parachute, or would fly the plane automatically to the nearest landable area without a way to cancel the system by the hijackers once started. the hijackers would then only be able to kill the passengers (still horrific) but not anyone else.
junkmail, Dec 21 2002

       What if you made entire "Whack-A-Building" cities. Working on the same principle as the Whack-A-Mole game at Chuck E Cheese's, the buildings in this city would pop out of and immediately resubmurge into the ground at irregular intervals. By the time the terrorists fly the plane to their target, it will have already dissappeared into the ground to be replaced by another building across the city. By the time the plane got there, that building would be gone etc. until the plane runs out of fuel. If the terrorists do somehow manage to take out a building, the speed of the city will increase, thereby making subsequent attacks harder.
Jezzie, Apr 09 2003


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