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falstaff
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Airport '77; Is That Even Possible?

Mon Sep 04, 2006 10:13 am

I was just watching Airport '77 for the first time today and was wondering if that could even happen. Could a 747, or any plane, sink when it wasn't filled up with water. I am no expert but wouldn't the pressure keep water out and if it were leaking water wouldn't the pressurized air leak out casing water to rush in and it would sink. Also could the Navy lift such a plane to the surface using the method shown in the film. I really like Airport and Airport 1975 is neat, but far fetched. Airport '77 really takes the cake for cheesy disaster films.
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UAL747
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RE: Airport '77; Is That Even Possible?

Mon Sep 04, 2006 10:19 am

Nope, planes aren't air tight.

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DL787932ER
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RE: Airport '77; Is That Even Possible?

Mon Sep 04, 2006 10:20 am

If you thought that was bad, check out Airport '79: The Concorde, where Joe Patroni gets promoted from maintenance technician to Concorde captain!  rotfl 

To answer your question: you're right. A jet isn't watertight, and it would start flooding and sinking immediately. I suppose the movie kinda, sorta tried to get around that problem by having the jet be a custom private 747 with all sorts of amenities (check out that PTV!  biggrin  ), so you could reasonably think the eccentric "inventor" also decided to make his airplane submersible.
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Siren
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RE: Airport '77; Is That Even Possible?

Mon Sep 04, 2006 10:50 am

Interesting note about the movie is the fact that AA made one of their 747s available for shooting. They were really desperate to dump them in the late 70s, weren't they?

Jack Lemmon really gives a performance. And that piano player and the girl flirting... aww... how 70s.

The movie showed a total disregard for everything - if it held air, why did it sink? The fuel tanks obviously didn't rupture either, so there would be some bouyancy from the fuel, right? If the plane is air tight and didn't rupture, and the wings didn't snap off... then the plane ought to be fully floating, at least until they crack open the doors, inflate the life rafts, and get everybody off. That's how it works in concept...

Hackery!

The only half decent Airport movie was Airport!
 
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falstaff
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RE: Airport '77; Is That Even Possible?

Mon Sep 04, 2006 12:14 pm

Quoting DL787932ER (Reply 2):
If you thought that was bad, check out Airport '79: The Concorde, where Joe Patroni gets promoted from maintenance technician to Concorde captain!

I am going to watch that one tomorrow. I bought the "Terminal Pack". Four films for $14, not too bad of a deal. Joe Patroni, what a man: 707 technician to Concorde captian in nine years!

Quoting Siren (Reply 3):
The only half decent Airport movie was Airport!

I do like that movie. I didn't think Airport 1975 was all that bad, in comparison to Airport '77. Airport is the best of the bunch. George Kennedy is one of my favorite actors. I like George Kennedy and Charlton Heston in Earthquake. Speaking of BS; in Earthquake Heston has a K-5 Blazer with a "custom transmission" with three reverse gears. On a K-5 blazer that would be highly unlikely. I guess if you had the bucks, machine shop, and engineering talent you could do anything.

I thought the best part of the film was when the 747 clipped the oil rig.

The entire Airport series just goes to show that it is difficult to improve on the original. I believe that movie was nominated for best picture. If that is the case would that not be the only G rated picture to be nominated for such an award. I think today it would not get a G rating. Probably PG. Sequals are never as good as the original. With one notable exception. Godfather II also won best picture.

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Quoting Siren (Reply 3):
The movie showed a total disregard for everything

I agree. How exactly is "sleeping gas" supposed to leave the AC system. The bad guy uses a standard looking Robinair lowside A/C guage (looks like my set of manifold guages) when he puts the gas into the system. Even if you charged the AC system with some sort of gas it wouldn't affect people unless there was a gross leak in the system.
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spacecadet
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RE: Airport '77; Is That Even Possible?

Mon Sep 04, 2006 12:38 pm

Quoting Siren (Reply 3):
The movie showed a total disregard for everything - if it held air, why did it sink?

You know, they do have these things called "submarines"  Wink

But yeah, an airplane wouldn't sink that way and remain water-tight. But there's nothing about the *physics* of it that's impossible. Lots of things sink even though they hold air. I could make a big ball out of concrete with a little 2" air pocket in the middle and throw it in the water and it'll sink pretty quick.

Quoting DL787932ER (Reply 2):
A jet isn't watertight, and it would start flooding and sinking immediately.

This isn't true either. I don't know if it's the case in *all* airliners (I would think it is, though), but I know some jets (the MD-11, for example) have a "ditching" mode that does seal up the fuselage. There probably wouldn't have been a single button that you'd press for that on a 747 classic as there is on the MD-11, but I'm sure there's a procedure where it could be done. Of course, that's assuming a competent pilot at the controls, which was not the case in Airport '77.

But even if the jet wasn't sealed, it wouldn't start sinking *immediately* provided it held together. It's even an FAA regulation - airplanes must remain afloat at least long enough to properly evacuate all passengers, taking probable damage into account. That means a basically undamaged airplane (not very likely, I know) would probably stay up a lot longer. Though it'd definitely start taking on water basically immediately. It takes a while to fill up that volume, though, unless there's a big hole in the fuselage.

btw, I'm not arguing that Airport '77 was realistic. I'm just saying there's nothing about it that *couldn't* be possible given various hypothetical situations (admittedly including a complete redesign of the aircraft).
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falstaff
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RE: Airport '77; Is That Even Possible?

Mon Sep 04, 2006 12:55 pm

Quoting Spacecadet (Reply 5):
I could make a big ball out of concrete with a little 2" air pocket in the middle and throw it in the water and it'll sink pretty quick.

I read somewhere that during WWI some concrete barges were built in Detroit. I may have read it in an issue of "know your Ships". They actually floated. Has anyone else ever heard of that?
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malexander131
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RE: Airport '77; Is That Even Possible?

Mon Sep 04, 2006 12:59 pm

Quoting Falstaff (Reply 6):

I read somewhere that during WWI some concrete barges were built in Detroit.

There was an experiment with a Concrete Ship done during WWII I believe by either the Navy or Coast Guard in Cape May, NJ. The half sunk remenants are still there.
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RE: Airport '77; Is That Even Possible?

Mon Sep 04, 2006 1:05 pm

Airplane2 was better than all of them.

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Quoting Falstaff (Reply 4):
If that is the case would that not be the only G rated picture to be nominated for such an award. I think today it would not get a G rating.

Check out the wiki on the ratings system and how it has evolved. No, it's not the only G rated film to be nominated, as G was not the same thing then as it is now. Also, yes it would get a PG today, though they would have to pump up the plot more and likely bring it to PG13 that way.

Fiddler on the Roof was G. Hello Dolly, Babe, The Sound of Music, My Fair Lady, more (though a few were re-rated G after initially rated under the old system as Approved).
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74472
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RE: Airport '77; Is That Even Possible?

Mon Sep 04, 2006 11:54 pm

The best part about Airport'75 was the footage of the 747 flying low over the mountains. Oh and an outrageously camp Gloria Swanson !
 
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falstaff
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RE: Airport '77; Is That Even Possible?

Tue Sep 05, 2006 12:29 am

Quoting 74472 (Reply 9):
Oh and an outrageously camp Gloria Swanson !

You have also love those hideous seats, especially in 1st class.
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