Some excerpts from the NY Times, 2/23/02:
"... new calculations showing that the passenger jet that hit the south tower had been flying as fast as 586 miles an hour, about 100 miles an hour faster than the other hijacked plane."
"The speed of the two planes at impact has been painstakingly estimated using a mix of video, radar and even the recorded sounds of the planes passing overhead."
"... In fact, the United plane was moving so fast that it was at risk of breaking up in midair as it made a final turn toward the south tower, traveling at a speed far exceeding the 767-200 design limit for that altitude, a Boeing official said."
"'These guys exceeded even the emergency dive speed,' said Liz Verdier, a Boeing spokeswoman. 'It's off the chart.'"
"... The M.I.T. analysis, by Eduardo Kausel, a professor of civil and environmental engineering, found that the United plane was traveling an estimated 537 m.p.h., while the American plane, the first to hit, was traveling 429 m.p.h."
"The Federal Bureau of Investigation said the government's analysis put the speeds at 586 m.p.h. for the United flight and 494 m.p.h. for the American one."
"... Flying a Boeing 767 straight ahead at 1,000 to 1,500 feet would not be too difficult, even at more than 580 m.p.h., and it would most likely not threaten the structural integrity of the plane, a half a dozen pilots and a Boeing spokeswoman said."
"But accurately turning the plane at that speed and maintaining the proper pitch, or up and down movement, is difficult, the pilots said, particularly for a novice pilot, and turning at that speed would have put excessive stress on the plane."
"I tell you this, no eternal reward will forgive us now for wasting the dawn." Jim Morrison