While back Phil made a post about a large remote controlled model airplane and it made me think of something that happen in 1984. Had the crash test been successful it could have saved hundreds or thousands of lives worldwide from airplane crashes. Some of you may have seen the test on TV in 1984. In 1984 my job was in a Styrene Monomer plant. A little about Styrene: It's a colorless, flammable liquid with a very sweet odor and listed as a hazardous chemical. It's used to make rubber, resins, polyesters and numinous polystyrene plastics. Boat manufactures use styrene as a resin. The company I worked for was involved in a joint venture with another company to produce Anti-misting Kerosene (AMK). Basically, turn jet fuel to jelly, this would reduce the fire hazard during a plane crash. Although jet fuel burns reluctantly in liquid form, it's highly flammable as a mist of tiny droplets. Special pumps would break up the jelly like fuel so the misting process could take place inside the planes turbines combustion chambers. NASA, FAA, companies research and development lab test showed that the AMK could be a success. One of the ingredients would be styrene made in our plant. A Vice President (my boss) from the company was invited to attended the test and later returned with hours of video that wasn't shown to the public. The test was shown on TV and maybe some of you remember. To test the flammability of the AMK in a crash situation NASA and FAA set up a crash test. Using a remotely controlled, heavily instrumented, four-engine Boeing 720B, fully load with anti-misting fuel. The test was in California's Mojave desert. The plane contained fire proof cameras, over 50 simulated passengers wired with test instruments. It was piloted by NASA's top pilot. To make sure the wings would be ruptured and fuel spilled, the experimenters positioned eight railroad rails in vertical position, one end buried in concrete. The rails were position along the crash site to rip open the wings fuel tanks. But on impact the pilot didn't set the plane down exactly as planned, the rails struck one engine and it exploded. This caused hundreds of gallons of fuel from the fuel pumps to be sprayed on the hot engine resulting in a major fire. The test was a deemed a failure although some said it was due to the way the test was conducted. The videos plainly shows there was no fire until the engine stuck the steel rail. We were all very disappointed. Especially since in 1984 the plant was losing money and facing a possible shutdown. Back then I thought sure that within a few years someone would come up with Anti-misting kerosene that would work. Maybe someday?? Tail camera video shows when the engine exploded. Other videos of the crash on the right.