Want to buy a slightly (ab)used airliner?

Looks like Aberdeen Proving Grounds is disposing of a large airliner.  You didn’t know they had one?  Think again.

The Army notes that the aircraft was used for “Government testing” and as the result of the testing, it “is not a functional plane”. They’re not kidding.

The A300 … was most likely used in “least-risk bomb location” (LRBL) testing which is used to determine where onboard an aircraft a crew would want to place an explosive if found.

By FAA regulations finalized in 2008, commercial aircraft holding more than 60 passengers or weighing more than 100,000 lb. must have a designated LRBL, a location “where a bomb or other explosive device could be placed to best protect flight-critical structures or systems from damage in case of detonation”.

There’s more at the link.

Well, considering the many other uses to which older (even very dilapidated) aircraft have been put, I guess someone might find a use for this old bird too – or parts of it, at least!  (Follow those four links for some fun photographs.)



  1. The crew may suddenly discover a bomb on the plane and since nobody thought of a way to eject it out of the cabin since the days of old Dan Cooper, they want to find the place of least damage. In the old days, if you were william shatner, you could just open the emergency door and shoot at monsters on the wing, or toss bombs out on unsuspecting people on the ground.

  2. Frank, it is very difficult to eject anything from a modern airliner in flight. In order to open an emergency exit the plane would have to descend to 10,000ft or so and equalize pressure. I'm using 10,000ft as the maximum height because at any higher altitude with the plane unpressurized people will start to die from hypoxia. That would allow the exit to be opened and hopefully the bomb to be ejected. It might be impossible to replace the emergency exit in its hole with a 4-500mph slipstream, in which case the airplane would have to go to the nearest airport at 10,000ft. . Due to the much greater fuel burn at 10,000ft if you are in the middle of an ocean you may not have enough fuel to make landfall.


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