This Is What Happens When a F-4 Phantom Jet Crash at 500 mp/h!

Sandia National Laboratories: An F4 Phantom aircraft impact test was used to impact at high velocity an essentially rigid, reinforced concrete target. The aircraft was accelerated on a 600m (2000ft) long two-rail rocket sled until a constant velocity of 215 m/sec (480mph) was reached.

The velocity of the aircraft immediately before impact was measured by a break-rod system on the railway track and an image-motion camera. A two-stage rocket system ensured steady acceleration to prevent damage to the aircraft during the propulsion period. The impact orientation of the F4 aircraft was normal to the concrete target.

A fully functional F4 Phantom aircraft was used in the impact test. Gears and flaps at the main wings were partly removed and replaced by a carriage structure and sleds. The carriage structure and sleds guided the aircraft during the propulsion process and prevented the aircraft from lift-off. Ten accelerometers were placed along the fuselage and two at the aft flanges of the engines. 

The F4 Phantom aircraft used in the experiment weighed 19t (42kips) including 14.2t (31kips) solid and 4.8t (11kips) fluid weights. Eight mass groups are identified; five of them (fuselage, engine, main wing, fuel and rocket sleds) contribute 94% of the total weight.

The target structure consisted of a reinforced concrete block measuring 7m (23ft) square and having a thickness of 3.66m (12ft). Air bearings were installed in the platform beneath the target to ensure that the target was able to float on a thin layer of air. The thin layer of air created by inflating the air bearings enabled the concrete block to move freely during impact. A force of approximately 0.8t (1.8kips) or 0.2% of the target weight was able to move the reinforced concrete block.

The concrete block weighed about 470t 42 (1000kips) which was approximately 25 times the weight of the impacting F4 Phantom aircraft. Four displacement and velocity gages and four accelerometers were installed at the rear side of the concrete block about 0.5m (1.6ft) away from the block edges. A fifth accelerometer was placed at the center on the rear side of the target.