I received this from a friend via email, apparently this is a true story
Scientists at Rolls Royce built a gun specifically to launch dead chickens at the windshields of airliners and military jets, all travelling at maximum velocity. The idea was to simulate the frequent incidents of collisions with airborne fowl to test the strength of the windshields.
American engineers heard about the gun and were eager to test it on the windshields of their new high-speed trains. Arrangements were made and a gun was sent to the American engineers. When the gun was fired, the engineers watched in shock as the chicken hurled out of the barrel, crashed into the shatterproof shield, smashed it to smithereens, blasted through the control console, snapped the engineer’s back-rest in two and embedded itself in the back wall of the cabin. The horrified engineers sent Rolls Royce the film of the disastrous results of the experiment, along with the designs of the windshield and begged the British scientists for suggestions.
You’re going to love this……
Rolls Royce responded with a one-line memo :
“Defrost the chicken.”
Researching the story here is what I found: Via The Engineer According to them it was UK engineers testing them on UK trains:
It is one of industry’s enduring urban myths: UK engineers firing dead chickens at the windscreen of a new high-speed train were tersely advised to ‘defrost the chicken’ when their tests saw the feathered projectile crash through the window, smash up the driver’s seat and become embedded in the wall of the cabin.
More on this myth from MythBusters:
So I have seen the chicken gun episode, and the Myth is partly right, but partly wrong. My dad has been a engineer working on government projects for years and would tell me the story of the “chicken gun incident”. It goes almost the same but a BIG difference, they would fire chickens at planes, but the Myth is specifically about shooting chickens into the plane ENGINES, not the windshield, and low and behold, one day the guy in charge of the chickens did not thaw them out and shot a frozen chicken into a plane engine. Normally a chicken in a engine is OK, thats what they were testing, to make sure the engine could survive a bird strike, but when the chicken is a solid piece of ice it does very bad things to the engine. I hope that this Myth gets a revisit because on the first one it was busted, but was done incorrectly as it was not a windshield but an engine, and I know it would be confirmed on a engine. I know this could be a costly and dangerous myth to test, but with the possibility of a BIG BANG, how can you not!!!
In any event it’s a funny story and useful in a dead conversation. “Hey did you hear the story about the engineer and the frozen chicken?….”