In a recent issue of Meat & Poultry magazine, editors quoted from
''Feathers,'' the publication of the California Poultry Industry
Federation, telling the following story:
It seems the US Federal Aviation Administration has a unique device
for testing the strength of windshields on airplanes. The device is a
gun that launches a dead chicken at a plane's windshield at
approximately the speed the airplane flies. The theory is that if the
windshield can withstand the carcass test impact, it'll survive a real
collision with a bird during flight.
Apparently, the British were very interested in this and wanted to
test a windshield on a brand new, high-speed train they were
developing.. They borrowed the FAA's chicken launcher, loaded a
chicken and fired. The ballistic chicken not only shattered the
windshield, but went through the engineer's seat, broke an instrument
panel, and was imbedded in the back wall of the engine cab. The
British were stunned and asked the FAA to review the test to see if
everything was done correctly.
The FAA reviewed the data thoroughly and had one recommendation: ''Use
a thawed chicken.''