‘Doomsday Plane’ designed to survive nuclear war downed by one bird
BY MEAGHAN WRAY
The Navy’s “Doomsday Plane” meant to survive a nuclear attack was taken down by just a single bird earlier this month.
The E-6B Mercury suffered millions of dollars of damage after a bird was sucked into one of the aircraft’s four engines while doing a “touch and go” manoeuvre, Military.com reports.
The plane was attempting to land and immediately take off again from Patuxent River Naval Air station in Maryland on Oct. 2.
Tim Boulay, a spokesperson for the Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division, confirmed the damages to the publication, adding that the aircraft landed safely after the bird strike around 3:12 p.m.
Though no injuries were reported, the plane required significant repairs.
“The engine has been replaced and the aircraft has been returned to service,” Boulay said. The engine replacement, according to Military.com, would cost at least US$2 million.
When asked what kind of bird was involved, Boulay told the Navy Times: “We don’t know for sure.” He also said the incident is still under investigation.