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Old 19th July 2019
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Naughty Nigel Naughty Nigel is offline
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Re: “I‘m a lucky Barsteward”

Originally Posted by Walti View Post
If I have understood it correctly the higher altitude and possibly higher speed created greater pressure and temperature differentials between in flight and on ground than previously experience with a civil aircraft, and the square windows set up a weak point at their corner which developed stress fractures in the surrounding fuselage and ultimate failure of the surrounding structure. Changing to oval windows did away with the weak point for the stress fractures to start from. No idea whether the size of the windows was contributory as well.
It was the higher altitude (ergo lower atmospheric pressure and temperatures) that created additional stresses not previously experienced and not calculated for that resulted in catastrophic failure of the air frames.

A sample aircraft was apparently tested to destruction by filling it with water and pressurising the cabin until it failed. This hydraulic test test revealed the window weaknesses.

Britain led the world in aircraft design and production at the time, but it seems our openness in telling the world about the causes of the air frame failures allowed competitors including Boeing to take advantage of what we had learned the hard way.

Naughty Nigel

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