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Chinese passenger jet hits mysterious object at 26,000ftA passenger jet was forced to make an emergency landing after a mysterious mid-air collision with a 'foreign object' at 26,000ft severely dented its nose cone. (www.dailymail.co.uk) More...
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There was a recent failure in a Boeing 787 caused by somebody painting over the vent holes in that troublesome battery box. Your theory has some current plausibility.
The standard atmosphere psi of 14.7lb versus that at cruise level ambient, 3.4psi or some such, would be substantially insufficient to account for radome material deformation in flight.
If the vent holes were covered, presumably it would have been at ground level. The pressure at 26,000 feet would have been lower - unless the holes were covered on top of Mount Everest or K2. So the dome would have exploded, not imploded??
You are assuming the failure would occur on the first ascent after the holes were covered.
I think the theory was that eventually the pressure inside the dome overcame the adhesive of the tape and the sudden de-compression caused the failure. We used good strong masking tape in those days!
......not like the cheap crap they sell today....I tell you what.
I've seen exactly the same damage to the nose dome of a British Caledonian 747 a number of years ago when I was an engineer in the hangar at LGW.
As far as I remember(and it was a good few years ago!), the theory was that it had been caused by a sudden de-compression in the nose dome itself due to the normal vent holes being taped over during painting. There was no signs whatsoever of any impact. I do believe this theory was backed up with evidence.
I'm sure our friends at Boeing would be able to find it in their archives circa early to mid 80's!