The Chicken Launcher

In a recent issue of "Meat & Poultry" magazine, editors quoted from "Feathers," the publication of the California Poultry Industry Federation, reporting the following story:

The US Federal Aviation Administration has a unique device for testing the strength of windshields on airplanes. The device is an air cannon that launches a dead chicken at a plane's windshield at approximately the speed the plane flies. The theory is that if the windshield doesn't crack from the carcass impact, it'll survive a real collision with a bird during flight.

It seems that British Rail was very interested in this and wanted to test a windshield on a brand new, ultra high speed locomotive they're developing. They borrowed the FAA's chicken launcher, loaded the chicken and fired.

The ballistic chicken shattered the windshield, went through the engineer's chair, broke an instrument panel and embedded itself in the back wall of the engine cab.

The British engineers were stunned and asked the FAA to review the test to see if everything was done correctly.

The FAA checked the test thoroughly and had one recommendation: "Try thawing the chicken next time."

Is the story true? If you want to know, head over to snopes.