TIL of the chicken gun, a large compressed-air gun used to fire dead birds at aircraft components to simulate in-flight bird strikes

Read more: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chicken_gun

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  1. My favorite chicken gun story. Directly from Col Fred. One of brightest people I have ever met. I was working at Air Force Logistics Command WP AFB. One of the labs was researching bird strikes on fighters (really gory accidents). They keep sending prototype windscreens and canopies to the chicken gun at Arnold AFB. No matter what they tried, the chicken gun won.

    Well, the lab guys are bewildered. Some of the test articles were of the same type in service and survived bird strikes. So, something is off. And lab guys are sayng “your gun is off”. The chicken guys were saying “your designs suck and the pilots just got lucky.” The whole thing elevates fast. Lab guys and chicken guys can’t be in the same room without screaming. So the lab commander, Col. Fred says “OK, you know, chicken guys, you’re right.. let’s just do one more and I’ll send some lab monkeys to watch and learn.

    So, the lab monkeys pack up and off to Arnold. Couple days later, the lab monkeys call (hoot?) Col Fred. Everything is fine. Test process was off and has to be repeated. The monkeys evade, twist and weave. You know, Zoo Code! Don’t rat out the other animals. But, I think Col Fred wrote the Zoo Code (diplomatic guy). Finally, they say, “well they had a chicken trainee running the cannon. And he used …..frozen chickens.

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