Birdstruck China Train “Once A Century Freak Accident!”


China’s world-class high speed trains are again facing safety doubts after a pigeon shattered its “super strong bulletproof glass” windscreen, in what Chinese media points out as a “once in a century” freak accident.

The CRH380 is said to employ “super strong bulletproof glass” in its windscreen, and China’s state media quotes an astonished passenger as exclaiming “such an unusual event can only happen once a century!”

One of the experts at China’s safety glass inspectorate offered the assurance that “this glass is completely unbroken from an impact with an aluminium ball travelling at 500kph.”

The train’s makers also promise that “we conduct our safety test over 200,000 times – the glass window is 6 layers thick and will absolutely not break.”

Unfortunately, whilst proof against aluminium balls and bullets, it appears not to be proof against the humble Chinese pigeon – whose lead content cannot be all that high even in China, although at least the train was confirmed as actually having been in motion at the time of the impact, having just left its station:


Safety problems with the trains China so assiduously copied from their former foreign partners which were carefully investigated by burying the wrecked trains eventually resulted in the head of China’s national rail fiefdom losing his job, but for some reason many Chinese still have doubts about the network.

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    Avatar of Rya
    Comment by Rya
    15:50 06/06/2013 # ! Quality (+1.0)

    The bird's beak was made of depleted uranium. Pollution reaches new height.

    Avatar of Assassinister
    Comment by Assassinister
    19:48 06/06/2013 # ! Neutral (0)

    Yeah also filled with birds flu wanna see a zombie apocalypse in the future news of china.

    Comment by Anonymous
    04:03 07/06/2013 # ! Neutral (0)

    you said in was going 30 kilometers when that bird hit?! >SMACK< Remove him!!! Change it to 300!!!!

    Comment by Anonymous
    15:56 06/06/2013 # ! Quality (+1.0)

    Damn angry birds...

    Comment by Anonymous
    17:46 06/06/2013 # ! Good (+0.8)

    thank goodness it's just the yellow one... which isn't good against glass objects...

    things could get worse if it were the blue ones...

    Comment by Anonymous
    09:29 07/06/2013 # ! Neutral (0)


    Comment by Anonymous
    21:47 06/06/2013 # ! Neutral (0)

    the red one has an iron strong head

    Comment by Anonymous
    22:53 06/06/2013 # ! Neutral (0)

    Avatar of Satonaka
    Comment by Satonaka
    11:17 07/06/2013 # ! Neutral (-0.2)

    DIE PIG DIE!!!

    Angry birds is tough! XD

    Comment by Anonymous
    16:11 06/06/2013 # ! Quality (+1.0)

    The bird exploded on impact, that explains everything

    Comment by Anonymous
    16:50 06/06/2013 # ! Good (+0.8)

    the army could use pigeon as a substitution to armor piecing bullet in the tank now. More economic!

    Comment by Anonymous
    21:29 06/06/2013 # ! Good (+0.6)

    Nothing new here. Worms already did it :P

    Avatar of Octopi
    Comment by Octopi
    06:09 07/06/2013 # ! Neutral (0)

    even warfare costs are cut down by chinese products.

    Comment by Anonymous
    16:45 06/06/2013 # ! Good (+0.8)

    they'll probably used the remains as chicken nugget or somethin ._.

    Comment by Anonymous
    05:13 07/06/2013 # ! Neutral (0)

    The good and old 100% quality approved of Chinese products, probably the glass prototype tested not come close to actually used.
    Budget cuts, corruption, adulterated products, nothing new in china and various corners of the world ...

    Undoubtedly human error was to blame the driver failed to diverting the bird (this time will be kind of hard to push this excuse):P

    Comment by Anonymous
    02:23 09/06/2013 # ! Neutral (0)

    "this glass is completely unbroken from an impact with an aluminium ball travelling at 500kph."

    Of course, they only tested using a ball of rolled up aluminum foil.

    Comment by Anonymous
    15:21 06/06/2013 # ! Good (+0.6)

    Get a birdproof feature next time.

    Comment by Anonymous
    15:41 06/06/2013 # ! Good (+0.6)

    Bird's mass > mass of bullet or

    aluminum ball under test. Train travels

    at 500km/h (138.88m/s)
    Assume bird speed = 100km/h (27.7m/s)

    travel in opposite direction.

    Velocity total= 166.58m/s.
    pigeon weight 10-16oz, assume 12oz


    Ak-47 bullet velocity = 715 m/s
    7.92mm bullet weights 18.21g.

    The dynamic energy in a moving object:
    E= 0.5 x mass x velocity^2

    E of Ak-47= 4654703.625J
    E of pigeon= 4720087.27764

    Slightly a larger energy than Ak-47 shot.

    Still, not all- bullet proof. I may go mistake, but this is the idea.

    Comment by Anonymous
    16:18 06/06/2013 # ! Quality (+1.0)

    Pigeon area is much larger than a bullet, so the force of impact is dispersed, not to mention the bird liquifies sending force side-ward and not into the train.

    Comment by Anonymous
    02:41 07/06/2013 # ! Neutral (0)

    Ballistic glass disperses force of impact of a bullet, but responds to slower, less concentrated and larger mass not nearly as well. The nature of the force is not what's it's designed to take.

    A pane on a retrofitted humvee shutters from a few hits of a sledgehammer. Yes, I've done that. We were having trouble getting it off.

    Comment by Anonymous
    22:51 06/06/2013 # ! Neutral (0)

    Assuming the bird hits the windscreen beak-on? SA of beak tip would be more or less the same as the 7.62×39mm used in AK 47s.

    Comment by Anonymous
    23:03 06/06/2013 # ! Neutral (+0.4)

    But made of a much less dense and soft.

    Comment by Anonymous
    18:29 06/06/2013 # ! Good (+0.6)

    You people are obviously Graduates from the University of King Arthur. I thought they only give out degrees for understanding the velocity of unladen and laden swallows!

    Comment by Anonymous
    21:26 06/06/2013 # ! Neutral (+0.4)

    Do you mean a european swallow or a african swallow?

    Comment by Anonymous
    09:10 07/06/2013 # ! Neutral (0)

    An AV swallow of course.

    Comment by Anonymous
    01:37 07/06/2013 # ! Neutral (0)

    Yes, but can they draw a perfect four-stroke or equivalent?

    Avatar of Kohaku
    Comment by Kohaku
    22:04 06/06/2013 # ! Neutral (0)

    Oh man, it's been a while I don't see this monty python reference, here's my +1 for both of you.

    Comment by Anonymous
    16:04 06/06/2013 # ! Good (+0.6)

    You can't make those assumptions necessarily as the rigid body of a bullet is not analogous to the performance of a fluid body. They exert force in drastically different ways... simple physics won't give you much of a sense of how the glass is supposed to perform.

    Comment by Anonymous
    00:53 07/06/2013 # ! Neutral (0)

    (1) The bird's beak is the only rigid structure during the impact, & that would be a tiny fraction of the bird's total weight. So cut your E value by at least a factor of ten, probably a lot more.

    (2) The beak's keratin shell & hollow foam internals have nowhere near the impact strength of a forged bullet-tip. Make it a plastic-tipped hollow bullet & maybe it compares.

    (3) A pigeon's bill is curved, not pointed, so the stress-transfers on an end-tip impact are all wonky, dispersing most of the energy in a shattering instead of focusing it at the tip.

    Amtrak uses impressive materials too. Google "turkey train windshield".

    Comment by Anonymous
    01:33 07/06/2013 # ! Neutral (0)

    Yes, but are you talking about a perched bird, or an impacting one, because, you know, one can die from a collision with water.

    Comment by Anonymous
    00:57 07/06/2013 # ! Neutral (0)

    We must shoot a pigeon out of a railgun to be certain.

    Comment by Dark Mage
    10:33 07/06/2013 # ! Neutral (0)

    Actually a chicken out of an air cannon is the standard test for bird strike resistance.
    This train would fail that test.

    Comment by Anonymous
    17:47 06/06/2013 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    500km/h is only the speed of the aluminium ball in the tests but the Train "just left the station" as stated in the Post. So I assume the Train has a max speed of 80km/h at the time of the accident

    Comment by Anonymous
    13:37 07/06/2013 # ! Neutral (0)

    "Just left the station" is a qualitative statement. Your assumption is just that - an assumption.

    You can always take the time to verify.

    Comment by Anonymous
    16:20 06/06/2013 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    aluminium has much lower density even compared to normal lead bullet (forget fmj). the aluminium ball density must be comparable to meat density and has less weight than pigeon.

    weightless and low density aluminium ball won't do anything to the glass, but pigeon and real bullet will do.

    in short the glass is indeed not a bulletproff glass

    Comment by Anonymous
    03:27 07/06/2013 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    Especially if the aluminium ball is hollow. Because I would bet money that it was.

    Comment by Anonymous
    07:07 07/06/2013 # ! Neutral (0)

    Even if the train was traveling at top speed (380km/h, google it!), and the pidgeon was following the tracks in the opposite direction with all its might, the windshield is slanted, and thus the impact is way softer.
    Breaking shouldn't happen under any circumstances. Cracking should be a serious concern as the impact is against a soft body.
    Do you really think the bird kept a rigid form during impact? As soon as the peck hit the windshield, the angle of impact should be enough to turn its neck (and its whole body), so even the first impact was against something "hard", the main impact (when the pidgeon liquified) was against its (soft) body.

    Comment by Anonymous
    13:41 07/06/2013 # ! Neutral (0)

    See, that's the problem. Its skeleton is hard, but upon impact it most certainly liquified. This dispersed force through the cracks, which further exacerbated the cracking, but it also distributed the energy.

    It definitely wasn't in any danger of breaking. However, it was absolutely going to crack.

    Comment by Anonymous
    16:07 06/06/2013 # ! Neutral (0)

    But pigeons' top speed are only 60km/h... either the train just ran breaking the record, or the window is Chinese quality.

    Comment by Anonymous
    16:32 06/06/2013 # ! Neutral (0)

    Or it was a bo2ge1 of the rubber duck variety.

    At the speed, it would be hard to tell anyway, probably.

    Comment by Anonymous
    16:03 06/06/2013 # ! Neutral (0)

    Velocity total= 166.58m/s. <-- nope.. just 111,18 m/s. move in opposite directions. bsic strength against strength theory.

    Comment by Anonymous

    Your basics suck. So you're saying that if they were moving at the same speed towards each other, the total would be 0m/s?

    Comment by Anonymous
    16:35 06/06/2013 # ! Good (+0.6)

    What's the problem, the glass didn't break, it just cracked from the impact.

    Avatar of Mitchell
    Comment by Mitchell
    16:45 06/06/2013 # ! Good (+0.4)

    Good glass. It only broke the outer 1 layer of the 6 layers. I don't see why people are freaking out.

    Comment by Anonymous
    07:25 07/06/2013 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    if an ordinary bird can break one of the layers, imagine what`ll happen when a fucking Boeing hits the train. no way the glass can stop that.

    Comment by Anonymous
    17:37 06/06/2013 # ! Neutral (0)

    because imagine if ONE bird broke one layer, what would happen if it hit more birds at once, or something larger that it should be safe against

    Comment by Anonymous
    02:16 07/06/2013 # ! Neutral (0)

    Probability has to be taken with a grain of salt, birds fly in flacks, though that statistic might be for loner birds perhaps it might be one in 200 years that a flack of birds happens to be near a bullet train when it goes by.

    Comment by Anonymous
    02:00 07/06/2013 # ! Neutral (0)


    Learn to math.
    1/100 * 1/100 = 1/10000

    Comment by Anonymous
    02:24 07/06/2013 # ! Neutral (0)

    Inner layers take less damage, that's the whole reason for multiple layers instead of one solid chunk. So no, 6 birds on the same spot won't penetrate it.

    Comment by Dark Mage
    10:21 07/06/2013 # ! Neutral (0)

    Birds usually travel in flocks.

    Comment by Anonymous
    00:02 07/06/2013 # ! Neutral (0)

    learn 2 probability.
    1/100 * 1/100 = 1/1000.
    2 birds is millennial!

    Comment by Anonymous
    22:29 06/06/2013 # ! Neutral (0)

    Like what? A Pterodactylus?

    Comment by Anonymous
    20:14 06/06/2013 # ! Neutral (0)

    If one bird hits a glass and that's a 'once a century' event, two birds hitting the glass would be a 'once a bi-century' event.


    Comment by Anonymous
    16:37 06/06/2013 # ! Neutral (+0.4)

    it shouldnt even crack :/

    Comment by Anonymous
    02:31 07/06/2013 # ! Neutral (0)

    Ballistic glass will always crack on impact, just not penetrate or shatter. Google it.

    Comment by Anonymous
    15:38 07/06/2013 # ! Neutral (0)

    look i hate to brake your bubble but given time and wear even aircraft glass brakes due to bird impact in fact there's a famous incident when an eagle smashed threw the glass into the cockpit of a millinery aircraft but where not talking about air planes where talking about a large train windshield and if there was any penetration through the glass if not than it worked as advertised who cares if the glass warped and cracked a little or a lot it worked end of story. also i don't use chinese trains this is just good old fashion news to me

    Comment by Dark Mage
    10:31 07/06/2013 # ! Neutral (0)

    Actually with a single pigeon it should not crack that badly.
    That train windscreen would fail the chicken gun test.
    Here's a test of a quality windscreen in the proper manner.

    Comment by Anonymous
    18:17 06/06/2013 # ! Neutral (0)

    maybe it cracked because of the screeching sound the echoing birds.

    Comment by Anonymous
    16:40 06/06/2013 # ! Drivel (-0.7)

    Ermmm what ?? With this kind of speed it will crack.

    Comment by Anonymous
    17:43 06/06/2013 # ! Good (+0.7)

    What kind of speed are you even talking about?
    There is no record in this post about the speed of the train at the time (only about the TESTS of aluminium ball travelling at 500kph).
    But it IS written that the Train "just" left the station, tell me how fast do you think could that train be when it JUST left the station?

    Comment by Anonymous
    22:18 06/06/2013 # ! Neutral (0)

    That train hit max speed at 7 minutes. Certainly the some high impact crash there.

    Avatar of Chen-04
    Comment by Chen-04
    20:06 06/06/2013 # ! Neutral (0)

    >>tell me how fast do you think could that train be when it JUST left the station?

    Full speed? If the train "just" left the station, that means it was a few minutes ago and that should be enough for a train to reach full speed, I think.

    Comment by Anonymous
    11:05 07/06/2013 # ! Neutral (0)

    Am I the only one who know the glass did its job? Of course its gonna crack if you hit a bird at 300mph, what you don't want is the glass shattering.

    Comment by Anonymous
    17:20 06/06/2013 # ! Neutral (0)

    Dude, that china made glass was supposed to be bullet proof. But it was barely pigeon proof. If it was a rock or a hail stone, that would break the glass no doubt.

    Oh R.I.P oh Humble Pigeon. Your brave sacrifice shall not be in vain now that you have exposed more of China's useless products. As we saw what the sharkfins are made of, we know exactly what the glass is made off.

    Comment by Anonymous
    21:43 06/06/2013 # ! Neutral (0)

    Ummm..I seee hole in those crack...

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