Why an F-4 Phantom Was Launched Into Concrete

Why an F-4 Phantom Was Launched Into Concrete | Frontline Videos

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Expendable Test Subject

Why would the US agree to smash an F-4 Phantom head-on into reinforced concrete at 500 miles an hour? To test how strong the concrete is, of course! 

More specifically, it was done to see if nuclear reactors and storage buildings would withstand a kamikaze-style attack by a plane such as the F-4 Phantom.

The test happened in 1988 and included a complete F-4 Phantom and a massive rigid reinforced concrete target of 3.66 meters thick. The mass of the jet fuel was simulated by water.

It impacted the concrete wall at about 480 mph, which produced kinetic energy of around 330 million joules – equivalent to about 80% of a ton of TNT. Surprisingly, the concrete slab was barely

damaged from the collision, while the F-4 Phantom was completely totaled. 


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