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Good Morning America features Wayne State professor who crashed airplane for science

October 1, 2012


Wayne State University professor and biomedical engineering researcher Cynthia Bir specializes in impacts. But her latest project undoubtedly produced the biggest bang of her career. Back in April, teamed with an international team of researchers, pilots and aircraft safety experts, Bir crashed a full-size passenger airplane into the remote desert along the U.S.-Mexico border, all in the name of science. The project was part of the Discovery Channel's newest series, called Curiosity. This groundbreaking experiment looks at what actually happens during a plane crash and the science behind passengers' best chance for survival. Crash test dummies as well as sensors throughout the plane will reveal just what types of forces are unleashed in a typical plane crash. Video footage from inside the remote-controlled plane will enable viewers to see what happens at the moment of impact. Bir said she was approached for the project "about four years ago actually" by a production company called Dragonfly. Good Morning America aired a feature story of the test and interview with Bir.