River Wissey Lovell Fuller

A True Story (honest)

June 2006

Chicken gun causes extreme damage to US high speed trains

Rolls Royce were commissioned by the government to build a gun to fire birds at the windscreens of airliners and military aircraft to test their strength. The the gun was to able to fire either a number of small birds, or a single larger bird. Rolls Royce built the gun with two interchangeable barrels, one which fired 32 starlings and one which fired a single 3lb chicken.

The Americans heard about this and asked the UK Government if they could borrow a gun with the single chicken barrel to test the windscreens of their new high speed trains. The government and Rolls Royce agreed and the gun and a supply of carefully weighed and matched chickens was sent to America.

The Americans fired the gun at one of their trains and to their astonishment and horror the chicken smashed straight through the train's windscreen, smashed the co-driver's seat to bits, missing the driver by inches, wrecked a control console on the side of the driver's cabin, and ended up embedded in the back wall of the cabin. They repeated the test with other trains, (without their drivers), until they had used up allt he chickens and every test resulted in a smashed windscreen and wrecked driver's cabin.

The Americans sent Rolls Royce the results of these disastrous tests along with the full specification of their windscreens and a detailed description of all the preparations made for the tests and details of the test firings themselves, and asked for advice .

Rolls Royce replied........

Thank you for sending us the results of your tests with our bird gun. We are sorry that the tests ended with such a disastrous result, and we are pleased that the driver in the first test escaped without injury. We confirm that you carried out all the pre-firing procedures correctly except one, of which we can find no mention in your report. It seems that you did not defrost the chickens.

Peter Boyd

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