Understatement of the Month Award

“The plane is very seriously damaged,” said Jan Van der Cruysse, a spokesman for Brussels Airport, referring to a 747 cargo plane that crashed today while attempting to take off en route to Bahrain, CNN.com reports.  Only four of five crew members sustained minor injuries.

Here’s a picture of the damaged plane.

I was noticing that it looks like the fuselage is cracked just over a third of the way back, and yet, if you look closely, you can see that the wings are still attached to the front part.  Are these the normal proportions for 747s, or is it just a matter of perspective?  Some additional pictures might help.

This view from behind seems to have the wing about at the midpoint…

…whereas in this view (which is similar to the Brussels crash view), the wings definitely appear to be in front of the midpoint.

A view from the side might be more objective.  Don’t be confused by the space shuttle in this next photo.  That’s not a usual feature of the 747.  If one were to bisect the plane at its midpoint, the place where the wings attach to the fuselage definitely seems to be in front.  I also notice that the bulge in the front of the plane is smaller in this freighter version than in the passenger models seen above.  If I were in charge of ordering jets for an airline, when I call in an order, I hope I wouldn’t forget to specify that I want the larger upper passenger deck.

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