World Trade Center


We do not yet have a definitive answer on how fast either Boeing 767 was traveling at the time of impact, but it is likely that the hijacking pilot went to full throttle to produce the maximum force possible. Although we do not have any maximum speed data for the 767 at sea level, our best guess is that the aircraft hit at approximately 600 mph. The Boeing 757 that crashed at the Pentagon is believed to have struck the building at a speed of nearly 400 mph based on information from the Flight Data Recorder. The speed discrepancy between the crashes is largely accounted for since the Pentagon aircraft had made a 270 turn shortly before impact which would have bled off much of the plane's speed whereas the two at the WTC appeared to make straight runs.
- answer by Jeff Scott, 16 September 2001

UPDATE!

According to an Associated Press story released 23 February 2002, both government and MIT researchers have determined that the second aircraft to strike the World Trade Center was traveling approximately 100 mph faster than the first. Data released by the government indicates that Airlines Flight 11, which hit the north tower at approximately 8:46 a.m., was traveling about 494 mph while United Airlines Flight 175, which hit the south tower at 9:02 a.m., was traveling at 586 mph. The MIT analysis determined the first plane was traveling 429 mph, and the second 537 mph. Although we received many messages from readers disputing our original estimate of 600 mph for the second impact, it is in better agreement with the "official" data than the previously accepted value of 450 mph frequently cited by respondents.

Further information indicates that the North Tower was struck between the 94th and 99th floors and remained standing for 102 minutes while the South Tower was impacted between the 78th and 84th floors, standing for only 56 minutes due to the greater weight that bore down on the damaged floors.
- answer by Greg Alexander, 24 February 2002

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