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The 1990's movie "Memphis Belle" depicts a Flying Fortress having the whole tail cut by a fighter impact on the rear part of fuselage, as a razor or chainsaw will do, the bomber airplane enters a flat descent with all 4 engines operating.

Is this type of accident possible? How would such a bomber behave with the empennage cut? Is there any way or chance to survive such an accident?

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Depends on the extent of the damage as well as what systems are affected. Lose the vertical fin, it's possible the aircraft could make it home but with limited yaw stability. Lose the vertical fin and the tailplane, the airplane would nose over and depart from controlled flight due to longitudinal instability.

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Any type of accident is possible. A Flying Fortress needs its tail in order to be controllable, steady flight is not possible without horizontal surfaces. Without vertical tail maybe, by differential engine thrust.

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  • $\begingroup$ A video exists in YouTube about a B-52 losing the vertical fin of tail, and how they managed to survive. A Japanese 747 wasn't that lucky, all on board died. $\endgroup$ – Urquiola Oct 7 '17 at 10:47
  • $\begingroup$ Yeah and a DC-10 managed to use differential engine thrust for pitch control. Cannot be done on a Flying Fortress, the thrust vector is very much aligned with the CoG. $\endgroup$ – Koyovis Oct 7 '17 at 10:55

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