artificial reef

Craig Bingman cbingman at
Thu Mar 26 22:09:03 EST 1998

On Wed, 25 Mar 1998, Bruce Carlson wrote:

> We had some real problems with airplanes used as artificial reefs here in 
> Hawaii.
> A major storm rolled through here a few years ago and ripped the planes to
> shreds scattering pieces of metal over a wide area of reef.  The planes
> were in fairly deep water (70' - 100' as I recall).
> I would NOT recommend sinking planes as artificial reefs.  

Planes are primarily composed of aluminum alloys.  They are not stable 
against long-term immersion in salt water.  For that matter, aerospace 
alumminum alloys are not stable to the amount of salt spray that KSC gets 
from the ocean.  The only rockets that survive there without frequent 
painting and care are the Atlas boosters, which are made of stainless steel.

Even without a storm, the planes will eventually disintegrate.  The only 
part that has a chance of long-term survival in a submerged marine 
environment is the fiberglass.  The aluminum and the iron are toast.


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