After yesterday’s arrest, we wanted to find out: how much damage could a would-be terrorist do with a model airplane carrying plastic explosives flying into the Capitol building or the Pentagon? Here’s what we found out?
[ed.note: Personal geek confession. When we first reported this story yesterday our reporter on the case wasn’t aware of the subculture of model and RC plane enthusiasts who have big, big model planes. Not the little things you might see kids flying around but planes that are 5, 6, 7 or even 8 feet long. In other words, these are almost more like bonzai real planes than the model airplanes most people think of. So he didn’t; but I did. So yeah, when I was a kid I would marvel at these big planes even though I didn’t have the money to get one or anywhere to fly one. I confess I barely got past the rubberband propulsion stage. But this planes are even more hardcore. Most of the ones I knew about from back in the day were still driving by props, exposed propellors. But the planes Rezwan Ferdaus wanted to use in his plot seem to have used fan jets and could reach speeds of more than 150 mph. Which is scary from a counter-terrorism point of view but I must confess from a modeling point of view somewhat awesome.]
Josh Marshall is editor and publisher of TalkingPointsMemo.com.