Wing stress test
This is certainly a catastrophic failure, but it’s an intentional one. What you see above is footage of a Boeing 777 being pushed to the breaking point (literally). The 777 used a new wing design that engineers needed to assess to make sure they could hold up to extreme turbulence. They also wanted to know if the same wings could be used in future planes with greater mass. The wings collapsed at 154 percent of design limit load.
This GIF comes from security footage captured in China’s Heilongjiang Province earlier this year. As several people are standing on the sidewalk, it just collapses under their feet. It is unclear what caused the hole to open up, but shoddy construction is the most likely culprit. Luckily, no one was seriously injured.
How fast can a standard CD spin before it fails catastrophically? The answer, apparently, is about 170,000 RPM. That’s what we learn from the above GIF, which is kind of mesmerizing. A CD drive might spin at a maximum of 40,000 or 50,000 RPM.
Hornslet wind turbine failure
The above 600 kW wind turbine met its maker (a Danish engineer, I guess) in 2008 when the brake mechanism that was supposed to slow the blades malfunctioned. The incident took place in Hornslet, Denmark near a farmhouse where the residents were fast enough to capture the event on film. The 45 meter tall turbine was removed and replaced with a new one in just a few months. Those Danes take wind power seriously.