The MythBusters The MythBusters

MythBusters Episode 45: Shredded Plane

Premier Date: January 18, 2006

A plane’s tail section in a widely circulated photo was shredded by an angry wife with a chainsaw.


The slices made by the chainsaw were jagged while the ones seen in the photo were clean slices.

A plane’s tail section in a widely circulated photo was shredded by a runaway taxiing plane’s propeller.


The full-scale test done with a run-away engine and stand-in tail section produced a result that was almost identical to the shredded plane seen in the photo.

Fire can be started using the friction caused by rubbing two sticks together.


While the Build Team – in their own words – “cheated” and used a drill and some gun powder, with a stick for a bit, the friction from the drill did light the tinder on fire.

Fire can be started using a bullet.


Earlier tests using modern weaponry (and smokeless powder) were unproductive. Tory then modified an old musket and replaced the bullet with a piece of cloth. When the gun was fired, the black powder ignited the cloth, which then ignited the tinder into which it was shot.

Fire can be started using a soda can bottom polished with chocolate.


Chocolate was used to buff out the wear marks and ink marking and give the can bottom a reflective shine that could focus light and produce heat. While the can was not able to light tinder that was held by hand, the rig easily lit when the tinder was secured on a makeshift rig that kept it from moving.

Fire can be started using a steel wool and the ends of a battery.


It took several tries but the ends of the battery eventually produced a spark that lit the steel wool on fire. A clip from a survivalist TV show also showed with Ron Hood this myth was confirmed. This is also a requirement for the American Boy Scout Wilderness Survival Merit badge.

Fire can be started using ice.


Kari used a globe of specially produced clear ice about half the size of a bowling ball to produce smoke and later fire when she used it as a refractive lens.