Originally Posted by mwraight
It's the parts shooting out of the engine at high speeds that is the danger in an "uncontained" turbine failure. If the parts stay in the engine then there is no real danger, but when they pierce through the engine housing traveling at high velocities there is a possibility for injury/death/property destruction. Uncontained turbine failure has brought down full scale planes:
In 1979, a United Airlines DC-10 suffered a catastrophic center engine turbine failure (#1 compression blade assembly) where the exploding parts severed the main tail flight control hydraulics.
Because the model engines have to be light, the exterior housing probably isn't going to put up much of a resistance to a 100,000+ RPM chunk of metal!
PREVIOUS AMA regs mandated that the case needed to be strong enough around the rotor section to contain blade failure. Don't know if that reg is still in place, don't know if non-us spec engines conform to that standard.
I do know that about five years ago, a friend of mine actually got hit by a rotor blade...I was not there, so I got it all second hand, but he was videotaping at a contest and an engine burst and a bit JUST missed his family jewels...other guys in my club witnessed it, it really DID happen.
So, again, catastrophic failure IS a concern of mine....