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There is an idea I've heard since I was a kid that involves the relative strength of spider web. The claim is that if it were something like an inch thick it could stop an airplane in flight. How true is this? What thickness would be able to stop a 747?

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    $\begingroup$ Have you tried to look up the tensile strength of spider silk? $\endgroup$ – DanielSank Aug 23 '15 at 16:43
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    $\begingroup$ Might Skeptics be better suited for verifying claims? $\endgroup$ – Kyle Kanos Aug 23 '15 at 17:09
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    $\begingroup$ Honestly guys, lighten up. It's a fun question to talk and think about. If it's not for you let others enjoy it. $\endgroup$ – Alex Aug 23 '15 at 17:11
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    $\begingroup$ Not if you are scared of spiders........... $\endgroup$ – user81619 Aug 23 '15 at 17:15
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    $\begingroup$ @AcidJazz Tuche $\endgroup$ – Alex Aug 23 '15 at 17:16
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It all depends on the conditions. The mass of the plane, the velocity, the silk strain, the breaking stress etc. play a role. By taking very large webs in order of 1km diameter you might end up with such results. Taking larger masses and webs in order of the wingspan would give you values of many meters thickness.

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  • $\begingroup$ -1 This is a comment, not an answer. $\endgroup$ – sammy gerbil Feb 9 '18 at 2:18

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