The FAA has a device for testing the strength of
windshields on airplanes. They point this thing at the
windshield of the aircraft and shoot a dead chicken
at about the speed the aircraft normally flies at it.
If the windshield doesn't break, it's likely to survive
a real collision with a bird during flight.
The British had recently built a new locomotive that
could pull a train faster than any before it. They were
not sure that its windshield was strong enough so they
borrowed the testing device from the FAA, reset it to
approximate the maximum speed of the locomotive,
loaded in the dead chicken, and fired. The bird
went through the windshield, broke the engineer's
chair, and made a major dent in the back wall of the
They were quite surprised with this result, so they
asked the FAA to check the test to see if everything
was done correctly. The FAA checked everything
and suggested that they might want to repeat the
test using a thawed chicken.