from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun Either corner of the field formed by the sideline and the defending team's goal line. The ball may be deliberately punted out of bounds in this area, thus forcing the receiving team to play very close to its goal line.


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  • When aircraft are in the design phase of their development, the manufacturer generates windtunnel data, entered on a graph that quantifies where the aerodynamics of the airframe break down and becomes irrecoverable. Where the various curves intersect (e.g., power curve, airspeed, altitude, etc.)is called the 'coffin corner'...and we all know nobody returns from the coffin. Disclaimer: this is a gross simplification; don't you aerodynamic engineers take me to task without also offering an acceptably layman-type explication. The goal here is to introduce and give a feel for a curious and colorful aviation term.

    January 6, 2007