Check out this video of a Rockwell B-1B Lancer bomber landing at Roger Dry Lake, at Edwards Air Force Base, California. After discovering a failure in their front gear, the crew was directed to land in this location because its clay surface minimizes airplane damage.
I love how it keeps a steady level for many seconds after touchdown, but according to an airline pilot friend of mine, that's the wrong thing to do. You have to slowly drop a little earlier because, if you don't, the nose can drop really hard and damage the fuselage. In any case, steel balls.
For what is worth, that B-1B costs $406 million (after adjusting for inflation.)
SPLOID is a new blog about awesome stuff. Join us on Facebook