* Posts by SkippyBing

1157 posts • joined 21 May 2008

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Juno's first data causing boffins to rewrite the text books on Jupiter

SkippyBing
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Sadly no black monolith found

That's what they want you to think.

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DJI: Register your drones or no more cool flying vids for you

SkippyBing
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Re: To all the 'experts' here

'In ideal circumstances aircraft are designed to be operative with the loss of one engine'

I wouldn't call that ideal circumstances...

'however if the aircraft is on its final approach and descending towards the runway, loss of an engine at that stage would be a very unwelcome distraction to the aircrew, '

It may be, but that's why there's regular simulator training for the loss of an engine during critical stages of flight. Although if you're using lots of power on landing, you're doing it wrong so it's generally not considered the worst time to lose one. Unless you're in a helicopter.

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SkippyBing
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Re: To all the 'experts' here

'Some of these drones are quite big and could easily bring down an airliner if it smashed the cockpit windscreen or went into an engine.'

Fortunately to be certified airliners have to prove capable of operating with one engine inoperative, and for certification purposes that happens before take-off at a point at which it's no longer possible to stop in the remaining runway available.

Going through the windscreen will cause a certain amount of chaos though...

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SkippyBing
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To be honest if this stops the casual buyer who picks one up in Maplins* from unintentionally doing something stupid/dangerous it's probably a good move. It's not going to stop someone who's determined to do something wrong from doing it, or anyone who's really enthusiastic about drones as a hobby from circumventing the measure, but there's still a large number of buyers who just don't realise what they can and can't do with a drone.

*Other supplies of UAV are available.

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Blighty's buying another 17 F-35s, confirms the American government

SkippyBing
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'Yes,but let's wait until the usaf etc actually ok any f35 as combat ready,none have been so far..'

Well I mean the head of the USMC did about almost 2 years ago but don't let that worry you.

https://www.f35.com/news/detail/top-marine-aviator-f-35b-is-ready-for-war

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SkippyBing
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Re: Handcarved?

'Don't forget the yanks are still arsing around with imperial measurements and nothing lines up!'

That's an interesting point, as BAE make a chunk of each fuselage I have to assume either the US have used metric measurements, or BAE have had to make something in Imperial. So either way there's going to be a weird kink half way along.

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SkippyBing
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Re: Handcarved?

'I presume this means carved by hand - hence everyone just a little bit different which makes modification, maintenance & parts a nightmare? '

Not as such, with stealth you can't really do artisan crafting of your aircraft so there's LASER alignment of parts etc. Each production lot will be identical but they're keeping to relatively low numbers while testing is ongoing. As I understand it there may be some refitting required to make them equivalent to the latest production lots if that's required, but it may not be worth doing.

I mean they say Low Rate Initial Production, but each batch is more than the total run for the Nimrod.

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Bye bye MP3: You sucked the life out of music. But vinyl is just as warped

SkippyBing
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Re: MP3

I was using MP3 before it was cool.

Or I wasn't using MP3 before it was cool not to.

This being hip thing is so confusing, I'm going back to playing sheet music on my chamber organ. Insert your own innuendo.

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IBM CEO Ginni flouts £75 travel crackdown, rides Big Blue chopper

SkippyBing
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Nice, a Eurocopter Dauphin

Or Airbus Helicopters as I think we're supposed to be calling them, chartered from Starspeed at Fairoaks going by the registration. Think £1000s per hour.

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Britain shouldn't turn its back on EU drone regs, warns aerospace boffin

SkippyBing
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Re: Confused....

'I just have a hard time believing that the industry will bear the full weight of the costs. They'll find some way to weasel out of it.'

Go to your local flying school, ask about the cost of regulation, and stand back!

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SkippyBing
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Re: Confused....

' if the drone industry in the UK isn't profitable enough the CAA will have to have get some if not all of its funding from the goverment'

No they won't there just won't be a drone industry as they won't be able to afford the registration fees, which part of 'the CAA is funded by the regulated community' don't you understand? Look at the airshow industry, they've had massive hikes in their fees in the last year which has caused a number of smaller shows to cancel.

I also fail to see how the drone industry not being profitable could lead to the CAA needing to get all of its funding from the government, would the inability of the drone industry to fund its own regulation mean the CAA would stop charging silly money for a pilots' licence or an examination*?

*£85 for a computer marked multiple choice exam when I did my CPL in 2012, and there were 14 of the things!!

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SkippyBing
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Re: Confused....

'@Skippy if the UK is going to start drafting its own drone rules and the UK drone industry isn't making enough money to foot the bill, where else in the money going to come from?'

By raising charges across the aviation industry. The CAA has to be self funded from the regulated community, i.e. UK civil aviation, it doesn't say the cost of regulating each specific part has to be 100% borne by that specific part. Although the amount they charge for the initial issue of a licence may make you feel you're personally liable for the whole shooting match.

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SkippyBing
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Re: Confused....

'The Tories won't pay a living wage to the people who will save their lives when they need help the most and you think they'll splash out on that?'

The CAA is self funded through charges on the regulated community, so that argument is invalid.

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SkippyBing
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Re: Here be snowflakes...

'and yes, we can write our own regulations, but at what cost? Writing and certifying a set of regulations for 500 million people is far more cost effective than maintaining your own separate standards.'

Yeah, you know the EASA rules and regs are pretty much a copy and paste of the ICAO ones. And currently the CAA has differences from the EASA rules (as is allowed by EASA), so I'm not sure I see the problem.

'And the Problem is with aircraft is that they habit of flying abroad, and the most likely destination for UK aircraft is Europe.'

Aircraft follow the regulations of the state of registration. Aircrew follow the rules of the airspace they're in.

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Robot lands a 737 by hand, on a dare from DARPA

SkippyBing
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Re: All of this has happened before, and all of this will happen again

'All sounds a bit far fetched. A neat hack but not actually that useful.'

I think it was mainly as you say to convert combat aircraft into drones. Although the UK programme never really got anyway beyond a couple of Sea Vixens there were aspirations to convert a lot more and a number of retired Lightnings as targets. The USN and USAF have done this and converted a few hundred F-4 Phantoms to drones for missile test purposes, and they've now moved on to high mileage F-16s, so some sort of UDP may have sold to them although I don't think that's the route they've taken.

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SkippyBing
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Re: Huh?

'It will still need to be customised for every type of plane, as they are all different with different characteristics'

Well it can't be that hard, meatsacks have been flying different types of aircraft for years.

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SkippyBing
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All of this has happened before, and all of this will happen again

The UK actually did something similar to this with its Sea Vixen drone programme

https://www.seavixen.org/sea-vixen-drone-d3-era

The difference mainly being they never got round to trying it in different aircraft as far as I can tell and it didn't have a robotic arm on the controls. But the basic principle of a removable package that can replace the pilot in a variety of aircraft is there.

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SkippyBing
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'and both fly 100 times a year (and that one is way understated).'

To be honest for long haul that's probably overstated.

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Flying robots are great... until they meet flying humans, anyway

SkippyBing
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Re: Also, what about emergency aircraft?

'This also keeps drones away from piloted aircraft since none of us are below 400 ft except when landing or taking off'

Strictly speaking the ANO requires aircraft to be more than 500' from any person, vehicle, or structure*. This allows for practise emergency landings, photography, etc.

Not forgetting the military work to different height limits which are generally lower.

*Something big enough for people to shelter in was the guidance given to me by one flying instructor.

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Train station's giant screens showed web smut at peak hour

SkippyBing
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Reminds me of the time this happened in a local bar. Would have been around Feb 2008.

In all fairness if they hadn't left the computer running iTunes and connected to the TV screens where any slightly inebriated idiot could get to them I wouldn't, I mean a passerby wouldn't have had the opportunity...

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HTC's 2017 flagship U11 woos audiophiles and bundles Alexa

SkippyBing
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Re: Ultrasound

Pardon?

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US Coast Guard: We're rather chuffed with our new Boeing spy drone

SkippyBing
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Re: Interesting cost model

' the RAF's Voyager tanker aircraft, where the PFI deal came in at three times the cost of buying them outright'

Although that's true, it does also include the cost of the infrastructure, operations etc. So there are lots of nice shiny new buildings at Brize Norton that wouldn't have been there if the MoD had just brought the aircraft. I think it also includes the cost of routine maintenance but I'd have to do some research to confirm that.

That's not to say the MoD couldn't have written a better contract, there's no provision to refuel helicopters or aircraft that us the boom and receptacle method of refuelling such as C-17 or P-8. And adding that would be a contract change aka a licence to print money.

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SkippyBing
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Re: Roboat?

'Anyway, the RN seems keen on paying admirals to sit behind desks whilst the fleet shrinks to nothing'

A common trope but it's not true. There's a requirement for a number of roles that are filled by Admirals, to some extent this is set by the Government and their desire to be big players in various multi-national headquarters, the structure of the MoD etc. Meanwhile the fleet shrinks to nothing because the same Government isn't actually very keen on ordering any ships, but is surprised that on the rare occasion they do it's as if the UK has forgotten how to build them and baulks at the consequent increase in price.

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SkippyBing
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Re: Perhaps they'll buy them from us

Unlikely they were essentially drones as a service so once you stop paying they go back to Boeing.

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SkippyBing
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Re: £10m a year for a drone?

It was for more than 1 ScanEagle.

The forces do use some consumer grade stuff, the RN mostly for surveying the bits of the ship they'd otherwise have to use a cherry picker to get at, but for long endurance work ScanEagle is essentially off the shelf.

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Warm, wet, mysterious... sound familiar? Ah, yes, you've heard of this second Neptune, too

SkippyBing
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'Less dense, but massier, if that helps.'

So Chunk from The Goonies?

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Amazon's Alexa is worst receptionist ever: Crazy exes, stalkers' calls put through automatically

SkippyBing
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Re: Why would anyone buy this junk?

'All they want is to get more information on you so that they can target Ads at you better.'

Well they couldn't be any worse, currently their targeted ads to me consist of:

Things I've already bought that I'm unlikely to need another of, seriously how many headlamp bulbs am I likely to need in a two month period?

Things I can get free from work. I mean legally they're issued as PPE why would I buy the exact same product with my own money?

YouTube are no better, as a man hiding male pattern baldness with a razor blade I'm not sure why they think shampoo adverts are something I'm likely to appreciate...

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Dyson celebrates 'shock' EU Court win over flawed energy tests

SkippyBing
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Re: 1.6 kW

'as vacuum cleaners contribute precisely bugger all to global warming'

Wait, what, that should be the headline there, vacuum cleaners don't need an energy source*. Or get warm when the motor runs.

*Granted that may be from a renewable source but if we all had 2kW hoovers** then it'd be a fuck load harder moving away from fossil fuels.

**Yes fuck you I'm using it as a common noun.

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UK General Election 2017: How EU law will hit British politicians' Facebook fight

SkippyBing
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'The LibDems might discover that a certain voter may be persuaded sooner by Vince Cable than by Tim Farron.'

Although 'neither' would seem to be the more likely option.

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SkippyBing
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Re: Appealing to the individual voter?

'most morally robust, principled and honest politician around'

It's just a shame some of his principles involve supporting people who were committing terrorist atrocities against the UK. Still at least he's consistent.

https://capx.co/corbyn-has-a-shabby-history-of-backing-the-bad-guys/

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US Air Force networks F-15 and F-22 fighters – in flight!

SkippyBing
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Re: yep

'They had to dump unused weaponry to achieve that though.'

Not totally true, for instance the Sea Harriers operating over the Former Republic of Yugoslavia didn't have to jettison stores when returning to the carrier but they were carrying air-to-air missiles so probably around 1200lb total. It would vary by air temperature and pressure what the max weight for VTOL was so the being back would vary by location. If it's the Persian Gulf in summer probably just the pilot in his underwear.

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SkippyBing
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Re: "That's a huge pod. In a day when cellphones are a couple of ounces, why is that so big?"

'On the Lightening they put the pylons above because there was no where else to put anything. '

Valid point, although BAC did eventually manage to squeeze a pylon under each wing for the Saudi Mk.53 which let them operate in the ground attack role. Because that's what you want for a ground attack aircraft, a Mach 2 interceptor with poor endurance!

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SkippyBing
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Re: yep

'But I haven't seen any mention of ramps on F35 aircraft carriers... It's all catapults.'

http://www.royalnavy.mod.uk/queenelizabeth

It's quite subtle, but if you look at the picture at the link you can just make out a ramp at the bow.

Ultimately you're always going to be able to lift more with a short running take-off than a vertical one, and with a ramp more so, it's basic physics. Similarly you may design a combat aircraft with T/W ratio greater than 1 but it's nigh on impossible to resist the urge to take advantage of that and hang more weapons/fuel on it.

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SkippyBing
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Re: Late to the party

'USA is late to the party here'

Because no one in the west has ever upgraded the avionics on a fighter before?

I must have imagined the USMC upgrading their AV-8B Harriers with RADARs then...

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SkippyBing
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Re: "That's a huge pod. In a day when cellphones are a couple of ounces, why is that so big?"

'Or it's a combined fuel and electronics pod.'

I always liked the B-58, that had a combined fuel and nuclear bomb pod.

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SkippyBing
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Re: yep

'Visual confirmation is what its all about, as what its emitting could be a fabrication or a software glitch.'

Not strictly true, an expensive radar military radar will produce a more consistent signal than an off the shelf weather radar for instance, e.g. pulse repetition frequency, scan rate etc.. So although you couldn't assume a contact was civil because its radar signal was a bit variable, you could assume it was military if it was consistent. Which you'd then add to other evidence, such as speed, height, manoeuvring etc. to give a classification along with a level of confidence. It's just the F-35 does most of the hard work for you.

And by visual identification are you planning to get within Mk1 eyeball range, or do you think modern optics might allow that to happen a bit further out? Or there's Inverse Synthetic Aperture Radar which can provide enough of an image to distinguish an airliner from a fighter.

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SkippyBing
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Re: yep

'Also good to know that our air defence posture has changed to arbitrarily shooting down any unidentified radar contacts on detection instead of making visual contact first to make sure we aren't going to shoot down an airliner, as that used to make stealth irrelevant.'

Who said it's changed? There are multiple levels of identification, visual contact is very Vietnam era, you can generally tell from what a contact is emitting whether it's civil or military, which depending on your posture may be all you need to shoot something down.

That Eurofighter T/W ratio, what's it carrying? Because that and the F-22 are generally less than 1.0 if they've got a useful payload.

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SkippyBing
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Re: yep

'Especially building them before that whole thing of having a meat sack that great reduces the g forces an aircraft can operate under makes the kit completely obsolete.'

To be honest the big saving removing a human from the aircraft is the weight saved in not having all the life support systems. Although unmanned aircraft could pull more g than a manned one you then have to build a stronger aircraft structure to withstand the greater load, which makes it heavier so you have to build it stronger just to support itself, which is a game of rapidly diminishing returns.

There's also the issue of the engines, due to having a mass spinning at high speed they act like gyroscopes and applying a force creates all sorts of issues with the bearings, not to mention bending of the shaft, so having them work reliably at high g is a non-trivial exercise. I think part of the issue with the F-35 engine a few years ago was bending of the shaft had led to blades rubbing against the casing more than was expected.

I did read at least a decade back that LM expect the latter F-35 production run to be unmanned though.

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SkippyBing
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Re: "That's a huge pod. In a day when cellphones are a couple of ounces, why is that so big?"

'My (basic) understanding of how wings generate lift'

NASA disagrees: https://www.grc.nasa.gov/www/K-12/airplane/wrong1.html

worth reading through to get to the correct explanation which isn't even taught on Commercial Pilot's Licence courses. Because the syllabus is also wrong.

Incidentally some aircraft have had pylons above the wing, notably the Jaguar and Lightning, with a well designed pylon there shouldn't be much effect on the airflow over the wing. You may be able to make it a positive effect if you can get it to work as a fence to reduce span wise flow.

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SkippyBing
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Re: yep

'has a very low thrust to weight ratio'

Yeah, that whole vertical take-off and landing thing is done with magnets.

As to manoeuvrability, that's generally limited by max g-loading which is model dependent but slowly being increased with software updates. Of course in the tests referred to it never got into a dogfight because the other aircraft didn't see it coming.

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Rich professionals could be replaced by AI, shrieks Gartner

SkippyBing
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'For commercial flights a lot of the technology is already there.'

I'd say all of it's there, there just aren't the cost savings to be made letting the things taxi themselves to/from the runway on their own. After that the pilot's main problem is staying awake!

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IBM: Customer visit costing £75 in travel? Kill it with extreme prejudice

SkippyBing
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Re: Travel costs

My employer, think a major UK operator of tanks, fast jets, and ships, is far more enlightened. Not for them insisting on the cheapest method of transportation oh no, for presentational reasons you must always use economy even if you can get a first class ticket cheaper.

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Guardian Soulmates users spammed with smut following breach

SkippyBing
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We can confirm we have received 27 enquiries from our members

So all of them?

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How do ransomware scum decide what to charge you? The Big Mac index

SkippyBing
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So I just spoof my computer being in a country being where Big Macs take up a disproportionate percentage of take-home income and lower the ransom?

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Spend your paper £5 notes NOW: No longer legal tender after today

SkippyBing
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I also seem to recall duty on beer being increased several times in my lifetime so it's not a like for like comparison.

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M6 crowned crappiest motorway for 4G signal

SkippyBing
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Re: Bloody hell

'How were cellcos in Britain allowed to get away with such poor coverage?'

The civil servants who write the contracts are significantly less bright than they think they are.

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Linux Mint-using terror nerd awaits sentence for training Islamic State

SkippyBing
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Re: Low tech

'And while we're on the subject, who needs help planning the "drive a large vehicle into a crowd" type of terrorist attack? '

Well for starters, Metropolitan Police Counter Terrorism Commander Dean Haydon. Which isn't exactly inspiring...

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China launches aircraft carrier the length of 2.1 brontosaurs

SkippyBing
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Re: Why not?

Repeat after me, 'size has no bearing on radar cross section'.

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SkippyBing
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Re: "What will China use their new aircraft carrier for?"

'That's a valid question from a nation who sort of has an aircraft carrier but no suitable aircraft to fly from it.'

Strictly speaking we've got 3* aeroplanes we could fly off it and a plethora of helicopters.

*I mean we have 3 actual F-35B, there are other aeroplanes we could fly off it given the space available but I don't think anyone's done the clearance process to operate an Islander from a CV.

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iPhone lawyers literally compare Apples with Pears in trademark war

SkippyBing
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Dear Apple Users

This is what your beloved company thinks of you. You're too dense to differentiate a pear from an apple. You fuckwits.

Although to be fair if that is the case you probably can't read this.

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