* Posts by SkippyBing

1674 posts • joined 21 May 2008

SpaceX's internet satellites to beam down 'Hello world' from orbit

SkippyBing
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Re: Starlink

Or having more than one satellite network called skynet could get confusing?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Skynet_(satellite)

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Farts away! Plane makes unscheduled stop after man won't stop guffing

SkippyBing
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Smells on Aircraft

Are more common a problem than I'd thought, if you look at http://avherald.com/ there are generally two or three reports a week of an airliner having to divert due to odours.

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Helicopter crashes after manoeuvres to 'avoid... DJI Phantom drone'

SkippyBing
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Re: Pink Unicorn?

'When a half pound drone hits a hovering Helicopter maybe doing 40 mph , if that (hover taxi maneuvering over rough ground ) , then yes, not much should have been expected.'

How fast do you think the rotor blades are going at this point?

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SkippyBing
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Re: @EveryTime

'Having said that, there is always the possibility that the instructor forgot about the dangers of "vortex ring state"'

You can't get into vortex ring state that close to the ground, the pre-conditions are power applied, slow forward airspeed (~20 knots although generally that's because the airspeed indicator won't read lower anyway) and a high rate of decent. It's very hard to have the last one close to the ground for long enough to enter vortex ring state without just hitting the ground.

Note in a lot of cases people mis-identify settling with power as vortex ring state, in that case you just don't have enough power left to stop the descent.

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SkippyBing
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Re: It's time... @SkippyBing

'They may be stronger than you think... See https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z-zI_VpTFp8 which shows almost the same chopper flying into a powerline which'

The R-44 in the video has more substantial rotor blades than the R-22, which would be nice but they're on about the 8th modification state and they still have problems with them coming apart. It's also worth noting that they're unlikely to take-off again in that aircraft until they've had the blades replaced, unless they've got a death wish.

Report here of a similar incident with photos of the damage: http://www.aaiu.ie/sites/default/files/report-attachments/REPORT%202017-014.pdf those dents will have substantially weakened the blades which are basically an aluminium skin around a spar and honeycomb structure.

I have flown the R-44 which is about the least robust helicopter I'd like to fly in on purpose.

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SkippyBing
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Re: It's time...

'My old man flew those things when getting shot at. He's got a picture of one he flew back with a pretty damn big hole in it.'

He was shot at in an R-22? If it was something like a Huey (Bell 205) then I'd have no problem believing that, they have big solid blades with something like the outer third containing a bronze lump to give the rotors plenty of inertia in case the engine failed. To spin this around the Bell has a 1100 horse power engine. The R-22 is basically built of tin foil and has a very light weight rotor system with virtually no inertia, because of this it's one of the few helicopters the FAA requires additional training for auto-rotations in. It has a mighty 124 hp to spin things around and you can't even start the engine connected to the transmission.

So you'd definitely notice a Phantom sized drone hitting the rotors, and it'd probably leave marks. The problem is you then have no idea what has happened to the internal structure, which is so reassuringly solid part of the pre-flight checks are to tap the blades with a coin to see if there's a change of noise to indicate de-lamination is taking place.

Disclaimer, I've flown the R-22 and the Bell 206 which shares its elder brothers robust rotor system.

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SkippyBing
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No, because in that case the powerboat is supposed to give way to the sailboat. I'm not totally sure what the FAA's position is but the CAA's is along the lines of drones are supposed to give way to manned aircraft. i.e. in the UK it's a criminal offence if a drone endangers the safety of an aircraft. You could probably argue in court that if the pilot felt he had to take avoiding action then the aircraft's safety was endangered, i.e. you don't have to have the two colliding for an offence to be committed.

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SkippyBing
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Re: More FAKE News: Truth is Manned Helicopter Hit Static Tree and had Rough Landing

'The heli pilot should have gone UP, something his aircraft could do better than a drone.'

Oddly that wouldn't be intuitive in an R-22, or most single engine helicopters. Long story short, you want to avoid flight at slow speed between ~10-400 feet as if the engine fails you're poorly placed for a successful auto-rotation, so instead you stay below 10' until you're doing around 40 knots and then start a climb.

So although the R-22 probably could have safely avoided the drone by going straight up it wouldn't be an automatic reaction for the pilot as he'd be putting himself into a speed/height regime that he's trained to avoid. I mean it's literally known as the avoid curve.

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SkippyBing
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I think DJI Phantom is the drone equivalent of Hoover.

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SkippyBing
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Re: It's time...

'it would have been pinged off and destroyed, and the heli would have continued as if nothing had happened'

Probably not, rotor blades aren't that strong, otherwise they'd be too heavy. I'm not saying it would be catastrophic but you'd certainly want to land immediately and get an engineer to check things out. If it hit the tail rotor it's probably more likely the blade would suffer structural failure which can get interesting.

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Arrrgh! Put down the crisps! 'Ultra-processed' foods linked to cancer!

SkippyBing
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Re: This is a perfect example of the press stating that correlation means causation...

'The really scary thing about that link was finding out how many people die as a result of becoming tangled in their bedsheets.'

Surely an argument for not even trying to get out of bed?

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Life's a beach – then you're the comms nexus of the British Empire and Marconi-baiting hax0rs

SkippyBing
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Re: if you receive any significant benefit in exchange

@paulf, thanks that makes more sense now. Typically I don't bother including one off donations in my tax return so that had eluded me! It's not generosity to HMRC, I just don't make enough of them to make it worth the hassle of keeping a record.

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SkippyBing
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Re: Used to work there!

'just before the college closed and moved to Coventry'

Jesus, who had they pissed off?

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SkippyBing
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Re: if you receive any significant benefit in exchange

While we're on Gift Aid, why do some places advertise a higher price if you tick Gift Aid? I mean it's hardly an incentive to tick the box.

Edit:

Ahh I see it's in section 3.39.4, although I can't see what the difference for the donor is between paras a and b, in both cases you get a years re-admittance but in para b you're 10% worse off. I've also never seen the advantage of paying 10% on the normal price advertised at places that charge it, but that may just be me.

Also don't some countries have shorter entire tax codes than we're managing just for Gift Aid?

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South China waters are red, Brit warships are blue, HMS Sutherland's sailing there

SkippyBing
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Re: China is Aggressive with Respect to the East Sea aka South China Sea

'China has NO claim to the WHOLE of the East Sea (aka South China Sea) - except in it's bent distortion of history.'

Exactly, their entire claim seems to be based on someone in the first half of the 20th Century drawing some lines on a map and then saying 'well that's ours then'. It's not even based around islands.

Wikipedia but not inaccurate:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nine-Dash_Line

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SkippyBing
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Re: String of pearls

You'd have thought of all people they'd have learnt about 99 year leases when they got Hong Kong back. Always go for in perpetuity.

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SkippyBing
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Re: re: You can't manufacture sovernity by manufacturing islands

'Actually, it was primarily about warning Argentine forces to keep their distance.'

I think shooting at them made that pretty clear anyway, and if you tell them you reserve the right to attack them outside 200NM it basically means you could attack them anywhere. The actually not a whale sub-surface contact that was attacked, where it turned out post-war there hadn't been an Argentine submarine does show that some people were happy to take the risk of going inside 200NM to have a look see though.

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SkippyBing
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Re: re: You can't manufacture sovernity by manufacturing islands

'then claim a 200mi exclusion zone around it.'

You don't get a 200NM exclusion zone, you get a 200NM economic exclusion zone which other countries vessels are free to pass through, stop, turn around, and do most things in apart from the exploration and use of marine resources which they'd have to ask for a licence for. Inside 12NM foreign warships can only transit in the most expeditious manner and not dick around turning radars on or checking weapons systems as it's an act of war.

There was a 200NM exclusion zone during the Falklands Conflict, but that was to let anyone who might have an interest in watching how a NATO task group goes about conducting a war that the UK wouldn't be carrying out ID checks beyond, it's not ours kill it.

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SkippyBing
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'If the Chinese decide to play hard, there's very little that Sutherland can do'

By which you mean declare an act of war against a nuclear armed permanent member of the UN Security Council?

Also Harpoon retirement has been postponed: http://www.janes.com/article/74044/dsei-2017-uk-defers-harpoon-retirement

Sea Wolf may be old, but it's still perfectly capable of shooting things down and the AAW radars have been updated considerably in recent years.

And she has her own torpedo launch system as well as the helicopter.

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See that over Heathrow? It's not an airliner – it's a Predator drone

SkippyBing
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Aircraft Registry

This may not be as useful for the civil drone market as you'd think. Ultimately the CAA has limited (no?) power over anything operated on the military registry, although they do own the airspace. So although they may be 'happy' with MoD flying drones of various levels of airworthiness around it doesn't automatically follow they'll allow the same for civilian drones. e.g. they may decide that a civilian Predator needs greater levels of redundancy that make it prohibitively expensive for the intended use.

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TalkTalk to splash £1.5bn laying full fibre on 3 million doorsteps

SkippyBing
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'Only a monopoly if you consider FTTP a unique product that can't be replicated.

My point was if there was only one fibre network, which some are proposing, it would be a monopoly which tends to be bad for the consumer no matter who owns it. Obviously you could use mobile or copper instead but then you'd be stuck with an old technology or one that has its own limits on bandwidth as more people use it. So in that sense FTTP is a unique product.

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SkippyBing
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It's also one single point of failure and something of a monopoly, which tends to work against the interests of the consumer.

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SkippyBing
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'There must be some better way that maximises resources and limits disruption by companies sharing infrastructure such as a national fibre network then add capacity as needed'

Well you could try a command economy but they don't seem to run that efficiently either.

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Talk about a hot mic: Dodgy Pixel mobe audio lands Google in court

SkippyBing
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Re: Every 30 months?

'Probably more so than your average generation snowflaker who can't handle face to face interaction.'

I suspect you find a lot of people can't handle face to face interaction...

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SkippyBing
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Re: Every 30 months?

'I guess it depends on where you live or perhaps its a generational thing. I just use my phone as a phone, not as a toy computer to play juvenile games on or exchange inanities on WhatsApp with people I'm too lazy to actually phone.'

Obviously your decisions make you morally superior to anyone who has a use case for a smartphone. And a joy to meet at parties too I'd imagine.

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LISA Pathfinder sniffed out gravitational signals down to micro-Hertz

SkippyBing
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Re: "gas molecules bouncing around inside the satellite were sufficient to register as noise. "

'Interstellar space is rarely emptier than 1 particle per cc, and at 2.7K that works out at ~1E-17 pascals.'

So it'll be alright to get home on and then pump it up there?

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SkippyBing
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Re: "gas molecules bouncing around inside the satellite were sufficient to register as noise. "

'Space isn't a vacuum at all. It's full of planets and stars etc. Very far apart admittedly...

So what is the pressure of the solar system...

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Google code reckons it's smarter than airlines, AI funding, and lots more

SkippyBing
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To be honest I'm not convinced you're a person.

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F-35 flight tests are being delayed by onboard software snafus

SkippyBing
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Re: can’t talk to its guided air-to-ground bombs properly?

It can talk, it just doesn't listen. I know people like that.

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SkippyBing
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Re: Ada

'But if you are planning a multi-decade project, why not just train some yourself?'

I don't think they were planning on the development being a multi-decade project...

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SkippyBing
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F-35 Predecessor

Worth bearing in mind the F-35's predecessor the Sea Harrier wasn't cleared to fire Sidewinders (it's only air to air missile at the time) when it first landed on a carrier. Or use the Ski Ramp. Or have a nav system. And it was a development of the Harrier which was already in service. So in many ways the F-35 is in a better position. Although slightly more has been spent on it.

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All your base are belong to us: Strava exercise app maps military sites, reveals where spies jog

SkippyBing
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Re: Collect all the data, ignore users privacy...

'Without that information it may just as easily be the postman or a stalker'

No, you can see the stalker's line in the bushes round the back.

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SkippyBing
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Re: Collect all the data, ignore users privacy...

'Excluding home addresses *is* part of the Strava sign up process.'

Very much this, what surprises me is how many people miss it. I compared my friends house in LA with mine, he is obviously the only person living on his street to use the app despite a reasonable number of people using it as part of their running route. My house in a small town in the UK has apparently never been lived in by someone who has Strava even though I ran about 5 times the distance he did last year.

What I did like was looking in Portsmouth harbour and seeing a feint outline of an aircraft carrier.

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Thar she blows: Strava heat map shows folk on shipwreck packed with 1,500 tonnes of bombs

SkippyBing
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Aircraft Carrier

You can spot the outline of an aircraft carrier if you look in Portsmouth harbour. Although to be honest I don't think it's a secret its there.

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SkippyBing
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Re: Fake (news) data ?

'GPS accuracy also is really not ALWAYS that great so I would not be at all surprised if it was sometime +/- 50m if the GPS device only has a poor lock on satellites - for example if worn on a wrist while running or sailing!'

My personal best on Strava occurred when my phone spent 20 minutes trying to get a decent fix. It thought I was zig-zagging all over the place rather than following the road. Eventually I deleted the 3 sub 5 minute miles...

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SkippyBing
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Re: explosive ordnance disposal personnel

'At the very least, military joggers should be turning off their devices and changing their routes and times with immediate effect.'

Why? The routes are undoubtedly following paths that are all on Ordnance Survey Maps and the time of day isn't readily available from the Strava map. Sharing your Strava profile with people you don't know is risky but that is hammered home in annual security briefs.

Using them in an active theatre is a different matter entirely.

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Fancy coughing up for a £2,000 'nanodegree' in flying car design?

SkippyBing
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Re: A little over the top

I suspect your PPL is significantly more useful though! As you say the target audience is poorly defined, it's not as if we aren't already producing people with the skills needed to programme the software for an advanced autopilot system and I suspect it takes longer than two terms.

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We're cutting F-35 costs, honest, insists jet-builder Lockheed Martin

SkippyBing
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'Kinda strange, btw, that a "software upgrade" would THE factor that blocks getting up to scratch. If they can't even tweak early-gen software, does that give you any confidence they can tweak early-gen hardware?

I suspect it's a combination of the early airframes being different to the later build standard* and older IT hardware. Essentially you'd need to have bespoke code** for those airframes depending on which Lot they came from. Not impossible to overcome but if you're buying as many as the USAF plan to it's cheaper to just restrict the role those airframes can carry out e.g. initial pilot training or trials.

I believe the UK has a few airframes from the earlier non-upgradeable batch, possibly <5, but as all the ones to be built from now on will be upgradeable, at least 90% of the planned buy won't be affected.

*So when you talk about tweaking early-gen hardware you're suggesting taking the aircraft apart and rebuilding it with a few different parts.

**Side fact, due to the differences between the UK Apache and the ones everyone else bought the MoD had to pay quite a bit of money to have bespoke software updates, which came out around every 18 months.

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SkippyBing
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Re: Queen Elizabeth Class

Well the Japanese are looking at putting F-35Bs on their not at all aircraft carrier like Helicopter Destroyers*, so I guess in a decade or so we can relive the Battle for Ceylon.

*It's a bigger name stretch than calling the Invincible class Through Deck Cruisers.

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SkippyBing
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Re: Reduction

At some point LM were talking up the late production run F-35s being unmanned so the second half of your statement may well end up being true.

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SkippyBing
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Re: Low, low, low...

'I don't think so; IIRC we (the UK) sold everything to the US - Lock, Stock and Drawings.'

No, we only sold the airframes, the US already had drawings as they'd been making their own under licence for a number of years. The fact is the factory was shut down after the last few Harriers were delivered in the late '90s, Sea Harriers oddly with the original tin wing. The question is why would you make new ones? They don't have the range/payload/speed of an F-35B, there's no infrastructure left to support them so you'd have to pay for that as well, and they were challenging to fly so actually getting sufficient numbers of pilots was a difficulty. At this point it'd take longer to regenerate a UK Harrier capability than it will to introduce the F-35.

This isn't to say getting rid of them prematurely in 2010 was the right decision, but it's not 2010.

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SkippyBing
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Re: Sensor fusion?

'If I remember correctly, wasn't the Yak38 a complete failure that the pilots were most happy when the planes were grounded'

It wasn't the best, the range with anything approaching a payload was poor, becoming non-existent when they deployed them to Afghanistan as a trial. Because obviously if you're fairly rubbish at sea level on a cold day going up a few thousand feet and increasing the temperature is only going to help.

It did have the nice feature of an automatic ejector seat if the aircraft went outside certain parameters, although slightly worrying they thought it necessary in the first place.

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SkippyBing
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Re: Sensor fusion?

'Nothing "novel" to it. It is a licensed copy of the old Soviet Union Yakovlev 141 design which USSR and Russia abandoned in favour of short take-off/arrested landing.'

Not strictly true, LM licensed the Yak-141 design because at the time of the initial proposals the world's premier authority on VSTOL flight were partnered with McDonnell-Douglas (remember them) to produce a JSF entrant. LM were trying to force BAe to share data from the P1214/P1216 program which also had a single post rear nozzle. Subsequently Mc-D lost the competition and were bought out by Boeing, while BAe partnered with LM taking their intellectual property with them. Note the Yaks didn't have a lift fan, they had whole engines dedicated to the concept which is significantly more dead weight in forward flight.

As the practicality of the VSTOL approach was proven in the mid-90's, achieving a STO, supersonic flight, and vertical landing at Edwards, I don't think that's been an issue for a while. Getting the Sensor Fusion to work and recovering some weight gain that wasn't properly managed in the early '00s has definitely been an issue though.

The size of the carriers meanwhile is dictated by the desired sortie rate (I think 72 per day for QE) rather than the type of aircraft you're operating.

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SkippyBing
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Re: Sensor fusion?

My understanding is that Sensor Fusion is getting the inputs from the various sensors, so RADAR, IR camera, RADAR Warning Receiver etc. coherent. So that if a RADAR return is in a certain position that aligns with an RWR return you can classify that return as being a certain thing, based on the other information about it. Earlier aircraft have relied on the sensor operator to do this which is a not insignificant workload and basically means you only do it for a contact of interest, the F-35 tries to do it for everything and then presents the pilot with the information in an easy to process way. So in the Helmet Mounted Display the little symbol where the other aircraft is will tell you everything it knows about it.

I think MADL just extends the concept to take information from multiple aircraft, versus Link which just tells you what the other aircraft has already decided, i.e. there's a contact there that I have decided is hostile.

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F-35 'incomparable' to Harrier jump jet, top test pilot tells El Reg

SkippyBing
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'And when will it be delivered? My guess is that it will be delivered soon after the carrier must be scrapped.'

So the UK has 14 in the US now split between the trials squadron and the training unit*. So that would make your guess wildly inaccurate.

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SkippyBing
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Is there a shortage of hospitals? I mean I think if there is the NHS's £150 Billion budget is the place to look rather than Defence's £40 Billion one.

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SkippyBing
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Re: Stealth Landings?

'Also, the plane is far bigger than the stuff hanging off it. So it's going to give the largest radar return

Not how RADAR works. To quote Ben Rich, or maybe Kelly Johnson*, RADAR Cross Section has nothing to do with size.

*I can't remember if it's Ben Rich quoting Johnson in his book or just directly stating it. Ben Rich was lead on the F-117 programme so I'm guessing he knows what he's talking about.

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NASA is sniffing jet fuel over Germany

SkippyBing
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Re: call me crazy, but...

I'd imagine because the atmosphere is different at 36000' vs sea level. It's a lot colder for starters, so unless you want to put a run up stand on Mount Everest it wouldn't be that representative.

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SkippyBing
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DC-8

Or Diesel-8 as it was commonly referred to. Check out pictures of the early turobjet powered examples to see why. Fortunately NASAs now has some nice turbofans which are a lot more efficient and clean burning.

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Half a terabyte in your smartmobe? Yup. That's possible now

SkippyBing
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Re: That's a lot of data to lose

Presumably why most Android users* have the apps on the built in memory and audio and image files etc. on the SD card?

*You can put some apps on the memory card, I have in the past. I didn't notice a slow down to be honest.

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