Re: May America lose the Iraq war

From: Charlie Gibbs (cgibbs@kltpzyxm.invalid)
Date: 03/20/03

From: "Charlie Gibbs" <cgibbs@kltpzyxm.invalid>
Date: 19 Mar 03 17:32:42 -0800

In article <>
(Bill Todd) writes:

> "Rob Young" <> wrote in message
>> break apart at such a steep angle and high speed, according to the
>> study.
> And exactly why would that be true? I can understand that *aiming*
> the aircraft precisely in a dive - since no constant visual reference
> to ground level would be present - might be more difficult,

If you have no constant visual reference to your target, you're not
heading straight toward it. In a proper approach, the target (be it
the end of a runway or a reactor dome) doesn't move in your visual
field; it just gets bigger. This is also used to judge whether
another an aircraft approaching yours is a collision threat: if
its image isn't moving, it's time for evasive action.

> but it's not clear why *flying* it in such a dive should be
> impossible, or even 'almost impossible'.
>> "The plane in all likelihood would destroy itself before it could hit
>> the target," Floyd said.
> Yeah, right. Any pilots out there care to comment on why an aircraft
> couldn't sustain the same speed in a dive without breaking up that it
> could on the level?

Sure, this pilot will comment. The error is in your term "same speed".
An aircraft in a dive will quickly accelerate to a much higher speed
than it could ever attain in level flight. Altitude gives you a _lot_
of potential energy, which a modern airframe will eagerly convert to
kinetic energy given the chance.

German dive bombers of WWII used speed brakes to keep their speed
from increasing too high in a dive. They had to be very solidly
built to withstand the aerodynamic stresses involved. Flaps and
speed brakes on modern aircraft are not designed for such high
speeds; one of the things a pilot must know about an aircraft is
the maximum speed at which they can be deployed. In a steep dive
such devices would "depart the aircraft" (to use the vernacular)
some brief time before the whole thing breaks up.

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