Sunday, February 26, 2012

Nature Fakers (Enviros)

They've been around longer than most people realize.
I was just telling someone this week why, as a lifelong Conservationist, I hate Nature-Faking  'Environmentalism'. In the future, I'll just refer them to the link.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

UAV Strikes in Pakistan Aren't Targeting Civilians

So they're not killing very many either.
When the evidence gets looked at closely we find Unmanned Air Vehicle strikes don't kill nearly as many civilians as collateral damage as the political opportunists in Pakistan or emoters in the United States try to lead us to believe.  There's a shocker for you (not).

There's nothing 'Sterile' about it.
Even the improper use of the descriptor 'Drone', which has now come into common usage as a label for all unmanned air vehicles seems to promote the 'thoughtlessness' meme. They are Unmanned Air Vehicles. I submit the human thought and decision process that go into deciding to launch a Hellfire missile off a Predator UAV are far more involved and rigorous than launching one off any other type of platform. People who carp about the 'sterility' of such strikes had ancestors who carried swords and lances and b*tched about the appearance of the longbow on the battlefield. No matter how far removed from the battle, combat involvment is not 'sterile' for the operator. Physically safer? Yes. Sterile and unthinking? NO.

Spare us the "Not One More Dead Child" bleating.
Civilian deaths are a burden our military and intelligence operators and decision-makers bear heavily. The only true unfortunates in this situation are innocent children and (most of) the women. They are the collateral damage that we can only mitigate but never eliminate when the perverse values in a primitive 'culture' prioritizes 'family' relationships over the fact that your relative is terrorist scum.  We work to minimize the collateral damage but some people seem to be unaware that "WAR!" isn't very nice.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

F-35 Stores Testing: An Observation

...Or Two
(See Update Below)

H/T Solomon at SNAFU! for first pointing these out.
High resolutions pics available at ARES blog, but I believe (just an opinion here) ARES was more concerned with getting out the pics than getting the details down. The ARES article mentions:
It's not too evident on these images, but the AIM-9X pylons have an unusual outward kick that mounts the launch rail at an angle to the pylon, presumably to provide adequate clearance from neighboring stores.
That could be part of it, but since we're speculating, I think a major reason might have  more to do with the proximity of the AIM-9X (or other store) to the Flaperon edges.

Even if there wasn't a physical clearance problem, there might have been potential for some interesting acoustic environments generated locally. You could have the weapon causing buffet of the wing and flaperon or vice versa - maybe even affecting weapon release envelopes.
Who knows? It could even have a signature benefit from the side (I doubt it though).
I held off mentioning this because I was certain one of the local 'experts' at Ares would have caught the missile/control surface proximity, but it's 40 comments in and 'no joy'. Maybe they're focusing too much on 'clever' and not enough on 'smart'. Heck, ol' Bill even dumps on a commenter positing the possibility of multiple AMRAAMS on some of the pylons (possible if not practical or desirable) with a crack about the commenter forgetting the 'nuclear laser' option.
The pylons proximity to the flaperons does seem to have raised some (ahem) 'concern' in the comments.
While they appear to be longer (vertically) than the F-18 E/F's (excellent pics here), they also appear to be more streamlined than the F-18E/F pylons. The two inboard pylons appear identical, and such interchangeability would be a logistical advantage over many previous aircraft (like the F-18E/F). I suspect the F-35's pylons are lower drag installation than the F-18's because they look 'cleaner', but couldn't prove it either way without some design data.

Update 21Feb @2020Hrs.
I stopped by ARES again to see if anyone had picked up on the proximity of the flaperon edges to the outboard store station and didn't see anything related. I did notice that Ol' Bill must have inflamed the commenter he 'snarked' because the guy's first comment afterwards was deleted and he's on a tear about it. The other thing I noticed was someone with the handle of 'RAF' seems to REALLY want there to have been a decrement to the A/C model performance due to commonality with the B, and he works hard at selling the idea of the B's alleged 'optimization' for STOVL simply MUST have subverted the rest of the variants.

People evidently don't read any more, for as I noted at SNAFU! a while back in the comments:

From AIAA paper "The Genesis of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter" by Paul Bevilaqua:
This first-order analysis suggested that it might be possible to almost double the thrust of an existing F-119 engine with a dualcycle shaft-driven lift fan the same diameter as the engine. Such a variable-cycle propulsion system would provide high levels of thrust augmentation in the STOVL mode, with a cool low-pressure footprint, ample control power, and minimal effect on the design of the airframe. By placing the lift fan in line with the cruise engine, the bypass ratio would be increased without increasing the engine diameter. And because the cruise engine can be optimized for conventional flight, its performance is not penalized for its STOVL capability.
Everyone doesn't have access to AIAA archives, but everyone on the web should know what a frickin' search engine looks like. Bevilaqua also notes in more than one of his AIAA papers that the mid-mission CG of the B model is effectively the same as the A model. This is a critical point because one seeks to design the aircraft to have the best mass properties for maneuvering at mid-mission weights because that is the time when a combat aircraft needs its best maneuverability.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

AR Project: A Functional Device

I have been scouring the web, several catalogs, and near weekly editions of Shotgun News these past few months trying to find a really 'good deal' to tip the balance either way in deciding to buy or build my 'upper'. I've also been picking the brains of a co-worker that has experience building up ARs in trying to decide the final approach and configuration.
I finally decided that I would go with a built up upper instead of piece parts, and that for the type of shooting I will be doing I should go for a 16" barrel in other than the full-bull stainless steel variety. There were several reasons on the barrel decision, not the least of which is that for the kind of light conditions in which I plan to use this weapon, I really wanted a flash suppressor-- and that the heavy stainless barrels that would fill the bill were either way too expensive or on perennial back-order.

I went to Cheaper Than Dirt today looking for one particular A3 Upper but found that the retail store had 2 of another model I had considered, but had not selected before, because the model had been listed as 'out of stock' according to the online catalog. I bought one.

It is a DPMS 5.56, 16" light barrel assembly with A2 flash hider, low profile single rail gas block, and complete with bolt/carrier assembly and charging handle. The in-store price was a little steeper than the catalog price, but still par for other sources, and as far as upper assemblies go, the main lesson I've learned in this project is the 'bird in the hand' maxim is in effect.

This build needs only the few bells and whistles I still want. Some of them I would have tried to pick up today if CTD hadn't been such a freaking zoo (the checkout lady told me that it was always this way on 'rainy' Saturdays).  

Remaining Checklist Items: Free Float Quad Rails, Flip-up sights, Sling (type TBD, leaning towards 3 point), Optics/laser (TBD), and possibly a vertical foregrip and ambidextrous charging handle.

So close.....

Friday, February 17, 2012

Han Shot First

Culture Wars? It's On!
     Bill Whittle on PJTV

Excellent Afterburner video from PJTV up at You Tube right now.

While the 'Evil Child-like Socialists' in power, their codependent Hollyweird sycophants, and the 'entitled' parasites falsely claiming to be "the 99%" are waging open war against American civilization, it is nice to see some 'push back'.

Bill Whittle, once again, does not disappoint, and while I generally agree with Solomon at SNAFU! about the downsides of 'Act Of Valor',Whittle points out a 'positive' for the movie that cannot be denied. His observations about the making of 'Act of Valor' may not be precisely 'correct' but they are forgivable in the greater scheme of things.

I may get one of those 'Han Shot First t-shirts myself.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

LRS-B: The Next-Next Generation Bomber!

Old School Long Range Strike (Click on Pic For Larger)

Work kept me from catching this story earlier. News slowly coming out about the new Long Range Strike platform in the works isn't substantial enough yet for me to determine if I should call it a 'great idea' or a waste of time in the continuing saga of fielding a new long range strike asset. How I think of it will depend largely on the unrefueled range and payload numbers if it is like the 'LRS-A'  in all other respects.
Phil Ewing at DoDBuzz 'disappoints' in this observation (emphasis in original):
By relying on proven technologies and by planning to evolve the aircraft over time as threats evolve, similar to the B-52 legacy fleet, the up-front acquisition costs will be reduced significantly from the B-2 experience. The average procurement unit cost is anticipated to be about $550 million in FY 2010 dollars for a fleet of 80–100 aircraft. The Air Force plans to utilize an executive-level, highly streamlined, stable oversight structure to manage the program, and keep requirements manageable, tradable [sic] and affordable. Funding in FY 2013 is $0.3 billion and totals $6.3 billion from FY 2013 – FY 2017.
Hey Phil? About that 'doing things differently' angle. If we would have bought 80-100 B-2s, in the first place the unit acquisition cost would have been far less than those "$550M" in 2010 dollars, and probably much less than that even in then-year dollars. CBO numbers for only 26 B-2s in the early 90s was $540M per plane. Northrop offered to sell the AF only half as many (40)  B-2Cs in 2001 for a fixed price of $545M/aircraft.

End Note:
Right behind an almost pathological ignorance (perhaps often feigned?) of the Logical Fallacies, the thing that bugs me the most about the state of the news media today is the absolute lack of (again, perhaps feigned?) awareness as to how math or economics are actually applied within the topics on they write so breathlessly.

[minor cut/paste errors corrected 2/17]

Airpower is Developed, Sustained, and Provided by an "Air Force"

Composite Photo of a Aerospace Power Dead End, a.k.a. A-10 N/AW

In thread over at SNAFU!, we find one commenter 'Lane" advocating the wet dream of 'Army ├╝ber alles' types everywhere, i.e. the disbandment of the Air Force. I've invited him to read a couple of my older posts Space Force? and Space Coast Guard?  and have posted this to give him an opportunity to make his case a little better than he did over at Solomon's.

Thoughtful arguments (beyond 'because', 'because I say so', and 'there was this one time in band camp' please) for disbanding the AF are welcome, but will be countered even more thoughtfully. I predict and forewarn that IF I get any response, my most common references in countering will involve "Goldwater-Nichols" and the words 'Train and Equip'.

Oh!.. and please leave the 'we have x number Air Forces' B.S. for use as sound bites on some space limited I-hate-AF thread. The Army has trains and it isn't a railroad, and some say it has more floating assets than the Navy and no one claims it is a 'Navy'.  

If serious discussion on Airpower isn't your thing, then I refer you to a light-hearted romp on the subject of service roles and missions. See Harry Harrison's "Navy Day" ..........

The Army had a new theme song: "Anything  you can do, we can do better!" And they meant anything, including up-to-date hornpipes!


Saturday, February 04, 2012