mrfox

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About mrfox

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    Spacecraft Engineer
  1. Bad science in fiction Hall of Shame

    How about the movie Sunshine? Like interstellar - such an interesting premise, if they could've only come up with a slightly more plausible plot device, and a little more care and attention on the science and physics... Like interstellar - so much story potential presented in the first half - but all wasted at the second half by sterotypical hollywood tropes. What really grinds me about these two movies was that I was really excited about seeing them when they came out - what a shame.
  2. Bad science in fiction Hall of Shame

    For me, the key in a immersive scfi story is not total realism, but the suspension of disbelief. And the good ones does this by presenting a consistent narrative that, although not 100% realistic in "our" universe, makes logical sense given the rules of "that" universe. Hence, Gravity works for me. And so does Galaxy Quest. Because they don't pretend to be "hard" scfi. And Interstellar doesn't. Because it tries too hard to be "hard". The inconsistency grinds when you manage 8/10 for astrophysics, but 0/10 for engineering physics.
  3. Catapult start?

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mass_driver https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Space_gun
  4. https://batterybro.com/blogs/18650-wholesale-battery-reviews/98659398-electric-jumbo-jets-how-many-batteries-do-you-need-to-get-airborne
  5. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Contra-rotating_propellers Contra-rotating propellers on a Rolls-Royce–Griffon–powered P-51 Contra-rotating propellers of a Spitfire Mk XIX One of the quartet of contra-rotating propellers on a Tu-95 Russian strategic bomber XB-35 Flying Wing shown its quartet of pusher contra-rotating propellers. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coaxial_rotors Kamov Ka-32A-12 Russian Air Force Ka-52 Sikorsky S-69/XH-59A
  6. Think about it - every bolt of lighting in a storm generates a shockwave. Its call thunder. The answer seems obvious.
  7. I believed a far side landing was one of the myraid of proposed missions for the later cancelled apollo missions. The CM would serve as comms relay when passing overhead, but there certainly would've been a lot of alone time on that mission.
  8. a good sci-fi/horror game with an interesting premise on this very topic https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soma_(video_game)
  9. http://m.scmp.com/news/china/economy/article/2060544/made-china-triumph-china-declares-it-can-make-ball-pen-head Even something as simple as the metallurgy of a pen tip requires years of effort and research when you are starting from scratch.
  10. Remember China only began limited industrialization in the 1950s, and widescale industrialization since the 1980s. I'd say its done a pretty impressive job in such a short timeframe.
  11. While the supermarine swift might've look alright - it was one of the worst flying production airplanes in history. The design was rushed into production without proper testing. Unfortuantely, the aerodynamic center was miscalculated. Which meant the airplane had a tendency to flip end over end when turning - a situation surely familiar to KSP players. It was most definiatly an exception to the rule that "if it looks right - it will fly right". To elaborate - its because the whole underside of the wing was taken up by the retracted landing gear.
  12. The gear goes up quickly because the gear speed limit is quite low - around 150 kts - and it takes a good 15 seconds to retract. Remember this was a fighter/interceptor - you don't want to take too long to go up, otherwise you might not have a base to land back at.
  13. For takeoff - your left hand controls the throttle, your right hand on control stick. But the gear lever is on the right side of the cockpit. So as you lift off, your left hand needs to comes off the throttle and onto the control stick, while your right hand goes to retract the gear. In case you don't know, big WWII single engine prop planes are a real handful on takeoff, as the giant prop out front is trying its hardest to flip you upside down from reaction, aero, and gyro forces. This, coupled with very poor visibility from the long nose, and the gear lever hand dance, makes for some 'interesting' gyrations very close to the ground. And if that is not interesting enough, did I mention that the gear lever is also next to the fuel cutoff lever?
  14. The british 747 They forgot to unpack the airplane from the crate it came it.