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About mrfox

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    Spacecraft Engineer
  1. Think about it - every bolt of lighting in a storm generates a shockwave. Its call thunder. The answer seems obvious.
  2. 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.
  3. a good sci-fi/horror game with an interesting premise on this very topic
  4. Even something as simple as the metallurgy of a pen tip requires years of effort and research when you are starting from scratch.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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?
  9. The british 747 They forgot to unpack the airplane from the crate it came it.
  10. Ergonomics and british aircraft do not belong in the same sentence. The most famous example being the double hand switch required on the supermarine spitfire during takeoff.
  11. Elegant Solutions in Missiles

    The classic sidewinder (not the X) is also one of my favorite mechanical systems - there were so many elegant mechanical solutions in that design. The self stabilization rollerons on the rear control fins are simply genius - a self contained, self powered, purely mechanical SAS system using a only a few moving parts, physics, and aerodynamics.
  12. Tiangong-1 Re-entry

    "It seems it may be much ado about nothing," said T.S. Kelso, a senior research astrodynamicist at the Center for Space Standards & Innovation (CSSI), a research arm of Analytical Graphics. Kelso has plotted the altitude history of Tiangong-1 from just after its launch to more recent times. He told that the Chinese space lab's orbit was reboosted relatively recently, in mid-December 2015. "That reboost put it higher than it had been anytime prior to that in its mission," Kelso said. Kelso said he does not have "any direct way to measure" Tiangong-1's stability. "But we might expect to see the rate of decrease in altitude — the slope between reboosts— increase if it was tumbling, since the station would have higher drag," he added. "Instead, we see the slowest decrease in altitude in recent years — consistent with the lower drag at a higher altitude." Kelso said his reading of the data suggests that Tiangong-1 is dormant but stable. "So that might be why the Chinese aren't responding … they probably don't understand why they would need to," Kelso said. "I guess I would want to see some very specific data, notionally covering a period where Tiangong-1 was supposed to be stable, to show that it is now uncontrolled, before reading too much more into this." Based on the latest tracking information, if there are no further reboosts of the Chinese craft, "we would expect to see Tiangong-1 re-enter just around the end of 2017," Kelso said. If China does indeed have control over the space lab, why keep it in orbit rather than nudging it back to Earth immediately? "The suggestion has been made," Dorman said, that "the reason China hasn't done a re-entry of Tiangong-1 is, the space station is low on fuel, and China is waiting on a natural decay to a much lower orbit before they can do a burn to bring the station down."
  13. Odd Aircraft Registrations

    Its actually N1KE. The equavilant to a VIN number on aircraft would be its MSN - manufacturers serial number. This stays regardless of rego changes.
  14. Semi-automatic Aircraft Control

    Right at the beginning actually This development stems from Diamond's work in unmanned versions of their small single and twin engined aircraft, resulting in some of the first fly-by-wire light aircraft that will be coming on the market in the next few years.