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Comment: Re:not quite as easily (Score 2) 145

by DougF (#46507795) Attached to: US Navy Strategists Have a Long History of Finding the Lost
Umm..it happened with Republic Airlines in the early 80's. I was stationed at Luke AFB, working weekend duty as the supervisor of maintenance when a Republic jet (727? I remember it had two aft engines) landed on our runway and caused one heck of a scare for our SPs and the pax on board. Turns out, the fuel totalizer was inop and the aircrew assumed the jet was full of fuel for their milk runs to/from San Diego and Phoenix. The initial flight to San Diego went OK, it was on the return leg that the problem surfaced. The low fuel light came on, and the crew did the sensible thing and looked for the nearest patch of concrete, which turned out to be Luke AFB. As they approached, number one flamed out, and on the runway number 2 flamed out. We got transient alert out there, towed them to the ramp and pushed a maintenance stand up to the door to get the pax and crew out. We took the pax to the Officer's Club, where they drank the bar dry while waiting for Republic to send a bus for them. The AF charged Republic $10K a day ramp fees plus the booze; and Republic had to verify the aircraft was repaired before we let it go, on Monday morning.

Comment: Re: Why would it be infeasable? (Score 1) 374

by DougF (#46366109) Attached to: Report: Space Elevators Are Feasible
Transistor: Space Race w/Soviets, and Cold War? Penicillin: Millions of people dying from horrible infections? Telephone: Acid burn on Alexander Graham Bell? (OK, that's a stretch...but the telegraph was just so early 19th Century) Car: Horse poop? Transplant: Heart disease is the number one killer?

Comment: Re:Rule of acquisition 18 (Score 1) 888

by DougF (#46259117) Attached to: Star Trek Economics
Actually, the only instant travel was for those connected with Star Fleet, which had enough power at their disposal to use beaming technology for their personnel. Other ST universe citizens traveled by more mundane means (though they could beam, if willing to pay for it), at least that's how I understood it.

Comment: Re:Rain X (Score 5, Interesting) 237

by DougF (#45706129) Attached to: Next-Gen Windshield Wipers To Be Based On Jet Fighter "Forcefield" Tech
...for about 30 seconds and then as the aircraft accelerates past 200kts or so, the rain x is scrubbed off. We tried it, didn't work. Best thing is to use a plexiglass polish to keep the glass as smooth as possible between flights. A bug hitting the windscreen of a fighter jet going 500+kts is not going to be repelled by high frequency sound or any hydrophobic surface. I've seen dents in the leading edges of the wings just from hitting grasshoppers...

Comment: Bleed Air, Not Sound (Score 5, Interesting) 237

by DougF (#45705989) Attached to: Next-Gen Windshield Wipers To Be Based On Jet Fighter "Forcefield" Tech
Jet fighters use bleed air to clear the windscreens, not high frequency sound. The pilot just has to remember to use it sparingly on the ground, or the windscreen melts, which most pilots agree is a bad thing...and mechanics get really ticked off replacing them. Another way to clean the windscreens is a quick shot of JP-8 from your nearby in-flight refueler (booms works best), but you didn't hear that from me...

Comment: Re:Only partly joking... (Score 1) 519

THIS was modded 'insightful"? More propaganda crap. For all the notion that the US is somehow exploiting the rest of the world, the US also has a huge trade deficit, with more net wealth leaving the country for the past 40 years than coming in. The US military serves two main purposes: 1) to ensure the world doesn't get stupid with another world war; and 2) to keep the sea and air lanes open, mostly the sea as 90% of the world's commerce moves via the oceans. That's why there are 12 carriers, 5,000 aircraft and divisions of Army and Marine personnel. Because the US has prevented another world war, we now enjoy the most prosperous time EVER in the history of the world, period. I'm not saying everyone is happy, but a hell of a lot more are than there used to be, and as long as the US keeps the peace, that trend will continue. The Chinese really could care less about anything but China, the recent typhoon in the Philippines is a case in point. Individuals are giving more than China is, and China is their neighbor. The US constantly offers aid and succor to nations and people who've had a tragedy. The US understands that being there handing out an MRE is just as important as standing guard with an M-16. China hasn't a clue, nor will it ever, it's just a machine, driven to expand or die. Because the carriers constantly ply their trade through the major ocean routes, the world economy flourishes. And never, not once, has the US ever levied a toll for that service. The US understands that if one prospers, all prosper and works to make sure that trade lanes stay open and accessible to everyone. And yes, what's good for the world is good for the US, that's just good business. Because the US made Europe and Asia play nice through forward deploying their own flesh and blood, their own sons and daughters, Asia and Europe are now major economic powers after being devastated in WWII. The US could've kept them down, forced them to accept one-way trade agreements. But no, the US rebuilt them, and allowed it's own factories to fall silent, and unemployment to rise. I'm not sure that sounds like something a nation with a bloated war-mongering military machine would allow to happen. Hell, even Vietnam is prospering! The Philippines asked the US to leave, and they did. The US has left every place that has asked them to go. Will China? Unlikely. I'm still trying to figure out how the US is "exploiting" all those billions of people who have good jobs, food on the table, clothes on their backs, schools, roads, high-speed trains, satellite TV, etc, etc. /rant

Comment: Porpoising (Score 2) 18

by DougF (#45277567) Attached to: Crashing Rockets Could Lead To Novel Sample-Return Technology
The military have significant experience in porpoising munitions, usually by mistake. It's pretty common to see munitions where the ballute has failed and the bomb enters at too shallow an angle, goes underground for a few dozen feet and then erupts and lands on the surface, or depending on the angle, goes back into the ground/explodes (finally). Shouldn't be too much of a stretch to design a system to enter at a shallow angle, gather (something), exit, and then deploy a retrieval system.

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