Gizmodo: Physicists Say Everyone Is Lying About That Russian Bomber

Interesting, although the Russian claims sound less like fabrications.

We're not done with this one. I think Russia may manage to peel France off of the NATO coalition with it, given America's terrible response to the whole thing. Even if they don't manage to bring France into a coalition with themselves -- and right now, the French President not only sounds like he's open to that, he sounds like he thinks it's his idea -- they could still split NATO by making France a free agent again. They were, for most of the Cold War.


Ymar Sakar said...

Russia vs the Evil American Slave Empire. How the roles have reversed since Reagan's time.

E Hines said...

The scientists' analysis as a couple of bad assumptions.

The Turkish air force claims to the Russian jets have warned 10 times in five minutes. At 5 minutes imposes a jet 80km often as it at a speed of 960km / h fly. That's about the distance between Ghent and Leuven. The Turkish air force could already predict that Russian jets would fly into Turkey?

Well, yeah. There's more to this sort of behavior than mere physics. What these two scientists carefully ignore is that Russia had already violated Turkish airspace a number of times. Given this Russian fighter-bomber's course and the aircrews' refusal to respond to the advisories and then warnings, it's really pretty clear that the aircrew intended their own violation.

The map with route to Russia spread, natural science can not be right. Then the plane makes a sharp turn (90º) after it was hit by a missile. This is scientific nonsense: the direction of the plane can only change if a force is applied to it. The momentum (mass times velocity) of the rocket and the explosion is many times smaller than the momentum of the jet....

This is scientific dishonesty. There's far more to the maneuver than just the impact of a missile. The aircraft maneuvered sharply because the impact and explosion damage locked the control surfaces into a hard turn is one alternative that these folks carefully ignore in this part of their "analysis." These guys also assume that the aircrew, on being attacked, would make no effort to maneuver against subsequent attack or to depart the now enforced airspace as quickly as possible, even before the nearly immediate analysis of the damage their aircraft has absorbed is begun. Even a scientist would not make this assumption.

I question, from all of that, these guys' purely physics analysis, too. Their arithmetic is accurate enough, but they're plainly operating from an...inaccurate...set of input assumptions regarding behaviors and motions prior to the firing.

As an aside, this was a small airspace violation; I doubt whether the Turks would have reacted so strongly (and justifiably so, IMNSHO, even with this small violation) were it not for the fact that they had already protested those prior violations and warned Russia of consequences were they to continue.

Note: the article at the link is in Dutch. Google Translate is friendly enough.

Eric Hines

Dad29 said...

One begins to wonder if the NATO Alliance is a bit outdated. It was founded on the idea that Communism is/was an existential threat to Western Europe and the US, which is true, of course.

But the sands have shifted a bit, and the core definitions now should be re-examined more carefully.

Communism is at its philosophical core, politicized atheism, which the West has adopted to a greater or lesser extent. (More precisely, the 'leaders' and 'movers & shakers' have done so, and at the same time those 'leaders, movers/shakers' have adopted the second layer of Communism, which is socialism.)

Against this we have the words of Pope Leo XIII, that 'no one can be a true Catholic (i.e., Christian) and a true Socialist at the same time.'


Now we observe the inception of the Islam caliphate, which is also opposed to Christianity AND is opposed to many other Western values--at least those which are consonant with Christianity. (While there are some overlapping values in both, a caliphate will not tolerate Christianity "pure" in its midst for long.)

So, briefly, the landscape now consists of a post-Christian (or at best, semi- or non-Christian West--which includes Russia) standing against an Islamic challenge--among whose supporters are Turkey.

This makes Romney's warnings about Russia somewhat dated, or even inaccurate, as it does the NATO alliance--at least in the present time.

Upshot: what serious National Interest is served by the US' active and likely bloody defense of a radical Islamist state (Turkey) vs. a Communist state (Russia)?

james said...

Hines already did a good job reviewing the "analysis." An airplane is designed to interact strongly with the air: notice the difference between dropping a sheet of paper and dropping a crumpled sheet of paper. Naive treatment of the system as a simple rigid body in a vacuum is nonsense.

Grim said...

So, you didn't like the article that much? :) You guys are a tough crowd!

E Hines said...

Oh, I liked the article. I just don't think much of the guys who wrote it.

Eric Hines

MikeD said...

According to Doorsslaere and Lapenta, the incoming rocket would have to have been many times heavier or faster than the jet for such a sharp turnaround to occur.

I was going to hammer them on this point, but Eric already did, quite well too. To say a missile could not force a 90 degree turn because it lacks the mass is a linguistic slight of hand. It implies (as Eric points out) that the only operant force in the equation is the mass and relative velocities of both plane and missile. But they're not, and anyone who says otherwise is a liar or uneducated. Given that these two physicists should know better, then I'd say they fall in the first camp with some personal agenda. I don't have the slightest clue what that could be, but there it is.

They must know (one must assume) that a jet propelled aircraft does not necessarily cease all thrust after being struck by a missile, nor that the aerodynamic characteristics of an aircraft that was catastrophically damaged by an explosion are necessarily identical to one that isn't. Thus, the altered thrust and aerodynamics of the plane, post impact, are variables that should have been accounted for. As should any adjustments to the flight controls by the pilot both prior to impact and after. By treating the plane as a simple projectile struck by another, they are ignoring literally every other force acting upon the aircraft.

So, you didn't like the article that much? :) You guys are a tough crowd!

My objection is not to the article (save that the reporter ought to have thought of this as well), but to the physicists' analysis. It's crude, at best, outright deceitful at worst.