Saturday, January 30, 2010

Russia's new Stealth Fighter not so Stealthy

Thanks to Merv over at Prairie Pundit we learn that Russia, in cooperation with India has fielded what they call a Fifth Generation "Stealth Fighter" to compete with the F-22 Raptor and F-35 Lightning II, but even a cursory look at the Sukhoi T-50/PAK FA airframe and you will soon see that the aircraft is not all that stealthy. The first thing you will note that it will mount two R-77 active radar guided missiles on wingtip rails or underwing pylons, a large drop tank on the centerline, and will only have between two and four small internal weapon's bays. The engine exhausts are standard circular turkey fin exhausts that do not appear to be directionally controllable. There are two IR track and scan pods fore and aft of the cockpit as well as what appears to be a conventional cockpit frame rail. All of these features will significantly increase the radar cross section (RCS) of the airframe. All of these things also create drag and will probably lead to a pilot jettisoning much of his external weapons and fuel load at the first sign of a dogfight. I would guess the RCS of this aircraft won't be much better that that of a F/A-18E/F model which it rather resembles. This aircraft's main advantages come from the additions of Supercruise Capability and Sensor Fusion, allowing the combination of radar and IR information from on-board sensors as well as other aircraft to be presented to every aircraft in the air group. This has been standard in most of the US fighter aircraft fleet for several years and accounts for much of the US aircraft's air superiority in combat. Supercruise will allow supersonic flight without the use of fuel gobbling afterburners. This will allow the aircraft to arrive at the fight with a larger fuel reserves and therefore allow it to stay in the fight longer. It is conceivable that the aircraft uses active radar cancellation techniques that would effectively lower it's RCS, but that capability has not been discussed in the open literature.

On the whole, this aircraft is a large improvement over the current Russian fleet of aircraft, but it is in no way in the same class as the F-22 Raptor.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Is this why they call it the White House now?

First, a disclaimer: 4chan is well known to be an unreliable information source. Be that as it may, if this is a hoax, someone did their homework. I haven't found anything to indicate it is a fraud yet (not that I'm an expert either.).

Matt Rooney at The Save Jersey Blog
found an image uploaded there that could be quite damaging to the White House. If the data he claims to have gleaned from the image is true and accurate, it would appear that someone, using an iPhone took a photo on 01/11/2010 at 18:05:47 local time facing southwest, of what appears to be three lines of a white powder, perhaps cocaine, on a desk or tabletop, along with a double edged razor blade and a glass of red wine or perhaps brandy. The iPhone camera recorded the phone's location, orientation and altitude from the phone's built in GPS and stored it as EXIF metadata in the image. The location, if true would put it on the residence level, approximately in the west room between the president's cosmetology room and the north hallway. Unfortunately it cannot be pinned down precisely by us mere mortals because we do not know what the intentional error being broadcast by the GPS constellation at that moment in time was. The original image link is not longer valid, it has been taken down it would appear. I wonder if there might be a way to tie the SN or IMEI # of the iPhone to the image. If so we should be able to get down to the owner of said phone. It would presumably belong to the person that took the picture.

Maybe Larry Sinclair wasn't such a nutcase after all....

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Snakes on a Plane...

It has happened yet again. Yet another group of middle easterners acted up on the very same Northwest Airlines flight from Amsterdam to Detroit that the Crotch Bomber was on. And there was another incident on an Airtran flight last week as well as Delta flight 2485 where a Palestinian started saying he wanted to kill all the Jews as the flight started taxiing for takeoff. And of course there is the unconfirmed report that there was a second, unnamed bomber on NWA 253 on Christmas Day. And of course we cannot forget the case of AirTran flight 297, which is starting to look a lot like a bunch of other recent flights.

I'm really starting to see a pattern here....

Maggie Thornton reports that there is some concern within the CIA that this rash of airline attempts is an attempt to clog the intelligence pipeline such that we are so busy trying to separate the wheat from the chaff that we miss the nuke being shipped in in a seagoing container... or some other big ticket attack.

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

You know it is really cold when....

...they find a rare Arctic bird nesting in South Texas.