Re: Galileo Day

Michael S. Lorrey (
Tue, 16 Feb 1999 09:30:44 -0500

Ian Goddard wrote:At 10:51 PM 2/15/99 -0500, Michael Lorrey wrote:

> >Not necessarily. A plane can be stalled and still be moving forward at high
> >velocity. It is the angle of attack which matters when it comes to lift, not
> >speed. Once it blew in half, the front section was front heavy and acted
> like a
> >lawn dart, translating its forward speed into downward speed.Calculate in its
> >forward velocity (probably around 300-400 mph) while climbing, being
> translated
> >over by the change in angle of attack to downward velocity....
> IAN: Horizontal velocity is independent of
> vertical velocity, what that means is that
> you don't translate forward velocity into
> downward velocity. Basic kinematics, but
> again, not a factor in the CIA scenario.

Absolutely wrong. What do you think a wing does? Any airfoil or hydrofoil shape is useful because it translates foward motion to upward accelleration when oriented to the proper angle of attack to generate lift. This is why it shot upward so fast when it lost its nose, and why the nose started dropping so quickly. The angles of attack of the two parts generated lift (upward for the rear section, and downward for the nose section) which caused added acceleration in their respective direactions, translating forward momentum into vertical acceleration.

The reason why the peices only had a 400 mph velocity when they hit the ocean is because of what is called 'terminal velocity'. This is when the forces of acceleration (in this case gravity) are exactly counterbalanced by the forces of aerodynamic drag, thus preventing any additional speed gains. The human body has a terminal velocity when sky diving of around 125 mph in a prone position, and over 200 mph in a dive. Now, at 400 mph, assuming that aerodynamic forces cause a pitch over and momentum translation in 5 seconds (not unheard of and similar to a 6g turn in a fighter plane, which, considering the new angle of attack the nose seciton had to its forward velocity, is likely, then the nose section would have dropped 6.6 miles in one minute traveling at a terminal velocity of 400 mph (which is about 3 miles in 24 seconds). The CIA simulation probably refers to the nose section hitting the ocean, although it is not totally inconsistent if dropped from 17000 feet.

Dropping from 17000 feet from a total stall you have: S=(32ft/s)*(29^2)/2=13,456 feet.
This almost exactly matches the nose section trajectory.
The additional 350 feet of altitude would have been bridged due to velocity translation by airfoil effects being added to the acceleration profile. So the nose section hit the ocean at 29 seconds.

I suggest that you seek out a written timeline from the CIA of this analysis. I think you will find that what I say is true and that the rear section hit a little later.

Mike Lorrey