Re: Galileo Day

Ian Goddard (
Wed, 17 Feb 1999 15:37:29 -0500

At 01:34 AM 2/17/99 -0500, Ron Kean wrote:

>> They strike the surface at the same time because
>> horizontal and vertical velocity are independent.
>> It's elementary kinematics. This issue pertained
>> to dropping, not rising, you switched the focus:
>Forces (or any vectors) at right angles to each other (orthogonal
>vectors) can be treated as independent. A vertical force does not affect
>horizontal motion per se. But aerodynamic forces with both horizontal
>and vertical components will generally arise when a moving airfoil
>interacts with the air through which it travels. A flying airplane is a
>good example of this.

IAN: A common feature to all aircraft, even rockets, is a curved or pointed tip, or nose section, which allows the airframe to slip thought the atmosphere with maximum ease. Any shape other than that will not slip through the atmosphere with as much ease. FLT800 did not have a shape like that, in fact, it had the reverse shape, and as such, the references made here to airplanes and gliders and all the advantage they have, and then extrapolating those to the post decapitated FLT800 is absolutely contradicted.

One respondent here suggested that we cannot know if a plane with no forward section and open fuselage will not fly like one with intact forward section, unless we do the math... no doubt that's the bottom line. However, a point I would make is a market-oriented observation: If noseless planes fly like or better (since the CIA plane flew upto 5 times over the book-climb rate) than planes with noses, why are no aircraft made with their fusalge wide opened?

>Imagine you are piloting a power boat cruising under power at 20 knots.
>Now turn the engine off. The boat continues to move forward in the same
>direction, and begins to slow, due to mainly to the drag of moving thru
>the water. But the boat can still be steered by moving the rudder from
>its neutral position. The boat can even be swung around so it ends up
>travelling in the exact opposite of the original direction, even though
>no fresh energy from the motor is applied. When the rudder is used this
>way to make the boat shift direction, some of the original momentum and
>kinetic energy is expended in making the turn, because the boat has more
>drag when the rudder is held to one side.

IAN: Of course, those motions are not going against or with the force of the Earth's gravity.