Re: Aero eq.s

Michael S. Lorrey (
Sat, 20 Feb 1999 20:13:37 -0500

Ian Goddard wrote:

> IAN: Michael, can you point me to a physics
> book that explains how the atmosphere can
> enable an object to fall faster than the
> same object dropped in a vacuum? If not,
> then what's your point?

No need for a physics book. It is rather simple. If you cannot concede this point you are either supremely stupid or supremely stubborn, or both:

a body is moving forward in flight at 400 mph. It suddenly changes its angle of attack to a negative orientation, as it stalls out, losing upward lift. This does not mean that it is no longer moving forward at all. A plane can easily stall out at any speed. Stalling is the loss of laminar flow resulting in the loss of lift to support a vehicle in flight, which results most easily from a vehicle being at an extreme angle of attack (more than 20 or 30 degrees). When the vehicle stalls out, its nose drops, and will frequently drop far below a zero degree angle of attack. The plane will go into a dive, and the forward velocity, acting on the negatively oriented lifting surfaces, generate lift in a DOWNWARD direction, thus accelerating the vehicle downward at a rate greater than that cause merely by gravity.

If you cannot understand this simple point I can scarcely understand how you can make it through a day. I am sorry to everyone for the level of vitriol in my post, but I have really reached the end of my patience with this idiocy. If Mr. Goddard cannot understand matters of extremely simple aerodynamics then he is scarcely someone who is even partially qualified to judge what happened to TWA 800.

Mike Lorrey