Re: This funny Rosswel bussines

Michael Lorrey (
Mon, 14 Jul 1997 22:38:57 -0400

Mark Grant wrote:
> On Sat, 12 Jul 1997, Michael Lorrey wrote:
> > What was a Dragon Rapide?
> Ancient biplane used for some of the earliest commercial flights. I think
> it was the first biplane with an enclosed cabin for passengers.

As an indication of a plane truly mature for its flight regieme, take
any of the cessna singles for their maintenance requirements.

> > True commercial aircraft are extremely
> > reliable, but they hardly operate in a harsh flight regieme, and they
> > are highly overbuilt for the job.
> And the 'saucers' reported by Roswell 'witnesses' aren't? (But odd that
> this material which is supposedly so indestructable could be torn into
> little pieces in a crash).
> > Still, a plane with 20,000 flight
> > hours at an average of 450 mph is still brand new compared to an
> > interstellar flight of 20 light years at .98 C with no maintenance
> > stops. Its a whole different universe of operation.
> Yes, it is. Cruising at 0.98c is hardly a harsh flight regime if you have
> a shield ahead to catch debris impacts.

Sorry, the hard radiation of impacts and dopplershift would embrittle
the materials to a large extent.

After your engines shut down
> you're simply cruising for years until you reach your destination. Landing
> and take-off are also the most extreme parts of an airliner's flight
> regime, but they still have to keep their engines running for the whole
> trip. And, of course, the crew can't maintain the plane as it's flying,
> which alien astronauts could.

How do you stop? SOrry, you've got to turn that mutha around and brake
for as long as you've been accelerating. That puts your ass end open to
reentry through an alien solar systems Oort cloud.

> Let's compare this to shuttle maintenance, qualitatively the closest
> current approximation: the effort required to overhaul a shuttle is almost
> fixed regardless of whether it's in space for two days or two weeks. The
> vast majority of maintenance is related to launch and landing, which both
> happen precisely once per flight. Longer flights merely require more minor
> maintenance like removing more garbage, adding more fuel for the fuel
> cells, greater chance of having to replace a window damaged by debris etc.
> The second the shuttle engines ignite you're up for thousands of man-hours
> of work, even if it doesn't launch.

For starters, the shuttle orbits at a mere 17,000 mph, and it still
breaks down half the time, causing the mission to be cut in half. You
can't do that on an interstellar mission. "Oops, Snorf, we busted the
toilet, we've gotta turn around...."

> Finally, I find it highly unlikely that aliens as technologically backward
> as the Roswell reports imply could travel interstellar distances in their
> little saucers. Far more likely they'd be simple planetary transports
> which would have been in storage until they reached Earth, then serviced
> thoroughly before flight.

Sure, so to "ensure" that they would not be worn out, an alien
bureaucrat supposes, they'd be brand new. And sitting in a hanger at a
standstill for several years enduring hard radiation wouldn't harm it a
bit. Buddy, you are talking to someone who has worked on the best we've
got, and they still wear out, and still crash. Expecting your godlike
aliens to be any different is pure delusion.

> > Well, one could say that the skunk works guys were the ones who built
> > it, so that may be an advantage over using high school graduates or
> > dropouts who were drafted. Plus Kelly Johnson never liked having people
> > who just did heavy looking on, like so much military work is.
> Precisely; and how much of the increase in maintenance on modern military
> aircraft is simply an increase in the amount of 'heavy looking on', or
> badly-designed maintenance programs?

There is nothing badly designed about them. They are doing their best
with what they can get. Lockheeds skunk works had a few dozen geniuses
who made things work right the first time. That kind of skill is a wee
precious commodity that regualr service cannot afford in any but
extremely special circumstances.

My first squadron, the 318th FIS in Tacoma, had 350 people covering all
jobs related to running a fleet of 24 F-15A and B, except for base
logistics. Of those, 30 were pilot officers, and 6 others were admin
officers. The remainder were all enlisted personnel, half of which had
not graduated high school before basic training (the older guys). We had
the highest utilization rate in the USAF TAC the first year I was there,
and had not lost a plane in over ten years (we had lost an F-106 a few
months before they were retired in 1979). Our unit was deactivated in
January of 1990.

> Ben Rich mentioned that the massive Air Force oversight to ensure that
> they didn't charge for any $600 hammers greatly increased the cost of the
> Stealth (not-)Fighter, probably by far more than corruption in the company
> could have done. NASA have on occasion found tools inside a shuttle after it
> returned and discovered that three inspectors all signed off the forms to
> say that those tools were removed. This is why I was concentrating on
> commercial aviation, where there's a great incentive to minimize the
> required maintenance and oversight.
> > Additionally, the CIA got a new plane, while the USAF got a well used
> > plane. Maintenance time goes up with airframe age.
> AFAIK the CIA started out with the original single-seat A-12, but the USAF
> bought two-seat SR-71s from Lockheed instead; I don't think that any
> aircraft were transferred over, but I don't have my books handy to check.
> Also, AFAIK NASA were maintaining their SR-71s with a CIA-sized crew, and
> those aircraft were around twenty-five years old (although I don't think
> they flew as often).

Neither did the CIA operate the A-12 at the level the USAF did the
SR-71, and half of the SRs WERE operated by the CIA prior to USAF
takeover. If you'll recall, the reason they were turned over was because
LBJ had announced the plane's existence (and incidentally screwing up
the plane's designation), and it wouldn't look good having the CIA with
its own publicly known air force.

The CIA also did not have the operating environment militarily that the
USAF did. By the time the USAF took over, the Soviets had developed
missiles capable of catching the plane, which required the development
of EW units for the plane.

			Michael Lorrey
------------------------------------------------------------		Inventor of the Lorrey Drive

Mikey's Animatronic Factory My Own Nuclear Espionage Agency (MONEA) MIKEYMAS(tm): The New Internet Holiday Transhumans of New Hampshire (>HNH) ------------------------------------------------------------ #!/usr/local/bin/perl-0777---export-a-crypto-system-sig-RC4-3-lines-PERL @k=unpack('C*',pack('H*',shift));for(@t=@s=0..255){$y=($k[$_%@k]+$s[$x=$_ ]+$y)%256;&S}$x=$y=0;for(unpack('C*',<>)){$x++;$y=($s[$x%=256]+$y)%256; &S;print pack(C,$_^=$s[($s[$x]+$s[$y])%256])}sub S{@s[$x,$y]=@s[$y,$x]}