Friday, June 11, 2021

I Like This Problem

 Barbarus weighs in with the possibility that a round fired aft from a fast aircraft would simply be traveling slower relative to the planet and when that more limited velocity diminished, it would lose it's remaining velocity and fall.

I think this theory has merit. I am sure the Air Force has tested this and I am interested in finding the results if they have been declassified.

Aesop points out that the charts I found for 20mm were for air to ground, meaning that it was being fired in heavier air at low altitude, so the data on 20mm projectiles fired at 30,000 or 40,000 feet is still not known(to us). 

In space everything's velocity is relative to the observer or between objects, and to some extent this is true between aircraft and projectiles. Thinking about a spacecraft traveling 1000 miles an hour and firing a projectile directly aft at 700 miles an hour. It stands to reason that the object would still traveling in the same direction as the spacecraft at 300 miles an hour. The difference if this was an aircraft would be the air that then begins to act on the object.

Any old AF gunnery experts among our readers?

Velocity Over Time Firing Forward

 The opposite of the problem discussed in my previous post is firing forward in a fast aircraft. It is possible, in a dive, to fire guns or cannons forward, then catch up to and pass the rounds as they slow in the air. Then, as the aircraft pulls up and slows down, have those rounds catch up with the aircraft.

At least once, this has resulted in an aircraft shooting itself down.

Velocity Over Time

 In the previous post, there is a link to a post by Tam, the only blogger I have in the blogroll that doesn't allow comments. What I have here, in a better world, would have been a comment on her page.

She mentions an old story that the rear facing cannon on the B-58 was going forward so fast that 20mm projectiles fired aft were traveling backwards relative to the earth. She points out that this cannot be correct, muzzle velocity of the 20mm cannon being ~3500 fps and forward velocity of the aircraft being ~1900 fps.

That leaves out the effect of friction on velocity over time.

On page 9 of this PDF is a chart of the effect of friction on 20mm projectiles.  

The velocities listed are in meters per second but I kept my comments in fps for simplicity.

All projectiles, no matter how fast they are at the muzzle, are immediately subject to friction and begins slowing down. In the case of 20mm, if fired from a rear facing cannon on an aircraft traveling 1900 fps, between 1.3 and 1.5 seconds after they are leave the muzzle, they will have slowed below 1900 fps and would be traveling slower than the forward velocity of the aircraft they left.

For the rest of the flight to maximum effective range, a 20mm projectile fired aft of a B-58 traveling at maximum speed would be traveling backward relative to the earth below.


I used to have a job digging tunnels under ground.  It was really boring. 

Quote of the Day: Tailgunner edition

Tam has a very interesting post about jet bomber tail gunners:

The number of gun kills from defensive gun positions on jet bombers is truly tiny. More dudes have driven dune buggies on the moon than have scored a confirmed gun kill from a jet bomber.

Go read the whole thing that starts in 1916 and ends in the Vietnam war.  And a scan of the Borepatch archives looking for something else turns up this comment from Aesop about when Hollywood stars weren't a lot of dirty traitors:

Was doing an Internet wander the other day. Cary Grant's WWII service consisted of making movies, like Destination: Tokyo, about a US submarine tasked with infiltrating Tokyo Bay to secure weather and other data for the upcoming Doolittle B-25 raid. He later made Operation: Petticoat, in a somewhat lighter vein, and the boat used in several scenes during the movie, made in Key West in 1958 was the Archerfish. There was a picture of the Archerfish tied up alongside several other boats in Tokyo Bay for the WWII Surrender Ceremony, alongside the sub tender Balao. Serving aboard the Balao was one Seaman Bernard Schwarz. You might know him as Tony Curtis. The next time Curtis, Grant, and Archerfish were together was making Operation Petticoat.

Lee Marvin earned his Purple Heart for taking a 7.7 round through the butt offshore from Saipan, and was later shot again in the foot.

At a prior invasion at Tarawa, a former coast guardsman later commissioned a Lt j.g. in the Navy won a Bronze Star with combat "V" for using his landing craft to pick up a total of 47 Marines while under intense shore fire, in the surrounding waters from sunk or grounded landing craft. His name Was Eddie Albert, from Green Acres, The Longest Day, and The Longest Yard.

Jimmy Stewart, originally joined the Army Air Corps as a private. Taking additional flying lessons (he was already a rated pilot before the war) at his own expense, he was discharged to accept a commission, eventually working his way up to a full colonel and wing commander of a B-24 wing. While in command of that wing, one of the men under his command was a young radio operator, eventually staff sergeant, named Walter Matthau.

Ermes Borgnino did 10 years' service in the Navy starting in 1935, leaving as a gunner's mate first class. You know him as Ernest Borgnine, Academy Award winner, commander of the PT 73, and Lee Marvin's commanding general in The Dirty Dozen.

The PITA colonel who kept trying to bust Lee Marvin and his unit in Dirty Dozen was Robert Ryan, who in real life had been a Marine Corps drill instructor at Camp Pendleton during WWII. Marvin had been previously busted down from corporal for being a screw-up; Ryan was in all probability a sergeant when he was discharged.

David Niven had graduated from Sandhurst (the British version of West Point), resigned his commission and left the military to become an actor, but returned to Britain once war broke out to serve as an infantry and later a commando officer during WWII. One of his best and lifelong friends, assigned as his batman, which was the only way a Lt. Col. and a private could be seen together in the British Army, was Private Peter Ustinov.

Victor McLaglen, 1935 Academy Award winner, and frequent sidekick with and the other half of the epic fight with John Wayne in The Quiet Man, had served twice in the British Army, first as a member of the Guards Regiment at Windsor Castle, until he was kicked out because he'd only been 14 years old when he enlisted trying to get into the Boer War. He re-enlisted (legally) when WWI broke out, and served as an infantry Captain in the Middlesex Regiment with service in the trenches of France and the Middle East. At one point he was also heavyweight boxing champion of the British Army, and between his illegal and legal enlistments, he was a boxer, wrestler, and Winnipeg police constable in Canada.

Don Rickles made it to seamen first class in 2 years' service on a torpedo boat tender during the war. Just after WWII, Gavin Macleod, from Love Boat, Operation Petticoat, Pork Chop Hill, The Sand Pebbles, and the always-negative-waves Moriarity in Kelly's Heroes, was serving his time enlisted in the Air Force band. 

That's just off the top of my head. They were all better men than the current crop of pampered Hollywood princes, and made of much sterner stuff.

But the all-time best WWII war story was delivered by WWII USAAC fighter pilot and flight instructor George Gobel, who never left Oklahoma during the war, and pointed out to Johnny Carson, Bob Hope, and Dean Martin, that that's where they must have needed him , and reminded everyone that while he served there, "there was not one Jap aircraft got past Tulsa, and we didn't even have guns in our aircraft".

And never forget that Christopher Lee was The Real Most Interesting Man In The World.  And when I say he was the most interesting man in the world, I mean Chuck Norris shut up and listened when Christopher Lee spoke.  Men strode the Earth in those days.

Tagged badass because, well, you know.  And that applies to Frederick Libby, SSgt Sam Turner, Jimmy Stewart, Lee Marvin, Eddie Albert, David Niven, and Sir Christopher.

Thursday, June 10, 2021

Why voting no longer matters

You look at the destructive policies that are being put in place and wonder what on earth the left is up to.  Places that have the most "progressive" governments are instituting profoundly anti-progressive policies, like eliminating advanced math courses in public schools, or eliminating charter schools.  Both of these benefit middle class or working class students - the elites, of course, send their kids to private schools.  You could as easily use the example of unions losing good paying jobs when pipelines and oil drilling permits are canceled.

So what gives?  I mean, it's obvious that these policies are destructive to income equality.  J.Kb has a very interesting angle on what is driving the insanity:

The elites love, above all else, having things and access to things that regular people don’t ...

The point of buying shit like that is the knowledge that people who didn’t go to the right finishing schools and then to Harvard and then do a brokerage firm on Wall Street can’t buy that stuff.

Moreover, what the elite hate more than anything else is that so much of what they had we can have too.


Cellphones and laptops used to be status symbols of the elite.  Think about Gordon Gekko in Wall Street talking on his cellphone in 1987.  By 1997, every middle-class businessman in Miami had a cellphone.  By 2007, cellphones were so ubiquitous that high school kids had cell phones, new homebuyers had given up landlines, and payphones were removed from public places.

Technology had democratized luxury and the elite couldn’t stand it.

Since then, the desire has been not just to own more but to make the rest of us own less ... 

That doesn’t apply to the elite, just to us.

Now add Kurt Schlicter's insight about anti-Trumpism:

The real reason the elite hated Donald Trump was not that he was an ideological conservative (he only sort of was) or that he tweeted mean things (they like mean tweets, just not ones directed at them). It was that Trump identified the failures of “the best and the brightest” and called them out. There is nothing these experts hate more than challenges to the authority they think they deserve.

He drew back the curtain so that everyone could see that the "elites" were anything but elite.  They cannot ever forgive him for that, and thus the rage.

Putting these together, we can see that the elites are furious at the idea that someone could challenge their authority, and determined that this will never happen again.  This is why these anti-progressive policies are being implemented everywhere: it's to tell the "non-elites" that they need to keep their place, or else.  Every Trump voter will be punished, to make sure a Trumpist rebellion never occurs again.  The punishments will be crude, and the cruder the better - to drive home the point of who's on top and who isn't (and won't ever be).

Back in November, I posted about the surprising crudeness of the election fraud:

What is striking about the fraud is the blatant clumsiness on display: the Democrats aren't even trying to hide the fact that they are manufacturing ballots in industrial quantities.  This is really, really interesting, and suggests that their motive is not simply to install their preferred candidate in 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.  It suggests that the motivation is deeper, and darker.

Theodore Dalrymple studied Soviet era propaganda - the propaganda targeting not a western audience, but instead the populations of the Warsaw Pact.  He was struck by how crude it was:

In my study of communist societies, I came to the conclusion that the purpose of communist propaganda was not to persuade or convince, not to inform, but to humiliate; and therefore, the less it corresponded to reality the better. When people are forced to remain silent when they are being told the most obvious lies, or even worse when they are forced to repeat the lies themselves, they lose once and for all their sense of probity. To assent to obvious lies is in some small way to become evil oneself. One's standing to resist anything is thus eroded, and even destroyed. A society of emasculated liars is easy to control.

I think that this is what they're after - showing the country that they can steal an election and there's nothing that we can do about it.  It comes from the same source that causes cities to remove statues of George Washington.  It's showing who's up and who's down.

The crudeness of it all isn't a bug - it's the primary point to these people, who believe that they have a fundamental right to rule.

The elites are determined that their opponents will be humiliated and impoverished forever.  Never again will they be laughed at by the unwashed masses.  Never again will the masses aspire to the elite's station.  The elites don't mind the masses hating them so long as they fear them.

That's why there will never be a free and fair election in the country again, at least if the elites get their way.

Wednesday, June 9, 2021

Dad joke LXXXVII

Why is it hard for someone from the south Pacific to sit still?

They are very Fijity. 

The greatest sports photo ever taken

48 years ago, Secretariat cleaned up the competition at the Belmont Stakes.

My opinion is that this is the greatest sports photograph of all time, capturing the essence of the race and the magnitude of victory.  Nobody needs to tell you that this was a record setting race (although it is a record that still stands to this day) - a picture is worth a thousand words.

Tuesday, June 8, 2021

Dad joke LXXXVI

What's the difference between a dog and a Marine Biologist? 

One wags a tail and one tags a whale.

Here's why you back up your data

Lawrence has a very good overview of the attack that took down Amazon Web Services.   Him summary really gets to the heart of the risks that we face online:

The modern Internet is decentralized, widely distributed and pretty efficient, but its very decentralized nature means that there are more moving parts to break, and also more attack surfaces for hackers to exploit. Delivering rich content over the Internet (be it text, images, video or shopping) usually involves dozens, if not hundred of software pieces, protocols, companies, etc. for every web page served up. Any of them can go down. Network engineers design in as much redundancy as possible, but there’s only so much you can do. I worked for a company in 2020 whose computer testing lab went down because antifa rioters in Minneapolis physically destroyed a fiber optic cable.

All I can tell you is to keep multiple rotating backups of your most valuable data, because anything that can go wrong eventually will…

Yup.  This is why you back up your data.

D-Day Has Moved Into History

It's been 77 years since the event. It's history now, like Gettysburg or Waterloo.

But 37 years ago the battle was still part of living memory, the majority of veterans were in their 60s, still active and capable of attending a reunion or being interviewed.

Here's a British documentary made in 1984 for the 40th anniversary of the landings. Interviews, stories you have never heard, footage from the war, etc. It's got a British focus and a British flavor, but I recommend it, if for nothing else, the men reflecting back to those days in their youth when they took part in the invasion of Europe.

Monday, June 7, 2021

This actually makes a lot of sense

Via Sal the Agorist.

Dad joke LXXXV

How many feet are in a yard?

It depends on how many people are standing in it. 

Sunday, June 6, 2021

Maurice Jarre - The Theme to The Longest Day

The Longest Day was an all-star portrayal of D-Day.  And by "all-star" I mean "perhaps the most all-star cast ever" for a film.  It was so all-star that Richard Burton and Roddy McDowell who weren't cast begged to do a cameo - and flew themselves to Normandy on their own dime and did the cameos for no salary.  The actors thought that the upcoming 20th anniversary of the invasion was important enough that the big name actors only took $25,000 each to keep costs down - except for John Wayne who was mad at the director and insisted on his usual fee of $250,000.

"All-star" extended beyond the on-screen talent.  Screenwriting credits included Noel Coward and Erich Maria Remarque (author of "All Quiet On The Western Front").  And the musical score was composed by Maurice Jarre who was to get two Oscar nominations that year - one of which took home the prize: Lawrence of Arabia, which we've seen here before.

The score sounds a bit dated, because audience expectations have changed over the years.  Now the focus is on those who didn't come back, best exemplified by John Williams' Hymn For The Fallen.  Back in 1962 the focus was on the victory, and so the music was much more, well, martial.  But who's to say that they were wrong?  The Second World War was so big that focusing on the win, rather than the enormous number of losses seems a plausible approach to handling the emotions.  And it was this Republic's last war victory; seventy years of losses or draws can change a public's outlook.

Me, I'm willing to defer to the judgement of those who were there at the time.  It was their tribute to those present at that Day of Days.

Saturday, June 5, 2021


I cut my hand chopping cheese, but I think I may have grater problems. 

Federal Judge rules California's Assault Weapon ban unconstitutional

It seems that the Judge believes that the Constitution means what it says.  Pull quote:

Government is not free to impose its own new policy choices on American citizens where constitutional rights are concerned, California may certainly conceive of a policy that a modern rifle is dangerous in the hands of a criminal, and that therefore it is good public policy to keep modern rifles out of the hands of every citizen. The Second Amendment stands as a shield from government imposition of that policy.

 The ruling will take effect on July 4.  The Usual Suspects there say they will appeal.

Alan Jackson - The Older I Get

Long time reader and friend in real life libertyman emails to point out that Alan Jackson has a new album. 

Released last month, it's Jackson's first album in 7 years.  It also marks a milestone: Jackson has released albums in five successive decades ('80s - '20s).  I don't know if that's a record, but I don't know that it isn't.

Jackson needs no introduction unless you don't follow country music, but he's sold 75 million albums, received 2 Grammys and more CMA and ACM awards than you can shake a stick at.  He's been a perennial favorite of people who like the traditional country sound - both The Queen Of The World and I have listened to him for (mumble) decades.  Since I'm still in my prime, I plan to follow his music for more decades.

Quite frankly, it's nice to see this album.  I confess that I'm not a fan of the new Nashville Country Pop that fills the airwaves these days.  Jackson's new album is country music comfort food.

The Older I Get (Songwriters: Adam Wright, Sarah Turner, Hailey Whitters)

The older I get
The more I think
You only get a minute
Better live while you're in it
'Cause it's gone in a blink

And the older I get
The truer it is
It's the people you love
Not the money and stuff
That makes you rich

And if they found a fountain of youth
I wouldn't drink a drop
And that's the truth
Funny how it feels I'm just gettin' to
My best years yet

The older I get
The fewer friends I have
But you don't need a lot
When the ones that you've got
Have always got your back

And the older I get
The better I am
At knowing when to give
And when to just not give a damn

And if they found a fountain of youth
I wouldn't drink a drop
And that's the truth
Funny how it feels I'm just gettin' to
My best years yet
The older I get

And I don't mind all the lines
From all the times
I've laughed and cried
Souvenirs and little signs
Of the life I've lived

The older I get
The longer I pray
I don't know why
I guess that I've got more to say
And the older I get
The more thankful I feel
For the life I've had
And all the life I'm living still

libertyman, thanks for pointing this song out.