* Posts by SkippyBing

2339 posts • joined 21 May 2008

China's single aisle passenger jet – the C919 – likely to be certified next week

SkippyBing

Re: Should we be making lots of airplanes ?

I mean yes that's great, but I have yet to catch a train to the USA from Europe. Which does make the decision to reduce the tax on short haul but not long haul flights seem a bit counter productive. It's the short haul you want to be discouraging.

SkippyBing

Re: Should we be making lots of airplanes ?

Airlines wouldn't be replacing old aircraft if it wasn't cost effective so you can guarantee the new ones use less fuel and are less polluting.The improvements in terms of fuel burn/seat km over the last few decades are pretty impressive. e.g.

1998 Boeing 737-600 75mpg/seat

2017 Boeing 737-Max 115mpg/seat

SkippyBing

Re: Russian market?

Going by the quality of Russian engineering seen to date in Ukraine I would not want to get on a A320/B737 with counterfeit Russian parts...

Woman forced to sell 4-bed house after crypto exchange wrongly refunded $7.2m

SkippyBing

But surely Crypto.com have the NFTs of the receipts which are where the real value is?

Braking news: Cops slammed for spamming Waze to slow drivers down

SkippyBing

Re: feels valid to me

I'm also convinced half the country forgot how to use motorway lanes during COVID. Travelled from Dover to the South West and it was as if someone had covered the inside lane in landmines, meanwhile the outside lane was a train of white vans with a 1mph advantage on the queue of traffic in the middle.

Smart thermostat swarms are straining the US grid

SkippyBing

Re: Randomized time offset ?

Nest definitely does that, my boiler kicks in earlier the colder it is to hit the target temperature at whatever time it thinks I want it. Second order effect was to make me get more loft insulation as I was getting woken up too early as it fired up in December!!

SkippyBing

Re: After looking at all the smart thermostats...

Connecting it to the internet lets you check the settings while you're out. It's amazing how cold a teenager can get with the windows open, wearing only a t-shirt, in winter. Once they learn where the thermostat is you need to make sure you can turn it back off before they bankrupt you.

With the app on your phone it can also tell if you're on the way home and pre-warm the house (which was handy when I had an erratic schedule). Not vital but it did stop me heating an empty building and make me feel like I was living in the 21st century, not the 1900s like some luddite who had to turn things on themselves.

SkippyBing

Re: Smart?

I'd say they're smartish. Mine didn't require programming, I just set the temperature to what I wanted it to be for the first few weeks and it learnt what I liked when. It's certainly smarter than the 7 day timer I had before as it doesn't bother heating the house when no-one is in it.

Chinese drone-maker DJI suspends ops in Russia, Ukraine

SkippyBing

There are military applications and military applications. i.e. using a drone to observe the fall of artillery is at one end of the spectrum, using one to check for missing tiles on the roof of an accommodation block is another.

DJI doesn't design its products to do the former, the US Armed Forces are banned from using them for the latter.

First Light says it's hit nuclear fusion breakthrough with no fancy lasers, magnets

SkippyBing

Re: "the gun would shoot a projectile every 30 seconds"

That's only 2880 rounds a day, or what the M3 version of the Ma Deuce would get through in about two and a half minutes presuming the barrel didn't get all hot and melty.

OneWeb drops launches from Russia's Baikonur spaceport

SkippyBing

Re: RD-180 Engines

How long would it take the US to reverse engineer them?

It only took the USSR 2 years to copy the B-29 including developing the right spec alloys, plastics, and electronics.

Russia's naval exercise near Ireland unlikely to involve cable-tapping shenanigans

SkippyBing

Re: NOTAM

The FAA seem keen on Notice to Air Missions. It would probably help if more aviators did consider they were on a mission and plan as such rather than bumbling blindly around the sky...

SkippyBing

Re: NOTAM

I believe the preferred term is Uncrewed Aircraft, although I prefer Uninhabited myself.

Sitting between as many as three female aircrew at work I've found it less painful to just not be a dick about language.

SkippyBing

NOTAM

Although originally standing for Notice to Airmen, there is a move to change the meaning to something less gendered. E.g. Notice to Air Missions or Notice to Aviators. Presumably because of the number of machine readers for NOTAMs there's been no attempt to change the actual acronym.

Time to party like it's 2002: Acura and Honda car clocks knocked back 20 years by bug

SkippyBing

Re: GPS week rollover

Given how long legacy code hangs around for I think a roll-over every 20 years is probably better than once every 1265. At least it's often enough people know how to deal with it!

SkippyBing

Re: GPS week rollover

I mean there have been two GPS rollovers since the system begin in the early 80s and no one's got lost because of it, so genuinely not a problem.

SkippyBing

Re: GPS week rollover

Little of column A, little of column B...

SkippyBing

Re: GPS week rollover

That the design isn't perfect for something it wasn't intended for isn't really short sighted. When GPS was being specified a 1K field was more than enough given the memory limitations of the time and that if you know about it the roll over isn't an issue. It also doesn't effect the original purpose which was letting the US military know where it is.

RAF shoots down 'terrorist drone' over US-owned special ops base in Syria

SkippyBing

Yes, but MBDA which now makes them is an Anglo-French company formed by merging the bit of BAe that made missiles and whichever French acronym was making them.

SkippyBing

Re: Military Intelligence

Firstly, how do you know the drone only cost $100? If it's one of the Watchkeeper sized ones forces have been using in the area it will have cost substantially more than that, and been a significant portion of the opposition's budget.

Secondly, if the drone is providing useful information to the opposition it's cost is irrelevant as you want to stop it providing that information/capability. Or are you saying it wouldn't be worth shooting down a DJI Phantom hovering over your main base as the cost in bullets would be more than it was worth?

Hauliers report problems with post-Brexit customs system but HMRC insists it is 'online and working as planned'

SkippyBing

So you're saying there's something wrong with the customer? Because I'm pretty sure that's how HMRC will interpret it.

After deadly 737 Max crashes, damning whistleblower report reveals sidelined engineers, scarcity of expertise, more

SkippyBing

Re: Pilots were no longer in charge

Your right it was the pilot re-training that had to be kept to a minimum, I think it was basically a self taught power point presentation for the difference.

However there are degrees of re-certification, i.e. just the bits you've changed to the entire aircraft. I'm fairly sure MCAS was a minimum change in order to avoid more re-certification, which would have meant they would have had to have a comprehensive training package. Hence not having multiple inputs that would require a new computer.

SkippyBing

Re: Pilots were no longer in charge

Additional information wasn't considered because that would have required a more advanced computer than whatever legacy system they were using to avoid having to re-certify the aircraft and increase the training required for aircrew who'd flown the previous model.

SkippyBing

Re: 1 vs 3 - a story from the techncial diving world ....

I wondered that too. The GPS and Inertial nav systems can both provide a ground speed readout and with the airspeed data from before the pitot tube* fails can also provide a wind speed and direction.

To my mind what should happen if the pitot fails is the autopilot uses the GPS/inertial data to continue flying while alerting the pilot that he ought to get ready to take over. If the ground speed changes too much from what's expected with the last known wind and engine settings hand over to the meat sack.

This has the advantage of minimising the startle effect of the aircraft suddenly throwing you control and telling you what's wrong at the same time while your brain struggles to get up to speed.

*There are multiple on airliners but I'm not sure what the fallback logic is.

Leaked footage shows British F-35B falling off HMS Queen Elizabeth and pilot's death-defying ejection

SkippyBing

Re: Nozzle control error

As I understand it during most of the run shown in the video he's trying to stop the aircraft so the nozzle wouldn't be acting as per a normal take-off.

From what I've been able to piece together, the brakes hold the aircraft up to about ~35% thrust, brakes are released and throttle fully opened. In this case the engine wouldn't go above ~77% (possibly due to FOD in the form of an engine blank), however by this point the aircraft has already accelerated to a speed where there isn't enough space left to bring the aircraft to a halt. Allegedly there are skid marks on the ramp from where the wheels were locked up.

NASA boffins seem to think we're worth saving from fiery asteroid death so they're shooting a spaceship at one

SkippyBing

Re: Project Orion

Launch from the Pacific Ocean, have you seen how much of the globe it covers?

SkippyBing

Project Orion

As with most space related problems this could be solved far more elegantly by resurrecting Project Orion. Then you'd have some serious mass to use redirecting pesky asteroids.

Apple arms high-end MacBook Pro notebooks with M1 Pro, M1 Max processors

SkippyBing

Re: Performance claims

Which market, and how hard did they look?

SkippyBing

Re: eWaste

- Also true. The same as every other laptop and electronic device in the world today.

I'll tell Thailand they're part of China then, given my phone was made there (Sony). My TV seems to have been made in South Korea which I'm assuming is another renegade province...

EasyJet flight loadsheet snafu caused by software 'code errors' says UK safety agency

SkippyBing

You'd think that would help, one of the US carriers managed to fly the wrong A320 to Hawaii from LA. The right one had ETOPS* in large letters on the nose gear door, the wrong one didn't...

*Extended-range Twin-engine Operational Performance Standards to indicate that aircraft was fine to fly over the ocean without anywhere to divert to.

SkippyBing

Re: Weight of passengers

It may have been based on that originally but the current weights have been revised relatively recently. I think adults went up to 80kg at some point this century in response to the increase in mass of, well air passengers.

SkippyBing

'The DCS used the aircraft registration letters as its validation for the aircraft, even though there was no cross-check linking the registration to the aircraft type.'

They should get a subscription to Flight Radar 24, they have all that information. As do the CAA. As should Easyjet considering they own the aircraft!!

'Nobody in their right mind would build a naval base here today': Navigating in and out of Devonport

SkippyBing

I mean thanks MOTO, but look at Mayport Naval Station in Google Maps and you'll see what I mean.

SkippyBing

Re: nm or NM?

I don't know I was exercising my rights as part of the International Entering Harbour Club. In the bar.

SkippyBing

Having navigated the twists and turns in and out of both Plymouth and Portsmouth, it was educational entering the US base at Mayport which basically involved stopping once you were alongside the jetty. I think the navs had had us lined up for about the last 50nm!

Japanese boffins say they've created plastic optical fibres to reach places that might break glass

SkippyBing

Re: Why?

I had an '07 plate BMW 3 series and that had a fibre optic loop connecting the elements of the entertainment system together. I'm not really sure what advantage that gave apart from making it not worth the hassle of fitting an after market system so the three previous owners hadn't ruined things with a ridiculous head unit.

UK Ministry of Defence tries again to procure £1.7bn tri-service recruitment system

SkippyBing

Re: Savings?

Oh I fully support keeping soldiers in barracks if they've got nothing to do. Best for everyone, I tried talking to one once, liking staring into the abyss as his poor uncomprehending eyes tried to figure out what uniform I was wearing.

But if you're going to produce regulations and processes that require full time work from people then you can't expect them to keep on top of things if they're spending 16+ hours getting from the UK to Oman. As an example. That I'm not still bitter about.

SkippyBing

Savings?

Presumably this is supposed to cost lest than whatever the MoD currently spend on recruiting. Admittedly this may be a bit of a grey area given the Armed Forces don't seem to bother accounting for how much their personnel's' time is worth*, but if they can't prove they're even saving money why are they being allowed to spend this much. In which case where's the business case?

*No, no, definitely makes more sense to fly you on a transport aircraft to the Gulf and have you not working for 2-3 days rather than paying £280 for a ticket on a commercial flight and losing half a day.

One-size-fits-all chargers? What a great idea! Of course Apple would hate it

SkippyBing

So you're saying people don't throw their chargers away when they get a new phone? After five years it may well have stopped working which would seem a good reason to throw it away and get a new one.

SkippyBing

So you're saying we should have stuck with micro-USB? Or is now the right time to freeze the standard because USB-C is definitely as good as it can get and won't be a hindrance in the future?

I'm also sceptical about the claims of tonnes of e-waste, the last time I looked at the paper the claim was based on they seemed to assume everyone threw away their old charger when they got a new phone*. But most people I know keep them so they have a spare, one at work, in the living room etc.

*It was a bit unclear what their methodology was but it was the only way the numbers could add up.

We're all at sea: Navigation Royal Navy style – with plenty of IT but no GPS

SkippyBing

Re: "two main reasons why the Royal Navy no longer uses [paper charts]"

Given how often the navy practices losing everything* I'm pretty sure they've explored all the options for killing the nav system. Certainly when we had an electrical failure on Liverpool in 2011 just off Libya the WECDIS kept running, and within 30 seconds we'd turned north and were accelerating from 12 through 20 knots towards full speed.

*it's not always intentional

SkippyBing

Re: "two main reasons why the Royal Navy no longer uses [paper charts]"

The stopping distance for most warships is their own length. Although the engineering department get a bit upset if you constantly do that. You're thinking of tankers or cargo ships, not something that's designed to manoeuvre to avoid an incoming air raid.

UK's Civil Aviation Authority hashing out rules for crash-proof cargo pods on drones

SkippyBing

Re: Mid flight failure

It does, that's why they have two engines. Single engine helicopters are much more limited in where they can go over built up areas. E.g. over London they have to follow the heli routes along the Thames, anything goes wrong that's where they're supposed to land. Google Performance Class 1 Helicopters.

SkippyBing

Re: Mid flight failure

Very much a requirement for any modern twin engine airliner to be certified that they can fly on one engine, so not sure why it shouldn't apply to UAV flying over populated areas.

Lithuania tells its citizens to throw Xiaomi mobile devices in the bin

SkippyBing

Re: CHaaS

I dispute that, Travellers in the Third Reich by Julia Boyd, collates the experiences of a range of foreigners in Germany through the 30s and 40s. Many of them recount asking what the difference was between Fascism and Communism and not getting a satisfactory answer. So conflation of the two didn't start in the '80s.

Tech widens the educational divide. And I should know – I'm a teacher in a pandemic

SkippyBing

Re: Education leads to Learning

That's definitely possible, and I get a lot of books from the second hand stall in the local market. I've also been known to spend ~£50 on a second hand book in a niche area of interest (I think it was the history of naval radar) because it's long out of print and it's the only way to get the information.

SkippyBing

Re: No difference between grammar & comprehensive

I'm sure the parents were delighted at having to continue to wash and iron school uniforms through the lock down...

SkippyBing

Re: Faulty parents

Can I put in a suggestion of rearranging the school year so there aren't massive holidays in the Summer allowing everyone to forget everything? Spread the holidays out across the year more, you could even stagger them between education authorities so everyone isn't trying to go on holiday at the same time.

It's not as we're a predominately agricultural economy that needs the manpower in August anymore.

SkippyBing

Re: Education leads to Learning

'do you know how many books you can buy for $200/month???'

Yes, yes I do. And the answer is not enough.

Navigating without GPS is one thing – so let's jam it and see what happens to our warship

SkippyBing

Re: Outside the cocked hat

There was a nice period where the difference between True and Magnetic North where I was regularly flying was less than a couple of degrees. Given no one ever flies that accurately it could be safely ignored.

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