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October 09, 2004

For the Record...

This is NOT the Armorer's house [registration req'd, see Flash Traffic]. Among other things, I'm only 47, and I don't have any pipe bombs, nor do I have 43 pounds of black powder. While I do own booby-traps, none are set, all are on display, and are inert, anyway. In fact, I have nothing that is illegal in Kansas, in the Armory. I would note that most of what is listed in the article isn't illegal, either. To include the 43 lbs of black powder - though that much black powder might be subject to some regulatory issues. I don't know - I'm still working through the one-pound can I've had for 4 years.

But events like this are exactly why I went public with the Armory - first in a presentation to my local Rotary Club (of which the Chief of Police is a member) which was the Genesis of The Castle - check those first few pics. To show people that not everyone is a dangerous loon, and to not seem like I'm hiding anything, and to in a sense, innoculate the Collection. No, that won't stop a zealous LEO or Prosecutor from trying - but serves to make it harder. But I live in an area where that isn't likely. Assuming the arsenal's contents were fully-legal in Seattle, for example (they aren't) I might have chosen a different path.

The gentleman in question in the article apparently drew attention to himself when, somehow, he or a family member threw away a training grenade that had been modified by plugging the hole, and filled with black powder and fused. The local trash haulers found the grenade and apparently were able to deduce the residence from the trash that accompanied the grenade.

The difference? Intent. Just as you cannot tell if a person buying a car is intending to use it in a robbery, the same thing holds true of people like me, who have large collections of military stuff, and the manuals that go with them.

Flash Traffic (extended entry) Follows... »

by John on Oct 09, 2004 | Gun Rights
» triticale - the wheat / rye guy links with: In The Meantime

A moment of Zen.

A brit warrior takes care of business during Operation Telic.

His warrior brethren the world over will all identify.

Continuing in an Anglosphere moment (my apologies to the Quebecquois) - a day in the life of a Canadian Militiaman. Don't forget to scroll down.

Post-Second-Debate Morning Reads.

The Linker of Worlds (Allahpundit) has a round-up of debate responses that I'm not going to top, so I won't try. I'll just link it. Sounds to me like a Bush win. For the Record: The Armorer ain't watching any more debates. My Doc says they don't make blood pressure meds powerful enough that wouldn't also turn me into a puddle of goo. Having wandered around the blogosphere and roaming through the punditocracy it looks to me like Bush probably did a pretty good job overall, but he didn't score the points, nor do so in the fashion, that the pundits would have. Note to pundits: That might be why he's in the debate, and you're just watching it. Just sayin'.

AlphaPatriot notes something that happened in the Other End of the Quagmire. And these people are facing a lot more intimidation than that currently being possibly orchestrated by the AFL-CIO. Then there's this: The Euro ain't what it was promised to be.

Baldilocks is also election-blogging.

BlackFive has a post up with some Iraqi-American thoughts on Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Someday, Jeff at Beautiful Atrocities will pick on us, too. But it's a hoot who he picked on this time!

Brain Shavings notes that if you live in a war zone, you probably shouldn't play war...

Over at Ghost of A Flea, admiration for Tony Blair. I will say this - Blair has grown in the job more so than Bill Clinton ever grew in the job. Of course, a war does that to you. Just as it did Bush.

The Flea also points to a little snippet about Anglo-Saxon doctors...

The Armorer is a bad, bad, Armorer. I was so self-absorbed I forgot to point out the Red Ensign Standard #6 is up! Go read the musing of militant Canadians!

Michelle Malkin discusses the why's of the much ballyhooed flu vaccine shortage this year.

Say Uncle points out that the most anti-gun states are, oddly enough, the most lax in enforcement of their gun laws...

She Who Will Be Obeyed points out that the Carnival of the Recipes is up (Instalanche-fodder, go volunteer to host!)

Last, but not least: triticale makes a simple observation reference pre-emptive action.

October 08, 2004

Judging from an email I received today...

I think the Instapilot misses his bird, and the arena to fly it in.

I know I do.

October 07, 2004

Tell me again why...

Soldiers from 1st Battalion, 77th Armor Regiment, 1st Infantry Division, fight house-to-house during Operation Baton Rouge, in Samarra, Iraq. Photo by Sgt. 1st Class Johancharles Van Boers.

These soldiers don't qualify for a badge at least equivalent to, if not, the Combat Infantryman's Badge?

Explain, if you will, how these soldiers, fighting in this way, don't qualify, while 11-series MOS soldiers a block over do *exactly the same thing* do qualify?

Is it time for a re-think on 'combat badges'?

I'm not dissing the CIB or the medic's equivalent, the Combat Field Medical Badge. Both are earned by sticking your relatively unarmored self into the crucible of direct fire combat right out there on the field where, as the Germans said, "The Iron Crosses grow."

But the picture above is of Armor crewmen fighting as Infantry. Not incidentally dismounting their Steel Steeds to chase some errant RPG gunner, or some such. Not checking out a house as a place to sleep for the night, incident to resuming some nice mechanized combat on the morrow.

We can find similar pictures of Artillerymen - fighting as infantry. And not because they are defending a position incident to their primary duties - but because they are being EMPLOYED AS INFANTRY.

This is a war being fought more like our pre-mechanized combat wars were fought, albeit we bring to it a whole lot of tech. The CIB was developed back when the artillery had developed range that pushed the guns back, off the line of battle. Back when tanks ruled just about any battlefield they appeared on, if they were competently handled.

But the war now is truly an infantryman's war. And since we don't have enough infantry, and don't need as many tanks, or artillery - we've rediscovered the manly virtues of soldiering - and the fact that in some manner, every soldier is an Infantryman.

No disrespect to the essential craft of the Infantry. But, if I slog through Samarra hip-to-hip with you, fighting just as you fight, taking exactly the same risks you take - well...

Just a thought.

In the extended entry are the thoughts of an Infantry Major on the subject. He was a Captain when he wrote the piece - but I asked him if I could use it in conjunction with this post... and he stands by what he said here. It's in the Flash Traffic.

I say it's time for a re-look. And I throw my vote behind Chris's approach as a basis to start the discussion.

What say you?

Cross-posted to The Mudville Gazette.

Flash Traffic (extended entry) Follows... »

by John on Oct 07, 2004 | Observations on things Military
» Brain Shavings links with: Combat Infantryman's Badge
» murdoc online links with: On the way! - Personally
» The Jawa Report links with: Religion of Peace and Other Happenings

Regarding the mess of the Canadian Submarines.

I wondered if the ex-Upholder class submarines acquired by Canada came with a warranty. This is a response I got in email:

Couple of points: 1. HMCS Chicoutimi was HMS Upholder, and Upholder was the first of the class, and did the trials. No 2 boat began trials but these were stopped by the decision to keep only SSNs in commission.The other two subs were mothballed immediately after launch.

2. On decommissioning, Upholder was tied along side at Gosport (the sub base west of Portsmouth) to allow potential purchasers to visit. I saw her there on a visit to the sub museum in 1992. She spent about ten years there before we bought the class. I don't think much effort went into preservation as Upholder was kept ready for demo cruises (1 or 2 months notice?) which never happened.

3. The boats were inspected and overhauled for the voyage to Canada. Note that 2 boats never had shakedown cruises and the third was stopped short. Only Upholder did so, and I suspect that her deficiencies were not fully corrected at the time; only on sale was the list to be checked and corrected. Problems with the other boats were probably due to having only Upholder's maintenance history for reference.

4. All four boats should have been given complete overhauls; rather that inspect and fix, followed by proper shakedowns. Then the voyage to Canada.

5. I suspect that Chicoutimi's problems are the result of equipment which passed muster during the inspection because deterioration was not detected, or the items were still deemed servicable because of lack of use vs age, etc. Fifteen year-old wiring which has not been used for ten years, nor maintained, nor preserved properly, would be less than trustworthy

6. Who allowed such to happen? The budget people (Treasury Board) who can be easily persuaded that maintenance and spare parts are optional, despite years of corrective experience; service pers (ie Navy) have some responsibility but even that would be due to TB policies. Politicians and senior civil servants did it to us again.

Which, of course, brings this bit of Mr. Kipling's verse to mind:

Tommy I went into a public-'ouse to get a pint o'beer, the publican 'e up an' sez, "We serve no red-coats here." The girls be'ind the bar they laughed an' giggled fit to die, I outs into the street again an' to myself sez I:

O it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' "Tommy, go away";
But it's ``Thank you, Mister Atkins,'' when the band begins to play,
The band begins to play, my boys, the band begins to play,
O it's ``Thank you, Mr. Atkins,'' when the band begins to play.

I went into a theatre as sober as could be,
They gave a drunk civilian room, but 'adn't none for me;
They sent me to the gallery or round the music-'alls,
But when it comes to fightin', Lord! they'll shove me in the stalls!

For it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' "Tommy, wait outside";
But it's "Special train for Atkins" when the trooper's on the tide,
The troopship's on the tide, my boys, the troopship's on the tide,
O it's "Special train for Atkins" when the trooper's on the tide.

Yes, makin' mock o' uniforms that guard you while you sleep
Is cheaper than them uniforms, an' they're starvation cheap;
An' hustlin' drunken soldiers when they're goin' large a bit
Is five times better business than paradin' in full kit.

Then it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' "Tommy how's yer soul?"
But it's "Thin red line of 'eroes" when the drums begin to roll,
The drums begin to roll, my boys, the drums begin to roll,
O it's "Thin red line of 'eroes" when the drums begin to roll.

We aren't no thin red 'eroes, nor we aren't no blackguards too,
But single men in barricks, most remarkable like you;
An' if sometimes our conduck isn't all your fancy paints:
Why, single men in barricks don't grow into plaster saints;

While it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' "Tommy, fall be'ind,"
But it's "Please to walk in front, sir," when there's trouble in the wind,
There's trouble in the wind, my boys, there's trouble in the wind,
O it's "Please to walk in front, sir," when there's trouble in the wind.

You talk o' better food for us, an' schools, an' fires an' all:
We'll wait for extry rations if you treat us rational.
Don't mess about the cook-room slops, but prove it to our face
The Widow's Uniform is not the soldier-man's disgrace.

For it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' "Chuck him out, the brute!"
But it's "Saviour of 'is country," when the guns begin to shoot;
An' it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' anything you please;
But Tommy ain't a bloomin' fool - you bet that Tommy sees!

by John on Oct 07, 2004 | Observations on things Military
» Ubi Libertas links with: Canadian disinterest turns deadly
» Ghost of a flea links with: HMCS Chicoutimi

The Grand Diplomat in action.

Okay, John Kerry has admitted that he probably won't be able to get his best pals the Germans and the French to sign on for his Coalition of the Supremely-Intelligent-Smarmily-Smug-Indolent -Euro-Socialites to go pull Bush's fat out of the fire in Iraq.

Well, frankly Senator, I wouldn't join up with someone who has already surrendered, either.

The Massachusetts senator has made broadening the coalition trying to stabilize Iraq a centerpiece of his campaign, but at a town hall meeting yesterday, he said he knows other countries won't trade their soldiers' lives for those of U.S. troops. "Does that mean allies are going to trade their young for our young in body bags? I know they are not. I know that," he said.

With that inspiring leadership? Gee, what a shocker, Senator. If that's the "centerpiece" of Senator Kerry's otherwise somewhat vague plan for Iraq, I should be impressed how, again? And, it sounds like you're taking the "Well, I tried, that's it, strike the tents, let's go home." tone.

The good Senator's position reminds me of a cynical twist to the motto of the 1st Infantry Divsion (recently in the news for the Smackdown in Samarra). It also nicely contrasts President Bush's position on Iraq, vice the defeatist Senators:

The Bush 1st Infantry Division: No Mission Too Difficult. No Sacrifice Too Great. Duty First!

The Kerry 1st Infantry Divsion: No Mission, too difficult. No Sacrifice, too great. Duty? First, a nice Chardonnay.

Reality Check: Bush is a fighter. He's defined his job as protecting the United States from attack. The best way to do that, is to fight the bad guy on his own turf. As Dennis Miller observed :

That's why I like Bush. He doesn't over-think it. He wakes up every morning, jumps out of bed, lands on his two feet, scratches his balls, and says, "Let's kill some f@#@$ing terrorists!"

He wants to get them before they get us. Senators Kerry and Edwards are lawyers - they only want to get them *after* they have done something. After people are dead in downtown Manhattan.

As I wade through my hardback copy of the 9/11 Commission report (hey, it was cheap and I can read it anywhere) I note that the Commission slaps both the Clinton and Bush administrations for not being proactive regarding Bin Laden. And the Dems have piled on that aspect of the report. Catch that? The Dems say that Bush didn't do enough to protect the US against al-Qaeda. Yet, in the same breath - they condemn the President for going after another Bad Guy. Sure, as it looks now, Saddam didn't have the capability he wanted - but he had the groundwork to do it once vigilance was relaxed. Pretty much the same position bin Laden was in, eh?

October 06, 2004

Oh, yeah. I remember this..

The Last Hurrah of the Sherman Tank.

Photo from David Pride's website.
31 years ago today, the Arabs massed again to smash Israel. 30 years and 49 weeks ago, the Israelis were shelling Damascus and poised to move on Cairo, until the the US and Russia intervened with their respective interests to prevent what started out as (at least) Egypt's finest military moment last century turning into another humiliating defeat on the scale of the 6-Day War in 1967.

The Yom Kippur War started 31 years ago today. Tell me again why we are always so hand-wringy over Muslim sensitivity to Ramadan, given their government's 'sensitivity' to other religions observances? Is that an unfair question to ask?

My favorite book on the subject of the October War is Avigdor Kahalani's Heights of Courage, his memoirs of the Battle of the Golan Heights.

BTW- though you don't hear about it much.

There's still a war going on in Afghanistan. Of course, since it's going fairly well, all things considered, it's not news. It's especially not news if you are running on the Quagmire mantra. On a lighter note... some of this does sound like the Castle's basement... amzing what a difference *intent* makes, eh?

Coalition Nabs 16 Enemy Soldiers After Afghan Firefight American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Oct. 4, 2004 -- Coalition forces captured 16 enemy insurgents Oct. 3 during a daylong battle near the Afghan city of Spin Buldak, according to officials.

The coalition troops were patrolling when enemy forces attacked them. No coalition troops were wounded or equipment damaged during the engagement.

Six enemy troops were wounded during the battle and were taken to Kandahar for medical treatment. One wounded enemy soldier is in stable condition. The others were treated and detained for questioning.

In other news from Afghanistan, insurgents launched mortar fire against a coalition outpost in Paktika Province Oct. 3. About 12 to 15 mortar rounds were shot toward the base, but none landed within the camp's perimeter.

Another Oct. 3 insurgent mortar attack targeted a coalition base in Khowst. One mortar round fell within the camp's perimeter. There were no coalition injuries or damage to equipment resulting from the attack.

Afghan army troops found a weapons cache near Nangalam on Oct. 3. The cache yielded 29 107 mm rockets, seven rocket-propelled-grenade boosters, 210 82 mm rounds, 67 boxes of 14.3 mm rounds, 67 boxes of machine-gun rounds, four boxes of magazines, and a large amount of electrical cord.

Also, Orgun-e villagers found another weapons cache Oct. 3 and turned in the ordnance to local Afghan police. The cache contained 53 rockets, one 14.5 mm machine gun, one recoilless rifle, 46 recoilless-rifle rounds, two machine guns with 90 boxes of ammunition, 191 mortar rounds, and six RPG rounds.

In another incident, an improvised explosive device was found on a bridge in Kandahar on Oct. 3. The IED was disarmed by an explosive-ordnance team and was moved to another area for destruction.

Two other weapons caches were discovered Oct. 2 near Farah and Ghazni. Local Afghans turned in the Farah cache to coalition troops. That cache contained six surface-to-air missiles, 1,015 cases of ammunition, 1,400 mortars, 50 RPGs, 40 82 mm rounds, 5,000 machine-gun rounds, 18 mines, 58 fuses, 2 anti-aircraft guns, one machine gun, and 10 cases of unserviceable ammunition.

The Ghazni cache contained 1,000 RPG rounds, 50 anti-personnel mines, 80 82 mm mines, 5 anti-tank mines, and machinegun cases. An explosive-ordnance team was tasked to destroy the weapons and ammunition.

(Compiled from Combined Forces Command Afghanistan news releases.)

October 05, 2004

Find the Airplane!

CAPT H sends this challenge to the Instalpilot (and anyone else who's game).

Find, and identify, the airplane. I confess - I don't see one. But Herr Rittmeister Heinrichs assures me one is there.

Photo by Ozzie Sergeant William Guthrie, the lucky Digger! (Or, if he's RAAF, whatever they call themselves... a hole in my lexicon)

More stuff here (including pictures of that Barbie - some, ostensibly with bits of airplane in them... but again, I haven't a clue)

Oops! Sir! The Big Airplane just knocked around my little one!

Why it Pays to Look Outside

Here's why. (It's a 2 meg .gif, right click and save).*

While I know many of our readers don't personally fly airplanes, I think this little sequence gives you some idea why it's a good idea to look out the window every now and then. One of the best ways to bust a checkride is to not clear early and often. It also points to an issue that's been driving private aviators, military pilots, airline drivers and the FAA a little crazy lately.

This happened over Kabul, but it could have just as easily happened over LAX. Now, don't anybody panic...we're a long way from flailing around in the back of a 737 as the Captain dodges UAV swarms on short final to San Diego Int'l, but this is an issue that's getting attention in the industry.

Military guys have been looking at his for a while, since each Service is trying to advance organic ISR capabilities (organic=autonomous=good in most parochial eyes) [N.B. - if we'd share the info better, we might be less tempted to always have to have our own eyes... just sayin'. ed] and the ensuing traffic jams in the target area could present a threat to manned platforms operating therein. So far, however, it's not been a big deal but in the GWOT, I can foresee a lot of civilian and non-civilian mix as the former tries to run a business and the other tries to hunt down the domestic terrorist threat...all in the same general vicinity, if you're in a border state. Compound the problem of law enforcement getting new surveillance toys (UAVs) with their natural penchant for not taking to anybody about where they're being used (this is perfectly understandable-cops have OPSEC issues, too) and we start to see yet another challenge in homeland security.

Again, this is not something to lose sleep over (yet) but we would do well to pay attention.


*This is an operators-eye view of a near-miss of a UAV by a passenger a/c at Kabul Intl. In the last slide, the UAV has been knocked butt-over-end by the wake turbulence of the passenger jet.

A moment of Zen.

Ahhhh, I can smell the smoke, feel the warm breath of the dragon.

Redlegs of 1st Battalion, 37th Field Artillery practice firing the M198 howitzer at Forward Operating Base Endurance, Iraq. US Army photo by SPC Aaron Ritter.

by John on Oct 05, 2004 | Artillery

October 04, 2004

OK, OK, You got a rise out of me...

Here I am trying to do some research on something political (like trying to ferret out what the Iranians think of the mullahs and would they get even more pissed off than they already are when they realize what getting a nuke REALLY means, etc.)...and John starts in on big, no, very large, no, enormous guns.

Yeah, I like the Avenger for all the reasons John mentioned, but here are a couple of other things to consider...

This is point-and-shoot weapon.
Meaning? It's responsive. This is good, especially against pop-up targets and arrogant Eagle drivers dumb enough to go hand-to-hand with a Hog. Just pull the nose over to the target and pull the trigger; none of this seeker cranium slewing, lock-on crap and other assorted frustrations. Just point and shoot...and shoot some more. (Gotta lead, of course but the LASTE system gives us a truly in-your-face firing solution, even against air-to-air targets.)

This is one of the few guns with a mil dispersion the size of a gnat's ass.
Most cannons start spewing stuff all over creation after a few thousand yards (If that much). At 4000 feet, I'm putting 80% of my bullets in a 20-foot circle. Twenty feet sounds like a lot. It isn't. Why? Two things, primarily: the bullets' speed and density--heavy and fast means really stable. These little guys sail for miles and, because each weighs about seven-tenths of a pound (.66 lb actually), even if they were going 10 mph, they'd still hurt when they hit. If you took one of the rebar rods they used in Hoover Dam and cut it to length to match the width of your hand, you'd have a pretty good replica of what's comin' atcha at about 3400 feet per second (the depleted uranium rounds are a tad slower...mebbe 140-160 fps). At 15,000 feet, if you're in something other than a tank, and I hit you, I will at the very least get a mobility kill more'n likely. Hence the name the Lead Laser.

Lots of stuff coming your way.
That would be about 70 rounds per second. I carry 1100 the math. You will be spanked a loooong time. A combat load is usually a 5:1 mix of API (the DU stuff) and HEI. Each HEI round carries the explosive weight equivalent of an infantryman's hand grenade. I've seen full HEI loads on occasion--forget the about 70 grenades a a 5-foot circle at 1000 feet.

GE built the gun (they do more than light bulbs apparently)...18 feet long and so big the jet had to be built around it. You've probably noticed how the barrel assembly is mounted off-center? That puts the firing barrel on fuselage centerline. Since the gun generates 18,000 lbs of thrust when it fires, firing off centerline would damn near have you shooting sideways. But...the damn thing hardly ever breaks...I'll bet there's about a million rounds fired between failures. I am not making this up. This is a machine that spins up hundreds of moving parts from a standing start to about 3900 RPM in less than a second, fires 3900 rounds a minute then, when the trigger's released, ceases firing, spins down to zero RPM, reverses, unloads all the barrels, checks to make sure the gun is safe and repositions the bullets to just outside the breech for the next pass. How long does that take? Wait for it...1.5 seconds. I love American engineers.

So, what would this thing look/feel/sound like close up? Heh.

Back before dinosaurs roamed the earth (I was a young captain), we had just converted the Flying Tigers (23rd Fighter Wing) from A-7s to A-10s. Not only were the pilots learning the ropes, so were the maintainers. Well, we had a gun break (electrical problem) and since it couldn't be safed up in dearm, it was downloaded from the jet in the gun butt (place you point into with a squirrley gun after landing) and trucked over to the weapons maintenance barn.

Early the next morning, the SPs found an airman wandering around the England AFB, LA housing area in the dark, apparently stoned. He wasn't stoned; he had been slapped silly by the concussion of a GAU-8 round going off in a hangar and was still suffering from scrambled circuits when the cops picked him up.

So, after interrogating this guy for a few minutes, they take him to the scene of the crime. In they walk, to find the hangar full of smoke and a sergeant, apparently unconscious in front of the (no pun intended) smoking gun.

This guy they revive. About the time he's ready to stand on his feet unassisted, he looks down, hesitates, and faints dead away.


Then the cops notice the burn mark across the chest of his field jacket. At the exact instant the airman was mucking up the gun tear-down and (long story) fired the gun, his supervisor is one micromillimeter away from the bullet's path, the latter zipping by his body and neatly slicing off the lower half of the little cloth tab thingy you grab when pulling your coat zipper up and down.


When the Sarge saw the burn mark--he could still see through th cordite haze, his concussed eardrums just couldn't hear crap at that point--his NCO mind put two and two together at the speed the NCO mind works (way too damn fast for this attack pilot) and went back to sleep.

So, by this time, the cops are starting to put things together...
Hmmmm...gun...gun go off...bullet come out. Mongo say, "Where bullet go?" (I'm kidding...I love you guys, really.)

Anyway, the round struck about 7 or 8 Maverick missle launch rail canisters (and the rails therein), went through a steel I-beam holding up the building and, without skipping a beat, out into the Louisiana swamps, never to be seen again. Moral of the story? Follow the Tech Orders. The cops spent the rest of the night restraining the Tech Sergeant and hiding the airman...protective custody, maybe. I don't know. In any case, we all got a better appreciation for what this thing could do.


by Dusty on Oct 04, 2004 | Observations on things Military
» There's One, Only! links with: Big Guns!

Extra-Super Serious Geek Alert!

WARNING-WARNING-WARNING-WARNING!!!! If you are easily bowled over by technogeeky jargon, just skip on down one. If high school physics broke your spirit, just keep on movin' on - if you think Superman comics are packed full of useful insights into how Newton's Laws and the Laws of Thermodynamics work... just keep on keepin' on!

Still here? You'll like this. The Instapilot will like this. Anybody wanna argue the math? [N.B. - it was sent to me, I didn't work this out]

We know the formula for kinetic energy is KE = ½mass x velocity2 . Now let's check in with the Movie Physics Guys.

So in their example, a small .45 caliber bullet weighing 15 grams and traveling at 288 meters per second yields is 619 joules of energy.

They further explain that if a man weighing 139 lbs (63.2 kg) were to fall off of a bed, it would yield roughly the same energy as being shot by that bullet; the difference being with a fall the energy is disbursed through the entire surface area of the man's body versus a bullet where the focal point is a tiny circle.
KE = ½mass x velocity2
KE = (.015kg / 2) x (288 m/s x 288 m/s)
KE = 619 joules of energy

Potential energy is defined to be PE = (mass) x (g) x (height), where the height is the vertical distance of the object from the ground and g stands for gravitational acceleration or acceleration due to gravity. Near the surface of the earth, g is a constant approximately equal to 9.8 meters per second per second (m/s2). You can use these formulas to calculate the total energy of the system by just adding up the forms.
PE = mass x gravity x height
PE = 63.2kg x 9.81 m/s x 1 meter
PE = 619 joules of energy

So taking this information, let's plug in the numbers of the Apache's M230 automatic gun ammunition. We have each 30mm round weighing 350 grams and traveling at 800 meters per second.
KE = (.3505kg / 2) x (800 m/s x 800 m/s)
KE = .175 x 640,000
KE = 112,160 joules

Now that's a little hard to wrap your army around... I mean just how much energy is 112,000 joules? Well, for starters it's 180 times the energy of the .45 caliber handgun bullet. So imagine 180 people all pointing .45 caliber handguns at this guy's body and everyone pulling the trigger all at the same time. Hmmm, yes...messy.

Furthermore, we can calculate just how high up this guy would have to plunge in order to release the same amount of energy as was released when he caught one of the Apache's 30mm rounds square in the chest...
112,160 = 63.2kg x 9.81 x height
height = 112,160 / (63.2 x 9.81)
height = 112,160 / 619.99
height = 180.9 meters (or 593 feet)

Now, taking our queue (sic) from the evolution of skyscrapers, I found an average 4.26 meters (13.96 feet) per floor. Thus this terrorist you see splattered all over Main Street in downtown Baghdad? He looks the same as if someone tossed his happy ass off a 42 story building.

And the best part? The Apache's 30mm gun is really a popgun compared to the 30mm gun of an A-10 -- same diameter slugs but they're much heavier and travel much faster. So should you be unlucky enough to eat one of the Warthog's tank killing depleted uranium slugs...
KE = (.91kg / 2) x (1500 m/s x 1500 m/s) = 1,023,750 joules of smack down
1,023,750 joules / 619 joules per .45 cal bullet = 1,626 people shooting you at once
1,023,750 joules = 63.2kg x 9.81 x height
height = 1,651 meters or 5,417 feet or a 1.02 mile freefall

But at a fire rate of 3,900 rounds per minute, the A-10's bullets will be more like Lays potato chips -- nobody's gonna eat just one. All you terrorist rats in Iraq and Iran better keep that in mind when you hear the whoop-whoop-whoop of helicopter blades, eh?

Hat tip to Cary!

A FAll at Fort Leavenworth.

e-Claire, responding to a post from Sondra K. (behave yourselves, gentlemen) is asking for pictures of Fall in your area.

So, here's a few pictures of a Fall at Fort Leavenworth. Specifically, one of the most beautiful Fall seasons we've had here since I lived here. Sadly, it was Fall 2001, right after 9/11.

Fort Leavenworth at War (which is bringing a chortle from people with patches on their right shoulder).

Here's another nice shot.

This year, however, there has been another Fall. A different one. The Fall of an Icon. It died at 031515OCT04, and I'm not sure it will be missed, save by pigeons. But all of you who have wended your way through the echoing corridors of Bell Hall, and survived post-lunch speakers in Sleepy Hollow will recognize the Fallen.

If you'd like to see the rest of the photos of Fort Leavenworth that seemingly long-ago Fall, go visit the album here. Claire - if you like 'em, use 'em!

The world changed 47 years ago today.

The Soviets Launched Sputnik.


Listen to the sound of the world changing...

As triticale notes in his link to this post... it changed again today. I wonder if Rutan and Co. knew that? I'm guessing yes, they did.

by John on Oct 04, 2004 | General Commentary
» triticale - the wheat / rye guy links with: Hearing History

October 03, 2004

Follow-up on the Ugly Plane Contest.

The Commissar linked in to that post with a Show Trial - and manages to get in a plug for his other website while nominating the Curtiss SBC2 Helldiver, aka, Son-of-a-BitCh, 2nd Class.

illbill suggested the SLUFF (Short Little Ugly Fat Fella (well, not fella, but we try to be PG13 at the Castle)), also known as the Corsair II, which, oddly enough, was the plane the Armorer would have wanted to fly, along with the A-10, were the Armorer not blind from a flight standards aspect.

Tregonsee correctly identified the CA-20 (the muli-wing monstrosity) and it's eventual fate as firewood.

Cowboy Blob, with his own challenge (which I got right, btw - but it's still up so go play yourself) correctly id'd the Gannet (the first two pics) and nominated the RAF Nimrod, as well, if only because he doesn't like the sound of the name.

WolfWalker offered up an odd bird:

Oh, and we mustn't leave this one out: Tacit Blue, known to its pilots as "the Whale" but personally I think it looks more like a loaf of bread with wings.

Mythilt quibbles with that suggestion, and offered his own thoughts.

Nah, can't really count Tacit Blue, it was never anything more than a proof of concept vehicle really.

Me, Lets see....
The Fisher P-75A was pretty ugly.

But the ugliest of all...
The XF-85 Goblin. Short, stubby and butt Fugly.

Roger offered this:

Woohoo! Ugly airplanes - I love 'em. First, for the ones posted. The flying barrel thing (hard to even call it an airplane) is the Stipa-Caproni. It's a ducted fan, so that barrel-shaped fuselage is hollow and open at both ends. The two-fer is the Fairey Gannet. I recognize the triple-triple-decker flying houseboat, but don't remember what it was called. Now for my nominations. It's hard to beat the French bombers of the '20s and '30s. [N.B. -open the following links in a new window - they don't like to let you go once you're there!] Pretty much any Farman design from this era, but I call your attention to the F.121, F.222, and F.223.

Then there was the LeO 208 or the Amiot 143
(), and let's finish up with the Potez 540.

I think, of those, my vote would go to the Amiot 143.

For some reason, the Kilabe thinks that a Skyhawk is ugly. I disagree, but then, I'm ugly, so what do I know?

Geoffrey of Dogsnot offered up the Me163B Komet, known to it's crews as the Flea.

Along with correctly id'ing all three (and being the first to do so) Rittmeister Heinrichs offered two others he called Wallflowers - I suspect he's trying to elbow the Instapilot in the ribs with at least one...

1. First Italian jet : CC-2.[N.B. with this, as well]. 2. A-10 'Bunny' Or, perhaps he's after Dame Drabble.

Lastly, MunDane offered up the Brewster Buffalo as an ugly bird.

Thanks for all who participated! Sadly, there are more airplane geeks than tank geeks visiting the Castle...

And whodathunk - the Stipa-Caproni still exits!

Weelll, if you go to the link - a replica exists.

by John on Oct 03, 2004 | Observations on things Military
» TexasBestGrok links with: Aircraft Cheesecake 3

Congratulations to CAPT H!

The most seriously geeky respondent to the picture of the Lloyd Carrier was:

Herr Rittmeister Heinrichs, Űber-Tanker! (he suggested the titles)

"Űber-Tanker" wrote:

1. Generic? It's a tracked Anti-tank gun. At the Brussels War Museum.
2. The placard identifies it as a "Loyd/90mm C.A.T.I." The chassis is
that of the Loyd Carrier (not previously discussed, see below). The
Carrier's glacis was sloped for better protection and now mounts the
gunshield of the 90mm MECAR AT/light field gun. The gun itself appears to be mounted between the driver (on the left) and the Crew Commander/Gunner and here.

3. a. Here's, and a better quality version.
b. and here after refurbishment for a parade.
c. the gun mount.
d. overall rear view.
e. MECAR 90mm Ammo info.
f. MECAR SA now produces ammo only.
g. Loyd carrier here.

While John may have 'won' the race, so to speak, there were several other searchers, including people who guessed wrong initially, but went seeking and came back with right answers (see why I shut off the comments - I don't know about you, but *I* had more fun this way!)

Sanger, in addition to figuring it out, found some pictures others didn't send in.

Just about everybody who tried found the "Maple Leaf Up" stuff.

Sean had a correct answer and found the same picture store (I think) that
CAPT H. did.

Andy also came in with some of the stuff that others did - but deserves a mention because he came in with good complete answers and not the usual stuff.

Monteith plumped in with some new terminology for me:

Ok, it's a Lloyd Carrier (Pumpkin on the front, not the rear). The Belgians often did things like this. I don't think its a standard British conversion. Looks to be a 57mm or 75mm gun on there. I'll have to dig through my books later.

He's apparently still leafing through his books, since I haven't heard from him since - but I won't get pissy since he's invited me to drive or ride one of his vehicles in the Atlanta Veteran's Day Parade. Want to get easy treatment from the Armorer, offer bribes like that!

And Chris, along with Monteith and CAPT H, the so far unmatched armor geeks at the Castle, also weighed in with a correct answer.

Thanks also to Jack, of Random Fate, who took the picture, and has posted some more of his work at his own site!

Thanks guys - I don't know if you had fun, but I did, and I hope I can find something else to be something of a challenge in the future. Feel free to drop suggestions if you come across photos of odd vehicles, airplanes or weapons - we can always gin up another Internet Scavenger Hunt.

Who knows, if I ever finally get motivated enough to the Cafe Press thing, there might even be a prize someday other than just bragging rights!