Friday, January 16, 2009

Blame Canada/Pimpin' Ain't Easy

I didn't hear about the Airbus A320 emergency landing until I got home after work yesterday afternoon (about 6:00ish); as an aside, it wasn't a crash, it wasn't a crash landing - the word "crash" is constantly being used to sensationalize what actually happened. I'm not an aeronautical engineer, I'm a mechanical engineer, but I did study flight mechanics and aerodynamics with some enthusiasm and I can attest the quality of the pilot - he's a pimp.

I don't know how to fly a plane, but I know how planes fly. The wings generate lift via a pressure differential that occurs when air flows over the wing at a specific speed. Speed must be kept above a certain number, called the stall speed, or you drop in an ungraceful manner. The stall speed is an equation:

The velocity you have to be traveling above in order to fly depends on (a) the weight of the plane, (b) the density of the air (changes with altitude), (c) the area of the wing(s), and the shape of the wing. The pilot can add thrust by throttling the engines and change the shape of the wing (thereby changing CL (coefficient of lift) to keep the plane above this speed. Remember, planes don’t stall – wings stall.

Now here’s why the pilot is a pimp. He had no way to add thrust, because terrorist Canadian geese attacked the plane’s engines. In order to land (on water or land) the nose of the plane has to be kept up and the only way to do that is generate lift, and the only way to generate lift is to keep the plane above the stall speed of the wings. And this dude had no engines. How did he do it? He controlled the speed at which the plane dropped out of the sky by changing the shape of the wings (while minimizing the drag on the wings, because the more lift the wing generates, the more drag you induce and the faster you have to go). The wings shape can be changed by moving the flaps up and down; if a goose happened to damage the hydraulics that control the flaps, everybody would just be tits up today and the pilot would be blamed for 150 deaths because he couldn’t avoid a goddamned flock of geese. But the hydraulics held and this guy’s pimptasticness is now well established. Him having a mustache could have only helped the situation.

Oh, yeah… He also had to keep the speed high enough to generate lift, yet low enough not to rip the plane apart on landing. That part was mostly skill with a little luck mixed in.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

I Drink Your Milkshake

Quote of the blog update: “She's got a great ass." David Milch referring to Rebecca De Mornay's ass in the commentary track for John From Cincinatti, Episode 1.

Song of the blog update: Last Flowers by Radiohead

How to jump start a blog? I could detail my life for the last year (and some change), but that would just depress the shit out of all of us. A few of the more priveleged among my readers can figure most of it out from my myspace page anyway.

I'll try to be a better blogger. A more consistant poster, like trinam... oh wait. I'll make more of an effort to be a sardonic observer like g_s (without the overt racism). I'll delve into a little inter-species erotica, ala LL.

But I'll probably just find Celine Dion songs that I can fit the word "balls" into. Let's not kid ourselves.

Enjoy yourself.

Green tip of the blog update: One gallon of improperly disposed motor oil can contaminate one million gallons of fresh water. So next time you need to dispose of motor oil, dump it in the ocean. That's made of salt water.
Your move, Dolphins.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Merry Thanksgivoween, Everybody!

Yeah, yeah, yeah... I've missed a few months, I freely admit that. Let me fill you in on what you've been missing.

June - Summer oficially starts. My daughter begins daycare.

July - I take a new job in town. I like the people and the work's not boring. I can live with that.

August - I get my Master's Degree in Mechanical Engineering and Impregnate my wife.

September - My daughter turns 2, I turn 31.

October - My health insurance kicks in.

November - I find out it's a boy. My wife balks at D'Argo for a name.

December - Stay tuned.

Gotta run, I hope you had an eventful hiatus too. :p