Nojay

Nojay

  • Commented on In which I am crabby about viral archery videos.
    I have a lifetime discount store card at Pedants'r'Us so I'd just like to point out that a light-gas gun doesn't use air (it uses a nitropropellant for the piston driver and hydrogen or helium in the barrel) so it...
  • Commented on In which I am crabby about viral archery videos.
    Airguns just don't get very hot, even with spring-driven piston mechanisms compressing the gas behind the slug. The heating effect might get the velocity above the speed of sound at STP, about 330m/s but not much more. In comparison...
  • Commented on In which I am crabby about viral archery videos.
    Air rifles have a big limitation in that the maximum muzzle velocity of the projectile is limited by the temperature of the propellant gas and hence the speed at which a pressure wave can travel through it. KE and hence...
  • Commented on In which I am crabby about viral archery videos.
    The biggest battle ever fought anywhere was the Battle of Manchuria in August 1945. It took the second-greatest military logistics force in the world at the time (the USSR) a full three months to move over a million and a...
  • Commented on In which I am crabby about viral archery videos.
    Logistics and finance. Assuming 20,000 dead on the battlefield that would mean maybe 100,000 people were involved including sutlers, hostlers, carters, servants, camp followers and such as well as the footsoldiers, knights, commanders etc. That's basically a medieval city's worth...
  • Commented on Cloud cuckoo politics
    The Cutty Sark, one of the most highly evolved sail-powered cargo ships ever built ran with a crew of 26 under normal circumstances. During one voyage after a mutiny/walkout by the regular crew it was operated with six apprentices and...
  • Commented on Cloud cuckoo politics
    The problem with wind-powered ships is that they use up a lot of their cargo capacity in the mass and structures required to support the sails. Even automating the sail systems and reducing the crewing requirements with modern tech won't...
  • Commented on Cloud cuckoo politics
    The figures I saw from the EIA were for electricity generation in Germany in 2013 with renewables including trashburning producing a few TWh less than the remaining nuclear fleet of eight reactors did throughout the year. I can't find the...
  • Commented on Cloud cuckoo politics
    2006 called, they want their "solar power too cheap to meter" catchphrase back. I've been hearing about really really cheap solar panels "next year" for the past decade or so. The usual figure quoted is a dollar a watt (i.e....
  • Commented on Cloud cuckoo politics
    How much will it cost each year to maintain a dominant military presence by Britain in the Western Sahara to prevent a bunch of yahoos in technicals wrecking this PV infrastrucure at will or just holding it for ransom? How...
  • Commented on Cloud cuckoo politics
    The 90% factor for nuclear is pretty much all refuelling days. Forty years and more of operating experience with LWRs around the world has improved the performance and availability of existing plants and driven the operation of recently constructed GenII...
  • Commented on Cloud cuckoo politics
    Onshore wind farms get a bit over £100 per MWh, offshore wind farms get £145 per MWh. A couple of planned large offshore projects have folded because that level return wasn't actually high enough to make them profitable. Home solar...
  • Commented on Why we're not going to see sub-orbital airliners
    The UK doesn't have ring-fenced taxes. Everything goes into the Exchequer's big Bag of Holding and the various interests fight it out over the budget every year. Last time I saw worked figures for this about ten years ago cars,...
  • Commented on Why we're not going to see sub-orbital airliners
    Actually people with home solar get more than the metered cost of grid power for feeding excess electricity back into the grid. It's called the feed-in tariff, paid for by consumers who don't have home solar installations on their roofs....
  • Commented on Why we're not going to see sub-orbital airliners
    You're still thinking like a professional earning a regular salary who can plan ahead for several years, who has a good credit rating, who can get favourable terms on a loan etc. so they can "buy" a new car or...
  • Commented on Why we're not going to see sub-orbital airliners
    There are a few things still to come in the world of electric cars, at least here in the UK. If electric cars (and vans, trucks, buses etc.) become really common then the UK government will start taxing them in...
  • Commented on Why we're not going to see sub-orbital airliners
    Don't forget the wind chill factor. Driving through cold air at speed will add singificantly to the heat loss from the car's cabin. I can tell you stories about riding an unfaired motorbike in freezing conditions if you like... Another...
  • Commented on Why we're not going to see sub-orbital airliners
    Mach 3 at anything below 20km altitude isn't achievable by an aircraft, even in powered flight. Air resistance would turn any aircraft built as we know it (a lightweight hollow tube with wings) into white-hot shrapnel at anything like that...
  • Commented on Why we're not going to see sub-orbital airliners
    Hydrogen as a fuel could make a comeback for stealth aircraft. The bad news for stealth these days is that infra-red sensors are very good, very cheap and airframes are noticeably warm compared to the background sky or even in...
  • Commented on An age-old question
    The Shuttle had a flexible cargo bay capable of carrying an additional 20-tonne payload, a manipulator arm, airlocks and suit support for multiple EVAs, up to 18 tonnes of fuel and oxidiser for significant cross-range capability in-orbit and enough life-support...
  • Commented on An age-old question
    The report/puffpiece you quote from is dated November 2013. According to that SpaceX will have/has carried out an escape abort from launchpad (probably simulated on a test rig rather than a flight vehicle) by Q2 2014 and a Dragon capsule...
  • Commented on An age-old question
    Other folks have tried developing methane/LOX engines but they've not been particularly successful hence the current fleet of commercial and government launchers based around RP-1/LOX, LH/LOX and solid motors. Methane/LOX offers some advantages in terms of Isp over existing...
  • Commented on An age-old question
    SpaceX rockets are cargo ships with peak accelerations during launch exceeding 50m/s/s. Apollo was pushing the envelope with selected milspec crewmembers suffering a maximum load of 40m/s/s whereas the Shuttle carried civilians AND cargo and had a maximum acceleration of...
  • Commented on Oh dear
    I've pulled a few dead CFLs apart in the interests of Science! and the ones that died early in service seem to have stopped working due to the electronics frying -- crinkly FETs, light-emitting fuses and bulging capacitors. It...
  • Commented on Oh dear
    Oh dear, you got taken by the con men did you... Ruggedised incandescent bulbs have a thicker toughened glass envelope to be less fragile that classic lightbulbs. The filaments are better supported to survive vibration and shock while lit. They're...
  • Commented on Oh dear
    I noticed some time ago that the local shops all have lots of filament bulbs in stock (tungsten, tungsten-halogen, candle bulbs and the like) but few if any compact fluorescent lamps. It took me a few seconds to realise...
  • Commented on Who ordered THAT?!?
    Before the Great Tohoku Earthquake and tsunami Japan was generating about 40% of its electricity from nuclear power stations with the rest coming from a mixture of garbage-burning, LPG (not LNG) and a small amount of coal. They also...
  • Commented on The Curse of Laundry
    Heinlein's "Space Cadet" had the focus character putting his phone in his luggage so he didn't have to take calls on his way to the entry examinations at the Space Academy, and that was written in 1948. I first...
  • Commented on Not a Manifesto
    The Highland plaid or "great kilt" is a variant of the Fantasyland cloak that never seems to get an outing in fiction. A universal garment that converts into a blanket for sleeping in, made from raw wool so it's...
  • Commented on Not a Manifesto
    Most of the expense of a home solar installation involves purchasing the home (and accompanying roof) the solar panels are installed on. Rich people with homes and mortgages have been getting tax breaks and subsidies to allow them to...
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