Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
June 25, 2021

Experts: British HMS Defender Stunt Near Crimea Was Patently Illegal

On Wednesday the British Royal Navy destroyer HMS Defender staged a provocation by sailing through territorial waters of Crimea. The British government, which had explicitly instructed the destroyer to do so, insists that the move was legal:

The British government signed off on a plan to sail a battleship through disputed waters off the coast of Crimea, over the objections of its foreign policy chief, according to bombshell new claims in London's Telegraph newspaper.

In a report released on Thursday night, the outlet – known to be close to Prime Minister Boris Johnson – alleged that Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab had "raised concerns" about the mission, proposed by defense chiefs, in advance. He was reportedly worried that the move could hand a potential victory to Moscow.

The account of events claims that Johnson was ultimately called in to settle the dispute. The Type-45 destroyer HMS Defender was given its orders on Monday, ahead of a clash with the Russian navy and air force two days later.

The British government then lied about the incident insisting that no warning shots had been fired when the destroyer was in the relevant area. However, video material from the BBC, which had embedded with the destroyer, as well as footage from the Russian coastguard proved that to be false. The ship was warned to leave the area and warning shots were fired.

Russia insist that the 'innocent passage' of the warship through the relevant territorial waters was illegal.

Craig Murray, a former British diplomat who himself has negotiated several sea treaties, concurs with Russia's position:

The presence of a BBC correspondent is more than a political point. In fact it has important legal consequences. One thing that is plain is that the Defender cannot possible claim it was engaged in “innocent passage” through territorial waters, between Odessa and Georgia. Let me for now leave aside the fact that there is absolutely no necessity to pass within 12 miles of Cape Fiolent on such passage, and the designated sea lane (originally designated by Ukraine) stays just out of the territorial sea. Look at the definition of innocent passage in Article 19 of the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea:
Very plainly this was not innocent passage. It was certainly 2 (d) an act of propaganda, and equally certainly 2 (c), an exercise in collecting information on military defences. I would argue it is also 2 (a), a threat of force.

So far as I can establish, the British are not claiming they were engaged in innocent passage, which is plainly nonsense, but that they were entering territorial waters off Crimea at the invitation of the government of Ukraine, and that they regard Crimea as the territory of Ukraine and Crimean territorial waters as Ukrainian territorial waters.

Murray goes on to explain why that is an unsound argument but he misses an important legal point.

During the Ukrainian-Russian standoff in April this year both sides amassed troops near their border. Russia then introduced special restrictions on navigation of warships in parts of the Black Sea. In a Notice to Mariners Russia designated the areas around Crimea depicted below as forbidden for any foreign warship. No 'innocent passage' through these is allowed. The restrictions will be valid until October this year but may be extended.


It was through one of these zones, which are next to sensitive military sites on land, that the British destroyer passed.

The British government insists that Crimea still belongs to the Ukraine and that the Ukraine had allowed it to pass through its territorial waters. It calls Russia's presence on Crimea an occupation. It supports the view of the Ukrainian government which insist that it alone can regulate the water areas around Crimea.

That view is wrong.

Prof. Dr. Stefan Talmon LL.M. M.A is the Director at the Institute of Public International Law at the University of Bonn. On May 4 he had published a legal opinion on the legality of the zones Russia had declared. On the above point he noted (emph. added):

Ukraine protested the Russian announcement, inter alia, on the ground that Russia was not the “coastal State” with regard to the territorial sea surrounding the “temporarily occupied territory of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol.” According to the Ukrainian Government:
“These actions of the Russian Federation constitute another attempt to usurp Ukraine’s sovereign rights of a coastal state in violation of the norms and principles of international law, as Ukraine is in fact endowed with the right to regulate the navigation in these water areas of the Black Sea.”
The UN General Assembly condemned “the ongoing temporary occupation” of Crimea and urged the Russian Federation to “uphold all of its obligations under applicable international law as an occupying Power”. This raises the question of whether as an “occupying Power” the Russian Federation could temporarily suspend the innocent passage of foreign ships in the territorial sea of the occupied Crimean Peninsula. Occupation also extends to the occupied State’s territorial waters (internal waters and territorial sea) to the extent that effective control is established over the adjacent land territory. Under the law of armed conflict, the occupant may take measures to ensure “public order and safety” in the occupied territory, including its territorial waters. In particular, the occupying Power may take measures “to ensure the security of the Occupying Power, of the members and property of the occupying forces or administration, and likewise of the establishments and lines of communication used by them.” Under the laws of armed conflict, the occupying power has the right to suspend in all or in parts of the territorial sea of the occupied territory the innocent passage of foreign ships, if it considers it necessary for imperative reasons of security.

In determining whether such suspension is necessary, the occupying power enjoys a wide margin of discretion.

Even if Britain does not recognize that Crimea is Russian it still has to recognize that Russia, as the 'occupying power,' can regulate the traffic in the territorial waters of Crimea:

During the ongoing armed conflict between Russia and Ukraine the law of the sea is at least partly supplanted by the law of armed conflict and, in particular, the law of occupation. Germany and other States cannot consider Russia to be an occupying Power in Crimea and, at the same time, deny it the rights that come with that status.

There is precedence for Russia's move of which the British government is likely well aware of:

[O]n 2 May 2004, the United States, acting as an occupying Power in Iraq, issued a notice to mariners establishing with immediate effect a 2,000-metre exclusion zone around the Khawr Al’Amaya and Al Basra oil terminals in the Persian Gulf and temporarily suspended “the right of innocent passage […] in accordance with international law around [these] oil terminals within Iraqi territorial waters.”

That zone was continued until at least February 2006.

Prof. Talmon discusses various other arguments against Russia's declared zones. He finds that the zones are legal under all aspects of international law.

Ukraine has no right to interfere in the restrictions that Russia, which in the Ukrainian and British view is an occupying power, has posed on the territorial waters of Crimea. Russia has suspended the 'right of innocent passage' in those zones and the British destroyer acted illegally when it passed through them.

Professor Talmon published his legal analysis seven weeks before the HMS Defender incident. It is thus free from any undue influence.

Moreover Talmon is also a Supernumerary Fellow of St. Anne’s College, Oxford, where he previously taught, and practices as a Barrister from Twenty Essex, London.

The British government would be well advised to consult with him.

It otherwise might quite legally lose a warship to Russian missiles when it orders a repetition of Wednesday's patently illegal stunt.

Posted by b on June 25, 2021 at 14:29 UTC | Permalink

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Okay, another update on the missile riddle, lol!

Here is an actual photo of the 3M54E, BUT this is a mockup displayed at the MAKS airshow in Russia.

So it looks like I may be wrong on my assumption of an afterburner. Wow, kind of hard to believe they could make such a contraption work. But I guess that's why they get the big bucks, lol!

Posted by: Gordog | Jun 26 2021 18:58 utc | 201

Gordog 197

A number of years ago, Russia put out some animation of its new gen missile systems which have have used as a more general aproach to those missiles that accelerate during the terminal faze.

"Which means that the nose portion that emerges absolutely must have wings and control fins, if it is going to zigzag on its final path and flying just a few feet above the water. Plus its own little rocket motor out back."

This is quite wrong as some Russian rockets now use thrust vectoring similar to their aircraft. I could be wrong on the three stage part for the Kalibr and it could be afterburn for the terminal sprint on some but no fins are required for running at mid supersonic speeds with thrust vectoring.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jun 26 2021 19:01 utc | 202

@200 Apologies to the weapons experts but this seems to encapsulate the way Brits feel about Russia. Geriatrics watching tank parades by Harry and Paul.

Posted by: dh | Jun 26 2021 19:04 utc | 203

Posted by: dh | Jun 26 2021 18:40 utc | 199
1984 you mean? Orwell was talking about the power of propaganda. After his stint at the BBC he knew a thing or two about it.
Animal Farm. His anti-communist manifesto.
1984 is a rip-off of Zamyatin's novel 'Us'.

Posted by: hopehely | Jun 26 2021 19:13 utc | 204

Peter, yes you are right about thrust-vectoring. Didn't think of that---but yes they do use it on some missiles.

That would eliminate the need for control fins, but it would still need wings.

Can't fly for ten miles without wings. I suppose it's doable after all. Dang. Still pretty ingenious.

Posted by: Gordog | Jun 26 2021 19:15 utc | 205

Here's an animation of the Klub missile family. A number of these type animations put out by Russia on you tube. This, towards the end show the antiship version dump the cruise baggage for the terminal run. I was a bit out on the approach. It first climbs then comes back down to strike the ship in the side. I guess this is the evasive maneuver to make it harder to hit.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jun 26 2021 19:19 utc | 206

@204 Not sure how much affect Animal Farm has on current British attitude. It's more anti-Stalin than anti-communism IMO. I understand there are still some die-hard Stalinists and communists in Russia. The BBC likes to remind us periodically.

Posted by: dh | Jun 26 2021 19:36 utc | 207

Hmm...that animation doesn't really make sense, Peter.

It looks like it just drops the jet engine [with control fins attached], not the entire airframe.

It then zooms off at much higher speed, but no wings visible. Where did the wing go? And how does it keep itself aloft without wings?

Again, I don't think we can go by animations, or even airshow mockups.

I don't think they are going to reveal the secret sauce. The afterburner still makes more sense to me. But again, I could be wrong.

Posted by: Gordog | Jun 26 2021 19:46 utc | 208

@ Jörgen Hassler (#198),

Conjecture. No math can hide reality of USURY.

““The essence of all slavery consists in taking the product of another’s labor by force. It is immaterial whether this force be founded upon ownership of the slave or ownership of the money that he must get to live.”
– Leo Tolstoy

Fyi, Vladimir Putin likes Tolstoy. The Bible speaks against usury too.

Controlling others and living off their backs by forcing them to borrow with interest in order to have any money is called USURY (this does not include standard, self-liquidating bank loans to businesses to fund production). It is a system that ensures everything people do, whether in the public or private sector, feeds banksters, financial markets and the controllers above it.  It creates a two-tiered societal pyramid of money PUSHERS on top vs. money users on bottom.  The power differential is huge. Everyone is hostage.

DEBT-based money, usury, greatly benefits the top of the pyramid while everyone else suffers to a certain degree depending on their level in the pyramid. A system based on usury, used to be considered profoundly immoral. It was a fundamental violation of every major religion.

The Western monetary system is a top-down controlling machine, not a free market.  It is run not by government, but by the most powerful financial interests in the world.  They’re stealing hard earned money to fund their POWER. The Global Financial Syndicate controls the West through its financial system. What FRACTAL emerges when you analyze the WESTERN PRIVATE PLANTATION?

Posted by: Max | Jun 26 2021 19:49 utc | 209


Looking at pics of the Kalibr, and there appear to be several versions, some have a very definite outer cowling, on the top running from the nose and carrying the wing, cut away underneath back nearly to the engine. Intake air is drawn in through this cowling
My thoughts on the layout. The turbojet cowing and wing are one pieces. The terminal approach solid fuel rocket is located between the turbo jet and fuel tank. Fuel tank any any renaming fuel become an addition to the war head and the body of the rocket or missile. When it first drops the turbojet and cowling/wing it would be running at around mach 9 and require a very nose high attitude to hold height. It retains level flight while it quickly accelerates to close to mach three and not requiring such a nose high attitude then climbs. Possibly the rocket motor burns out at the apex of the climb as it may not lose any speed in the dive and short level run into the ship. If it was the case that the rocket motor burnt out at the apex, this would save weight and fuel for the cruise stage.
I believe some of the Israeli missiles and also the US thad missile have no fins or wings.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jun 26 2021 20:05 utc | 210

The following was written by Pepe Escobar and published at his VK space:


"The Empire of Chaos controls the world by controlling the seas - and thus access to oil and natural resources. The imperial plan post-WWII was to use front organizations as the UN, IMF, BIS, World Bank, for the purpose of exploiting former Third World labor pools while at the same time eliminating higher paid jobs in the US - serving financial interests and not the US population. So all factory jobs by and large in the US were farmed out. That only works if the Empire controls the seas. Hence the humongous trillion dollar peace time military budget as the instrument of control. The Empire is ALWAYS at war.

"US elites are freaking out today because they do see Russia as a major threat - capable of jointly with Germany and China taking control of the Eurasian land mass and having enough natural resources to be self-sufficient. Even in oil Russia can supply most of the Eurasian land mass. Moreover, the evolving alliance of Russia, China and Iran - the overarching theme of my analytical work for years now - is slowly but inexorably leading the Empire to lose control of the world, even as most of the world does not realize it yet.

"Germany is a vassal of the Empire because of its control of the seas for the natural resources that Germany needs. That's why the Empire is horrified by Berlin seeking the security of an alternative oil and natural gas supply from Russia. Moreover, it was China approaching Russia in 2014 for natural resources that turned the US against China as this could make it independent of the Empire-controlled seas.

"If the Empire cuts off its oil by sea, then Germany can obtain it from Russia. If Germany is not allied with Russia - which can provide it with just about all the resources that Germany needs - then it is at the mercy of the Empire, who rules by ruling the seas. The US concept of "freedom of navigation” means absolute control of the seas for the US to rule as dictators over every nation that requires trade for resources they do not have. “Democracies" or “republics" are just ruses: the dictatorship in effect is not of the proletariat but of financiers, as Bismarck identified long ago.

"Germany must have Nord Stream Two as insurance to complement its oil and natural gas requirements or it faces utter dependence on the Strait of Hormuz for LNG coming from Qatar that can be cut off as well as most of its oil that travels through the Strait.

"The key nations of the Eurasian land mass have seen through the imperial propaganda fog - and an alliance between Germany, Russia, China and Iran will inevitably rebalance world power. That’s why the Empire is frantically scurrying around the world as it sees itself losing its grip. And if this were not enough, Chinese and Russians are building submarines like there's no tomorrow equipped with state of the art missiles: that will end the imperial control of the seas. It actually has ALREADY ended - but the Empire does not know it yet."

Pepe also published a graphic showing those few nations that adhere to the Outlaw US Empire's diktated rules-based international order which supplements my earlier description.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jun 26 2021 20:27 utc | 211


What Pepe has written there is what I have been thinking about the last few days.
Will China/Russia take action to speed up the collapse of the US empire?
Martyanov has written a lot on the implications of Russia's new weapons systems and what it means to sea power. If he is correct, it is Russia that will rule the waves. US is now behind Russia in tech. When I was thinking about those closed cycle rocket engines, the US in not just ten or twenty years behind, but 60 years behind.
The us The US as financial hegemon rely to on military dominance to uphold its financial hegemony. Russia now rules the seas. In the coming months I think it will demonstrate that. The US will be challenged and faced down more and more. They will always be given the opportunity to back down but in the end perhaps over a few years, even western propaganda will not be able to hide the fact that Russia is now the dominant military power. I doubt US financial hegemony will last for too long after that occurs. Five-eyes will go down with the US but much of the world will join Russia and China's vision of a multi polar world.
Perhaps I am too optimistic there, but I've got to have a bit of optimism at times to balance out the bad stuff.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jun 26 2021 20:51 utc | 212

Friend karlof1, the admittedly odd Hal Turner has something closely relevant to affair SB21 in Black Sea. Inter alia that OTAN secretly intends to attempt to attack and seize Crimea as part of the "exercise".

Some recall 1914 and his excellency the King (George) ordering that there be a reason for war "found at any cost" ".

Worth reading the remarks subsequent to P E @ vk.

Later old man.

Posted by: Walter | Jun 26 2021 20:55 utc | 213

Peter, let's try to walk through this with the help of the mockup picture.

We see the launch rocket motor at the very aft end. This is not a problem.

Then comes the turbojet section, which also has the control fins on it.

Now you're saying that right in front of that turbojet is the third-stage rocket motor. Okay, that does look like a separate section.

Now we can also see that the top of the fuselage is a separate piece, with a gap, which you say is engine intake air duct. Well, such a thin passageway is going to scrub off all of the dynamic pressure [aka ram pressure] by the time it gets to the engine. That would be the absolute worst way to get air to the turbojet. Too much surface area for friction.

But yes, this does look like that top fuselage section is designed to come off, taking the wings with it. So what's left is basically another cylindrical fuselage underneath.

This is where the fuel tanks are, and they have to be there due to center of gravity, which must be ahead of the wing center of lift for stable flight.

Here's a cutaway of the Tomahawk.

You can just make out the side profile of the wingtip airfoil, right at the front of the mid-body section. We also see a nice airscoop on the engine underneath that is going to work very well. Obviously the Kalibr is going to have something like that, and not taking air in through that gap. But that's a minor point.

Now, the rest of your scenario does sound plausible. Without the wings, the body will still generate some lift at high angles of attack [even a barndoor going fast enough will make lift. Although this high alpha also entails risk of aerodynamic stall or other loss of control.

Maybe the rocket motor nozzle is vectored downward to help lift. As the speed increases the lift builds by the square of velocity, as we know. So perhaps it is possible to complete that flight distance without wings.

But this means a lot of continuous on-the-fly adjustments on the thrust vector just to keep the vehicle stable---perhaps dozens of cycles per second. This would require a very sophisticated flight computer. It's like trying to fly a broomstick.

I suppose it's possible, but it still would not be my choice of configuration.

In any case, thanks so much for this input. I think my initial thoughts on the Kalibr and the afterburner could well be wrong, after all, lol!

That leaves us then to consider whether a similar scheme could in fact be used on the Tsirkon? [As Korolev suggested.]

That is the really big question. I had dismissed that out of hand, based on a [now] possibly faulty assumption about the Kalibr.

Let's consider that for a moment. The missile is still going to be launched by a rocket that drops off almost immediately. It could then get up to speed, like other ramjets, using additional solid rocket fuel stuffed into the combustion chamber.

That would get it up to about M4 anyway. Once that burns out, the now empty chamber lights up the liquid fuel and works as a ramjet. This exact scheme is done on other ramjet missiles.

But here we have a huge additional hurdle. The LENGTH of that combustion chamber. Even an afterburner for M2 is going to be quite long---to ensure complete burning, which again, is a function of the flame front speed.

This is a basic and very significant physical limitation---and one of the big challenges in a scramjet, which goes several times faster. And so the chamber must be longer yet.

This is also why hydrogen fuel is generally the go-to fuel for the scramjet---its flame front speed is ten times faster than kerosene.

But if it only gets up to ramjet speed, and there is no actual scramjet mode, as Korolev suggests, then there MUST be that additional rocket stage like in the Kalibr.

And this is the big problem. Where is that placed? There is not going to be room for it because that ramjet chamber is not as small as the turbojet engine. It will be much longer.

So if that ramjet combustion chamber drops off, and we have a rocket motor in front of that for the final sprint we are still left with huge aerodynamic problems, since even at M4 the body length is crucial to the vehicle's flight stability.

I just don't see this. I don't think this helps much, but here is a rendering of the Tsirkon.

Whether it actually looks like this or not, we can see that just the length of that air inlet on the bottom is significant. The specs published give the overall length as 11 to 12 m, which is almost 40 feet.

According to the Russian MoD, the range is up to 2,000 km and flight speed 10,000 km/hr. that's M8.7 at 40 km altitude, about 6,200 mph.

Even if it somehow operates as a ramjet, there is no place to put a rocket stage ahead of a ramjet engine. That's never been accomplished.

Also I don't see how you could reach an AVERAGE speed of more than double a ramjet M4, with just a high-speed sprint at the end. You would need a HUGE rocket that flies it most of the distance. It would defeat the purpose of having an airbreathing missile.

Posted by: Gordog | Jun 26 2021 21:26 utc | 214

@ karlof1 (#211),

Thanks for sharing a good write up from Pepe. I appreciate it.

An article on geopolitics and global order must not miss the key MONETARY & PRIVATIZATION dimensions. Also, it needs to correctly point the TOP layer that is the driving force of the world. It is not the U$A, a suzerainty, but the International Financial Oligarchy. Here is a modified version of the text with changes underlined. Please share your feedback on the modified version. Thanks.


"The Financial Empire wants to build a global empire and for now controls the world through its reserve currency and pricing valuable resources in its currency, and by controlling the seas - and thus access to oil and natural resources. The imperial plan post-WWII was to use front organizations as the UN, IMF, BIS, World Bank, for the purpose of privatizing economies and exploiting former Third World labor pools while at the same time eliminating higher paid jobs in the US - serving financial interests and not the US population. So all factory jobs by and large in the US were farmed out. That only works if the Empire controls the RESERVE CURRENCY and seas. Hence the humongous trillion dollar peace time military budget as the instrument of control for currency and distribution choke points. The Empire is ALWAYS at war as it wants to capture nations sequentially and PRIVATIZE them into vassals.

“The International Financial Oligarchy and its lackey elites are freaking out today because they do see Russia as a major threat - capable of jointly with Germany and China taking control of the Eurasian land mass and having enough natural resources to be self-sufficient. Even in oil Russia can supply most of the Eurasian land mass. Moreover, the evolving alliance of Russia, China and Iran - the overarching theme of my analytical work for years now - is slowly but inexorably leading the Empire to lose control of the world, even as most of the world does not realize it yet. Remember, Triffin’s dilemma.

"Germany is a vassal of the Empire because of its control of the seas for the natural resources that Germany needs. That's why the Empire is horrified by Berlin seeking sovereignty and the security of an alternative oil and natural gas supply from Russia. Also, Germany sells more cars to China than the U$A, 5.4 million compared to 1.4 million cars respectively. Moreover, it was China approaching Russia in 2014 for natural resources that turned the US against China as this could make it independent of the Empire-controlled seas.

"If the Empire cuts off its oil by sea, then Germany can obtain it from Russia. If Germany is not allied with Russia - which can provide it with just about all the resources that Germany needs - then it is at the mercy of the Empire, who rules by controlling the reserve currency, financial arena and ruling the seas. The Financial Empire’s concept of "freedom of navigation” means absolute control of the seas and financial transactions, for the FINANCIAL OLIGARCHY to rule as dictators over every nation that requires trade for resources they do not have. “Democracies" or “republics" are just ruses: the dictatorship in effect is not of the proletariat but of financiers, as Bismarck identified long ago.

"Germany must have Nord Stream Two as insurance to complement its oil and natural gas requirements or it faces utter dependence on the Strait of Hormuz for LNG coming from Qatar that can be cut off as well as most of its oil that travels through the Strait.

"The key nations of the Eurasian land mass have seen through the imperial propaganda fog - and an alliance between Germany, Russia, China and Iran will inevitably rebalance world power. These nations want to be sovereign and not vassals. That’s why the Empire is frantically scurrying around the world as it sees itself losing its grip. And if this were not enough, Chinese and Russians are building submarines like there's no tomorrow equipped with state of the art missiles: that will end the imperial control of the seas. It actually has ALREADY ended - but the Empire does not know it yet." Also, these nations are De-Dollarizing to trade in respective national currencies and through currency swaps.

Posted by: Max | Jun 26 2021 21:28 utc | 215

Apologies. Somehow the text markup for the changes didn’t work. However, will appreciate your feedback.

Posted by: Max | Jun 26 2021 21:31 utc | 216

Re the Kalibr, the pic you linked to. underneath is a sec tion of cowl just in front of the turbo jet that looks like it could hing down. I had seen that in other pics but didn't think much about until you mentioned the intake here. Brahmos I think has the intake at the nose cone.

Hypersonic fuel? The most difficult part of a hypersonic missile. I am thinking of very fast burning as in continuous detonation.
I think these are the new gen ABM system that protects Moscow. You may have seen this before The launch is simply incredible. That is a large missile perhaps 20-30 tons, perhaps bigger.

Some months, perhaps a year ago, a number of Russian rocket scientists were killed in an explosion. They are playing with some really good shit.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jun 26 2021 21:43 utc | 217

Here's another short video judge on that ABM missile

Here's a bit on it at RT. I think they said it runs at up to mach 14 or 15.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jun 26 2021 21:51 utc | 218

Peter, yes I've been following that A235 missile defense testing. That thing is the fastest air defense missile to date, an incredible M15.

Posted by: Gordog | Jun 26 2021 21:56 utc | 219

The British actions show how unrelenting and even insanely arrogant the Empire and its accomplices and vassals can be when trying to subdue a sovereign nation. If they do this to Russia, perhaps the planet's most formidably armed nation, a nuclear superpower, you can see what a horrid battle little states in the global south will have when assaulted by the neocolonialist hegemon?

Posted by: Veros Imilitude | Jun 25 2021 17:06 utc | 28

Pity poor Scotland, whose farming/bétail industries are being destroyed so the vultures can descend and rape the very soil from the scots themselves !

Posted by: Sarlat La Canède | Jun 26 2021 22:50 utc | 220

@ Gordog

Thanks for your technical contributions, I enjoy them.

I was just curious...I seem to recall not too long ago a Russian was arrested for passing secrets concerning missile technology to the US. This was during the US's sudden return to testing hypersonics. Of course all the US tests were/are failing, and the Russians didn't seem as devastated as one might have thought, so I remember thinking at the time that perhaps at least for the last significant portion of his spying career, the FSB was aware of his activities and were causing him to pass along incorrect information, or information designed to lead the US to spend time and money going down R&D paths that the Russians had decades ago found to be dead ends. Do you remember that incident, and what are your thoughts about it?

Posted by: J Swift | Jun 27 2021 1:15 utc | 221

After the first vaccination, two weeks later I made an analysis for antibodies to the coronavirus IgG 3.6 I made an analysis a week after the second vaccination, the result of IgG 5.5 The absence of antibodies is associated with the activity of t cells The body's protective reaction against any infections, including COVID-19, is not limited to antibodies alone. There is also a T-cell response. It is not associated with antibodies, but with powerful killer cells, or T-lymphocytes, which are activated when a virus enters the body. Some part of these "killers" remains in the form of memory cells. They are the ones who will "recognize" the transferred virus in the future. I made 4 t-cell immunograms exceeded. I did an ultrasound one internal organ is inflamed
There is one significant thing, but I am a patient with two diseases: diabetes insipidus and olivopontoceribral degeneration with cerebellar atrophy.Due to the second disease, I can die at any time due to problems with swallowing Due to the second disease, speech is slowed down communication is only via email:
Advice from a psycho. The diagnosis of organic personality disorder was made by Almetyevsk psychiatrists under pressure from the top for a similar article.

Posted by: Rishat | Jun 27 2021 6:42 utc | 222

Posted by: Max | Jun 26 2021 21:28 utc | 215

thanks for your post, Max. The maritime choke points have been decisive for centuries but now there is the 'World Island' BRI these geopolitical controls [take note vk] are meaningless.

This BRI is reminiscent of the German Kaisers pre WW1 deal with the Ottoman Sultan to build the Berlin to Baghdad Railway [avoiding the British/ French Suez canal]. A major cause of WW1.

One could board the train in Berlin [the Orient Express] and go through Turkey to Damascus, Beirut, Jerusalem, Medina, Bagdad or Gaza. Notice how TE Lawrence's first mission was to entice his deliberately conned and deceived Arab 'allies' to attack the Haj or pilgrims Railway which would eventually end in Mecca and Jedda on the Red Sea.Thus disrupting British trade and choke points.

Posted by: Paul | Jun 27 2021 8:33 utc | 223

Peter AU1 re your point that Russia now rules the waves. I agree Russia appears to have the upper hand on anti-ship missile technology but your point needs modifying. As far I can judge Russia does not seek to rule the waves in the way Britain once did and the US has and now thinks it does. All it seeks to do is to defend its interests and defend its coastline. It is not putting these missiles up against the coast of North America in an offensive way or threatening the sea based imports the US and U.K. are dependent on.

The idea that it might is meat and drink to “Five Eyes” propaganda machines and used to make a good chunk of my fellow Brits hate the Russians. Of course if Putin ever decides to respond to ship based provocations around Russia’s extensive maritime borders and show what he has got, the scenario in John Michael Greer’s Twilights Last Gleaming may rapidly unfold.

Posted by: Philip Espin | Jun 27 2021 8:44 utc | 224

Max @209

I see now, you have a strong (bordering on religious) belief in some theory you obviously don't full understand. Your arguments are moral and emotional, not really analytical. You can preach, but you can't explain. It's time to move on, I guess.

Posted by: Jörgen Hassler | Jun 27 2021 8:49 utc | 225

And now – amazing to say it – the classified British battle plan has been found scattered in the street and handed to the BBC. Yes, I know it’s not strictly a battle plan, but it is in effect. It was all prepared in advance, and discussed at high level, before being being executed. Not as though we didn’t know it, but now it’s there in black and white. Even better, the documents were found on Tuesday *before* the event took place!

Posted by: Laguerre | Jun 27 2021 8:59 utc | 226

if you know your country does not protect whistleblowers, just dump classified documents at bus stops

Posted by: Mina | Jun 27 2021 9:56 utc | 227

The whole plan found in a soggy heap behind a bus stop in Kent. ROFLMAO! A country run by Bojo? Bozo more likely!

Posted by: Jörgen Hassler | Jun 27 2021 10:09 utc | 228

The real conspiracy theorists think it was all cleverly planned, dumping the battle plan in a soggy trash can behind a bus stop in advance of the event. Somehow intended to prove that the British plan was all innocent.

Posted by: Laguerre | Jun 27 2021 10:17 utc | 229


MoD dossier is found at BUS STOP: Public finds classified pages about Russian threat to HMS Defender - Daily Mail, June 27, 2021

A top-secret Ministry of Defence dossier containing 50 pages of classified information about the Russian threat to HMS Defender ahead of its provocative Black Sea trip and British military plans for Afghanistan has been found by a member of the public at a bus stop in Kent.

The dossier, which includes emails and PowerPoint presentations, originated from the office of a senior official at the MoD and were passed to the BBC by a member of the public after they made the discovery early on Tuesday morning - a day before the Black Sea crisis.

One document shows that the Royal Navy's Type-45 destroyer was ordered to sail close to disputed territorial waters off the coast of Russia-annexed Crimea in eastern European to make a show of support for Ukraine in the expectation that Moscow could respond with force.

The document supports claims that the Black Sea passage was an attempt to rile the Russian government, which used live ammunition to deter a NATO warship for the first time since the Cold War.

The original BBC story, with maps is here.

Posted by: Petri Krohn | Jun 27 2021 11:45 utc | 230

Craig Murray is a high profile opposition and may have to choose his battles to be able to remain on the web.
An experienced diplomat like Murray would have a keen sensitivity for what issues would be off limits.
Second there may be D-notices circulating which have spelled that out explicitly.

Posted by: petergrfstrm | Jun 27 2021 12:19 utc | 231

@ J Swift: Thanks for the feedback.

Yes, I heard of that spy being caught. Not many details released, other than he was involved in some of these high-tech weapons programs.

It's hard to say from our vantage point as members of the public what really happened. I don't have any inside info, nor have I heard any rumors. I would say though, that unless this guy was the chief designer of one of the projects [it wasn't said which one] there is not much chance that key secrets were compromised.

Putin did say that it was 'damaging.'

I will add, that from my own perspective, such complex projects have so many specific details, that even the loss of a few would not be a major score for the party trying to get the info. Today's weapon technology is so complex that even if you give another country a working example of the object, it is not likely that they would be able to copy it.

Ie, the days of 'reverse-engineering' high-tech weapons systems are gone. A good example of this is the Russian aircraft engines used in the Sukhoi fighter jets. China has been buying those for more than 20 years and working furiously to knock them off, and has still not succeeded.

Even if you have all the parts, you don't know how those were made, and the special processes in making such components is actually the key.

Posted by: Gordog | Jun 27 2021 12:54 utc | 232

Peter, a final thought about the Kalibr/Sizzler supersonic sprint.

I'm just now tucking in to my breakfast of crow this morning, lol!

Before retiring last night, it struck me that these turbojet powered cruise missiles fly in the dense air at sea level, not up at forty or sixty thousand feet where those afterburning interceptors like the MiG31 reach those speeds near Mach 3!

Even with afterburner, the Kalibr could hit no more than about M 1.4 at sea level, so that idea is thoroughly toast.

It all has to do with air density, which decreases with altitude, and is greatest at the surface [se level].

If you are driving down the highway in your car and stick your hand out the window, what you feel is the ram pressure, which is technically called 'dynamic pressure.'

It increases by the SQUARE of speed. If you are driving at 100 mph, the ram pressure you feel on your hand will be FOUR times greater than at 50 mph. This has to do with the fundamental physics of kinetic energy, which is defined as mass x velocity squared, divided by two KE = MV^2/2].

This means that if you double the vehicle's speed, it's drag will increase fourfold. In the case of the Kalibr, the speed triples in that final sprint, so the drag increase is ninefold.

That means you need NINE times more THRUST from the engine, since thrust is the force that overcomes air drag. An afterburner can double the thrust, at most. So square root of two is 1.42, which is about the mach number a Kalibr could reach with afterburner.

What a silly oversight. I'm glad you chimed in persistently, although I'm sure I would have noticed the oversight at some point anyway.

Still, this does not change anything about the Tsirkon. There is no way to implement a terminal sprint on that kind of flight vehicle.

But it's important to note that its reported top speed of around Mach 9 or even 10 is at high altitudes above 20 km where the air is very thin. At sea level, if it is flying as a sea-skimmer in its final approach to the target, that speed is not likely going to be greater than about M4!

Other Russian supersonic missiles that have been in use for decades have the same kind of specs. For instance the air-launched Kh22 was the main Soviet-era carrier-killer. It's carried by the Tu22 'Backfire' supersonic heavy bomber [three of these six-ton missiles per aircraft].

It has a top speed of M4 at high altitude, but in its final approach, it comes down to sea surface and comes in under the radar horizon like other sea skimmers---but at a speed of only M 2.5.

Which is still very deadly of course. With the radar horizon being ~18 km, it's speed of nearly 1 km/s [M 2.5 at sea level] gives at most 20 seconds warning to the ship.

With a salvo of six of these coming in, launched from two Backfires, there is no hope for survival. Here is a picture of Admiral Charles R. Larson, Commander in Chief, US Pacific Fleet, sitting in the cockpit of a Soviet Tu-22M Backfire aircraft during a visit to a Soviet air base during the latter Cold War period [US DoD].

So the 3M54 'Sizzler' missile with that M 2.9 sprint is even more deadly than the venerable Kh22. No wonder the US Navy has long been up in arms about China having it.

If the Tsirkon can increase that to M4 at wavetop height, then reaction time is down to just over seconds.

As for you comment about Russia 'ruling' the waves, I'm not sure I would put it that way. Obviously Russia's formidable nuclear subs can cruise the oceans, and they will be equipped with a full complement of Tsirkons [as well as Onikses, Sizzlers and Kalibrs].

That is going to be the main threat to US surface ships. Russia's surface ship is mostly littoral and not a 'blue water' navy meant to sail [and police] the world ocean like the US does.

But let's consider the tactical and strategic ramifications of Russian nuclear-powered subs carrying Tsirkons with up to 2,000 km range. They could pop up off the US coast and hit practically any target, literally at will. Here is the latest-generation Yasen cruise-missile carrying sub.

There is no air defense that can stop something like a Tsirkon. This is a huge gamechanger. It means Putin's warning of hitting any potential aggressor's 'command and control' centers is not a bluff. [He isn't one to bluff anyway].

And these Tsirkons carry conventional warheads. It gives Russia has escalation dominance without crossing the nuclear threshold.

Posted by: Gordog | Jun 27 2021 13:39 utc | 233

@233 Gordog

Even when you eat crow you make an appetizing meal of it - the mark of a good chef.

As others have said, I too find these technical overviews greatly pleasing to read - I almost called them "entertaining" but it's more important than that. It's the nuts and bolts of the true dominance of the ascending Resistance over the declining Empire. There are some crucially important calculations of many other kinds bound up for everyone in those specs that you and others relay.

Many thanks.

Posted by: Grieved | Jun 27 2021 14:55 utc | 234

Gordog@233 finds interesting questions about how the genius Russians have created the supermissiles and marvels at the magnitude of their achievements. Again, my experience over the years with the glowing reports of the technical genius of antimissile technology tells me that commercial and political considerations, and officers' vanity, grossly exaggerate. Iron Dome wasn't magic. Patriots weren't magic in the Iraq war either. (The "debris" from falling SCUDs were shockingly similar to bombardment.) Thus, I'm compelled to read Gordog's very interesting comments are raising questions.

One question unrelated to aeronautical engineering, about which Gordog is obviously informed, relates to the "formidable" Russian nuclear sub fleet. Gordo highlights how the actual value of the Tsirkon in changing the balance of power depends crucially on the delivery to other theaters, like the eastern seaboard of the US. Force projection, in other words. It is not at all clear to me that any submarine fleet has ever been able to deliver the goods strategically. The history of U-boats does not suggest high potential. In particular the formidableness of all submarines depends on their noisiness, not their armament.

Also, theoretical notions like escalation dominance are precisely that, theoretical, and it is entirely unclear to me it is both a valid and useful notion.

Posted by: steven t johnson | Jun 27 2021 15:56 utc | 235


I know very little on the Tsirkon other than its cruise speed at the top of the atmosphere. Does drag still increase at a similar rate at hypersonic speed? I have also wondered about the terminal approach as it enters progressively denser air. The stated range appeared long for a missile its size. I would guess maximum range is reached sometime after it has run out of fuel. Fuel is the part I always wonder about. I take it the Russian chemists have cooked up a witches brew that has very high energy density and very fast burning - as in explosives fast burning.
Have seen a video some time back hypersonic strike on a ship. Not sure if it was Russian or Chinese. It came in at very high angle rather than leveling off at sea level. Just a ball of smoke coming in. The boost glide missiles run at around M20 skimming along in the top levels of the atmosphere. Sufficient atmosphere that they can maneuver. Putin said one that they travel in a ball of plasma. First time I seen him talking that I have noticed him feeling in awe of something.
Actual temps I do not know, but I take it above the sort of temperature required to melt steel.

I have read about Hypersonic vehicles riding the shock wave. I don't fully understand the concept, but my thought is that once well into the hypersonic range, most aerodynamic equations would change. Thrust to drag ratios is something I am wondering about (thrust as in powered or kinetic energy once engine has stopped).
As for the Tsirkons terminal run, at those speeds, once it starts to dive from cruise height to target, little or no evasive maneuvering would be required.

Pretty amazing the way both the boost glide and the cruise hypersonic missiles can still function, and I think communicate, operating within the sort of temperatures that is at their outer surface. I kept up with a project for a civilian hypersonic aircraft at one time. The last I heard of it was around ten years ago and their major problem was the air intake melting at around or just above M5 as local air velocity there was much higher.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jun 27 2021 17:14 utc | 236

Thanks so much for your kind words, Grieved.

I will reciprocate by saying that I always look for your erudite posts here.

Posted by: Gordog | Jun 27 2021 17:45 utc | 237

Peter, the Russians say they have developed a special fuel chemistry for the Tsirkon. They call it Detsilin, but details are not known about its chemistry.

I too suspect that this is the key, since the supersonic airflow speed through the combustion chamber, combined with limitations of flame front speed of even hydrogen, could well be the big engineering challenge that has been overcome. It's no secret that this aspect of the scramjet engine, ie flameout, has been plaguing the American efforts, and this has been written about in the professional literature.

High-speed aerodynamics is quite a science in itself [technically called compressible flow, because of the compression effects resulting from shockwaves at velocities above sonic]. I have only a basic technical competence in this field, at least compared to folks who have been immersed in this specialty. It plays a big part also in space vehicle reentry and of course ballistic missiles---and it is a very nuanced science.

The Tsirkon is said to have both attack modes---the dive on the target at maximum speed from a great height, as well as first descending and then coming in low under the radar horizon. The Kh22 and other supersonic Soviet missiles also use this dual option, like the P700 'Granit' which is carried by ships and subs.

Yes, the temperatures at these high speeds are huge challenge. This results from friction-heating by air. The plasma cloud that surrounds the vehicle is a result of this, and this happens to spacecraft reentering the atmosphere at their speed of 8 km/s or so [M25, 18,000 mph for LEO, greater for higher orbits]. That plasma prevents radio waves from penetrating and is why you have the characteristic radio blackout during the most energetic aero-braking phase of reentry. [Incidentally this is the point of maximum dynamic pressure and is called 'max Q', since that is the letter for dynamic pressure; there is likewise a maxQ point during rocket ascent].

It also means that radar waves cannot penetrate either, since they are just radio waves. It's the high heat that causes the air molecules to dissociate, splitting into their constituent atoms [for instance O2 => 20]. As temps climb even higher those atoms begin to lose an electron, which makes it plasma [a gas particle with an electric charge]. These temps start at about 2,000 C.

This is literally a fireball, like astronauts and cosmonauts can see through their window. This is the fireball that Putin is referring to. Yes, it is literally higher than the melting temperature of steel.

This plasma shielding from radar is applicable more to Avangard, but even Tsirkon flying at low altitude through the dense air could create a plasma cloud---making it even more deadly. This would work especially on the dive from on high, making the radars useless---possibly making this the preferred terminal approach option.

Incidentally, I had mentioned in my discussion of Avangard, the originator of the idea Eugen Sänger, whose calculations were actually pretty good---but they fell down in the part about friction-heating, greatly underestimating the actual temperatures. This was a very rudimentary science at that time, but in the subsequent decades great strides have been made in compressible fluid flow and chemical thermodynamics. the challenge now is in , ie coming up with the actual 'stuff' that can withstand this kind of heat.

Spacecraft typically use ablative materials, which means they start to burn on the outer layer, but shielding the layers below as they burn off in thin slices. Remarkably even natural materials like oak and wood have been tried with some success. Ceramics are another option, but they are tricky as we saw with the ceramic tiles on Shuttle, which were a constant problem and eventually took out the Columbia. The Russian Buran had some interesting differences in their ceramic tile technology and there is some decent technical info on that.

And finally your point about how things behave differently at high speeds.

Yes this is how it is. Lots of tricky things here, and it's kind of a whole different ballgame. I already mentioned a fairly remarkable fact of how the physics of fluid flow completely reverses at velocities above sonic [M1]. At subsonic speed, air entering a converging duct, ie a nozzle, will speed up of course---just like constricting the end of the garden hose will speed up the flow of water. But above sonic, airflow entering a nozzle [converging duct] will SLOW DOWN! And gas exiting a DIVERGING duct will speed up! [While doing the opposte at subsonic fluid velocities.]

There are many such surprising things at very high, hypersonic speeds. Certainly the Avangard is a monumental technical achievement. The Tsirkon is not far behind. It is pretty impressive indeed.

Posted by: Gordog | Jun 27 2021 18:49 utc | 238

Gordog, thanks for all the detailed replies. I clocked up a number of hours mustering in a gyrocopter. Starting by buying a home built machine that had a hundred or so hours on the clock. Made a lot of modifications but by 3000 hrs I was limited by the airframe, so built my own using the previous mods but a somewhat unique air frame. That was magic to fly. Did another 2000 hrs with that configuration before my current illness brought my flying to a stop about 13 or 14 years ago. Since then, I have always had a lot of interest in technical aspects of things that fly. Not having any sort of background in the aerospace industry, for me it is great being able to toss around a few of the technical aspects I look at. As with the others, I greatly appreciate your posts.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jun 27 2021 19:48 utc | 239

Thanks Peter.

So you're a gyro man? Excellent!

Building your own flying machine is quite an accomplishment. I'm recently retired and am kicking around the idea of building a Van's RV8.

Gyros are amazing machines. I've had a couple of rides in two-seaters and was kind of surprised at the level of vibration, which was a lot less than any helo I've flown in.

Thanks for the great discussion. You obviously know enough about aeronautics to be conversant at the professional level. Certainly your 5000 flight hours has given you a lot of experience in hands-on flight dynamics. I would take a guy like you over a lot of the so-called graduates.

Just to clean up a couple of my typos I noticed here. In talking about the Tsirkon sea-skimming at M4 I meant to say a ship defense reaction time of just over 10 seconds.

I also did a little number-crunching on temperature at Tsirkon flight speed of M9 at 40 km altitude. It's a whopping 4,000 C. That's the so-called air 'total temperature' which is a function of Mach number. If the vehicle has a heat probe it would record about 3,500 C air temp.

Now this does not mean that the skin of the vehicle gets this hot. It doesn't. That's a much more involved task to try to come up with a number by means of a mathematical model.

Is this hot enough to cause some ionization? Yes, but not nearly as much as a spacecraft reentering or the Avangard, which effectively makes multiple reentry skips at Mach 25. The main reason is that Nitrogen, which is about three quarters of air, has a much higher ionization temperature than oxygen. So with Tsirkon you still may get some oxygen ionization at those high Mach numbers, but none at all flying at M4 at sea level, where total temp is only going to be just under 1,000 C.

So the high flight plus dive at the target sounds like the more effective terminal mode for this missile, since you will have a plasma cloud that is going to mess up the defensive radar.

Also in talking about heat shielding, I meant to say oak and cork have been used for ablative materials. Kind of remarkable when you think about it. The problem with ablative materials is that the burning off leaves a rough surface which affects the flight path, and therefor accuracy of the missile. So ICBM warheads use non-ablative materials and rely a lot on insulation, plus the fact that they don't spend much time in the hottest conditions. It takes time for heat to soak through.

In terms of material science, there is a lot of effort in that area. Carbon Carbon is a well known material and something like that might be used on Tsirkon or even Avangard. But I think the Russians may have improved on that front as well.

Finally I should note that dynamic pressure, or ram pressure, is defined as density x velocity squared, divided by 2 [Q = rhoV^2/2]. It is really the same physical expression as kinetic energy, but mass is replaced by density [rho], since we are dealing with a fluid like air.

Posted by: Gordog | Jun 27 2021 20:35 utc | 240

I have read of graphite being used at time as an ablative material, but as you say those type materials are only good for a limited time. Keeping the super heated air away from the skin will play a big part. I have been thinking of something along the lines of a supercavitating torpedo.
On the avangard skipping along on top of the atmosphere. Perhaps because of the simplified animation of its flight paths, I have assumed that it would constantly travel within the atmosphere to retain maneuverability, though it might be possible that it can alter course slightly at each skip.

The RV8 looks an interesting little aircraft. I have never been into the fixed wing side of it that much. Did some touch and goes and that sort of thing in a GA aircraft with a mate who was a crop duster pilot. That was interesting. After the first touch and go where I wobble down the airstrip bouncing from one wheel to the other I went to do a circuit to come in again and don't worry about that, I'll take it. He jams a foot on the rudder, spins it in the air and we are lined up for another touch and go. I forgot my daughter was in the back, but after about ten minutes I remembered her and looked around. She was white and looked like she was drugged or something so that put an end to the fun. Bought a trike before the gyro and learnt to fly that, but any sort of turbulence, it was just shear hard physical work to fly it.
That's where the rotary wing stands out. It simply cuts through the turbulence, and for my sort of flying, its like a dirt bike in the sky. I hardly ever got above 500 foot, gridding a paddock while mustering was at about 250 foot which was somewhat boring, but when the stock are giving trouble the interesting stuff starts. Mustering feral cattle was always the best. No time to get bored there.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jun 27 2021 21:44 utc | 241

Peter, I had no idea there was even such a thing as feral cattle---much less guys in gyros mustering them, lol!

Amazing story, man. Only in Oz, I guess, lol!

The gyro has always fascinated me too. They are a lot of fun, and actually impossible to stall, in theory anyway. I think you can land one at something like 20 mph airspeed.

Also agree on the stability in wind and turbulence. I know the gyro guys fly when it is way too windy for the fixed wing folks. And yes, a trike is the worst for wind, like a kite almost. But man they are fun, it's more like a motorcycle as you say. Same for the open-ockpit gyros.

I forgot to address one of your earlier questions about extra drag at very high speeds. Yes, you get wave drag of course when going supersonic [from the shockwaves, even at transsonic speeds like on passenger jets you will have some on the crest of the wing as the air speeds up].

At supersonic speed, you want the bow shock created by the nose of the aircraft to stay ahead of the wings, so that's why you see the long nose, like on Concorde.

At hypersonic speed things get even trickier, but here again the shaping and geometry. is crucial. That's why they don't want to show these things in pictures. This is all very specialized stuff, and certainly above my pay grade, so can't really help much other than explain basics.

Sorry to hear about your medical issues that keep you grounded. That's always a lousy deal. Maybe you can get back into it with an ultralight? Those may not require any kind of medical. In some jurisdictions [US notably, but others too] not even any kind of pilot certificate!

Posted by: Gordog | Jun 27 2021 23:44 utc | 242

I never worried much about licences and rego's as I never flew into registered airfields. It was very much bush flying. I think I kept paying my pilots licence each year but after a couple of years and a lot of mods didn't bother about the rego. Medical is not an issue. I flew until I could not hold strait and level flight. My eyesight got pretty bad but then a few cracks developed in the exhaust so I cut the pipes off near the manifold. The men on the ground would complain about the noise but I was getting clean musters again so kept flying. In the time I was flying about six people I knew or had contact with were killed in them. A lot of the weekend warrior types shouldn't even have been flying, but a mate I worked with on a few jobs collected a power line strung between two hills just on daylight one morning. He was younger than me but had started flying a long time before I did. Fairly meticulous with maintenance, and a bit more conservative with his flying than me. His first kid was just a baby.
That last year I was flying I simply didn't care if I went. I'm here and they are gone. Makes you wonder about things at times.
If my health was such that I could book jobs in and be sure of being able to fly on that day and get a clean, I would be back into it.
Negative g is the main thing to watch out for with the gyro. Changing the flight characteristics is as simple as changing the rotor blade. I used extruded aluminium blades which was a good balance of response and inertia. 26ft rotor with 1 degree of pitch for the cooler months and 28ft rotor with one and a half degree pitch for the hotter months. 20 knots is about right for touch down speed in a normal landing. For landing on rough ground, such as an engine out, its just a matter of progressive back stick holding it a meter or so of the ground until no ground speed then forward stick to balance it and drop onto the ground.
In a prevailing or steady crosswind landing across the strip with no roll in a normal landing. A couple of places where I would muster frequently, the refueling point was on a dirt road with drains along each side. Landing there was a pain as it was a bit dangerous to land across the road in gusting winds, but landing along the road there was scattered trees. made for exceptionally gusty sidewind conditions that flick the tail out to about 40 degrees. Made for some very hairy landings. Thats why I biult my own airframe. Turned it into an open frame tail dragger so I could get the tail wheel down and spin the machine straight befor the mains touched.
There is a lot of ignorance and bullshit in the rec gyro game. I think that's the main reason so many are killed. A number of mods I made in the first 1000 hours later become airworthy notices - necessary upgrades. Rigid teetering rotor theory is bullshit. Using accepted theory, I was never able to eliminate all stick shake. Then reports of hub bars breaking, cracking ect. I had also noticed a lot of fretting where the blades bolted onto the hub bar and also where the teeter block bolted onto the hub bar that simply did not fit with the prevailing theory.
The basic theory on how the two bladed rotor worked was at that time nothing more than oversimplified group think. Even the rotor manufactures had a very poor understanding of it. They simply tinkered until they had something that worked ok and stuck with that.
I developed some theories that worked on paper, could be seen in models and worked in practice. Why those hub bars were failing I don't know as, in the air, I worked mine far harder than most and would replace the entire rotor at about 2500 hours as most mustering pilots did. Flying them a long way out of balance or perhaps ground handling. They solved the problem by, rather than getting a better understanding of rotor theory, limiting them to a 1000 hours which I didn't bother about.

A lot of off topic stuff here I guess but its an interest of mine and something I very much liked doing..

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jun 28 2021 1:45 utc | 243

Peter, thanks so much for taking the time to tell this fascinating story.

There is a group of recreational 'bush' pilots on youtube that call themselves 'The Flying Cowboys.' They have nothing to do with cattle, of course, and they fly these fancy Carbon Cubs and such. They get together and go on camping trips in the wilderness of the Western US, landing on river sandbars, various dirt strips in the mountains, or even just on fields and hilltops and such.

Now, just trying to form a mental picture of you in a gyro herding cows and calves and bulls that are used to running wild---I think if someone ever shot a film about this and put it on youtube, these guys would kind of blush that they fancy themselves 'cowboys' lol!

Here's a guy whose videos I often enjoy. He flies a beautiful German-made gyro from a company called, I believe Auto-Gyro. Henry GyroLife.

Posted by: Gordog | Jun 28 2021 12:57 utc | 244

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