Civilian Airliner Shot Down Over Ukraine

As those reading this post know by now a Malaysian Airlines Boeing 777 was shot down over Ukraine near the Russian border.

My condolences to all those killed in this tragedy,

Who’s Responsible

It is currently unknown who shot the plane down: the Russians, the Russian backed insurgents, or the Ukrainians. All have access to weapons capable of taking down the airliner.

While Ukraine has anti-aircraft weapons as well, but has no reason to be firing them at large planes since the rebels have no such aircraft at their disposal. Hence, I am more dismissive of the idea that the Ukrainian military shot down the plane, as Russia claims

Given recent activities in the area (namely the rebels shooting at and shooting down Ukrainian aircraft) I believe it was in fact the insurgents using Russian supplied equipment like the Buk missile system, which does have the capacity to reach the cruise altitude the Malaysian Airliner was said to be at. I also base this on the rebels own claims on a social networking site of shooting down an aircraft around the same time as MH-17 went down, post which later were deleted once it became clear a civilian airliner had been shot down.

So at this point, I blame the insurgent separatists and, ultimately, Vladimir Putin for instigating the military crisis in Ukraine through the invasion of Crimea and Ukraine, supplying rebels with weapons, and fomenting his pan-Slavic ethnocentric ultra-nationalism in the region.

What Should Be Done

Regardless of who is responsible for the attack, every effort (including military means if need be) should be made in ending the rebels assaults in Ukraine and bring those responsible for killing hundreds of innocent passengers on the plane to justice. I know that isn’t likely, given Putin is already spinning the blame to everyone else but his own disastrous policy in the region. If it turns out the Russian (or even Ukrainian) military is directly involved in attack, there needs to be some serious repercussions. Repercussions along the lines of a ban on all travel to and from the offender nation (or their sponsor), an world wide embargo on products, a rapid deployment of EU and NATO forces to all nations to form a buffer between the conflicting sides, stripping away of all international economic and sporting events, and so forth. In other words, no more weak willed verbal rebukes but tangible punishments that hurt those committing these acts.

What Will Be Done

Sadly, with our current president whose early thought this event was: “It looks like it may be a terrible tragedy”, I suspect nothing. I think Obama was channeling George W. there. “May be”? Seriously? Regardless of how the plane went down it is a tragedy.

Obama has shown himself to be spineless in the past in a whole manner of violence and conflicts erupting across the face of the planet so I expect little to nothing to be done.

Av, Sci & Tech News Bits

Scientists hide gold with 3D invisibility cloak | Reuters

The findings, published in the journal Science on Thursday, could in the future make it possible to make large objects invisible, but for now the researchers said they were not keen to speculate on possible applications.

Well it’s useless to speculate about the already acknowledged goal.

F-35 fighter makes first vertical landing | Reuters

.:: Aero-News Network: General Aviation Serves America’ Campaign Grows By Going Local ::.

Business & Technology | EADS may make bid for tanker contract | Seattle Times Newspaper

Aviation and Space Newsbits

Dreamliner May Come to Australia for Testing. | Planenews Aviation News

Good news for Aussies given recent events down there. Not so good for Americans, though.

China’s fourth space center to be completed by 2015 | ‘RIA Novosti’

China’s fourth space center, Wenchang, will be put into service between 2014 and 2015, not in 2013 as it was previously announced, the CCTV channel reported on Tuesday.

Obama to push White House vision for NASA in April | Reuters

What policy, save to cut funding and drive even more scientists, engineers, and manufacturers fleeing from the United States?

Russian T-50 Stealth Fighter

Russian Stealth Fighter

Sukhoi T-50 Stealth Fighter – RIA Novosti

Also referred to as the Sukhoi PAK FA.

Some of  the following information are estimates of the plane and may not be accurate.

NATO Designation: Firefox


Wing: 14.2 m ( S=78.8 m^2)
Length: 22 m
Height: 6.05 m


Max 37,000 kg
Normal 26,000 kg
Empty 18,500 kg

Speed : 2,100 km/h  (M=2.0)

Altitude: 20,000 m

Aviation & Space Newsbits

The Associated Press: Orbital gets communications satellite deal

FAA Taps Aerospace Technology Firm As New UFO Reporting Center | AHN
Bigelow Aerospace Advanced Space Studies for UFO reporting. Weird, but necessary I guess. I say weird because many aerospace companies tend to avoid anything that may be deemed controversial like UFOs preferring to remain relatively inconspicuous and concentrate on their craft designs.

Safran, GE to provide engines for Chinese jet – MarketWatch

Russia set to start Superjet 100 deliveries in mid-2010 | Top Russian news and analysis online | ‘RIA Novosti’ newswire

787 Dreamliner First Flight

Boeing 787

Boeing 787 Dreamliner

Boeing 787 Dreamliner takes off on first flight.

After numerous delays, the Boeing 787 Dreamliner had its first flight today. And a beautiful sight it was to watch even though weather conditions were poor. The model in question that flew today was the 787-8.

Some interesting Boeing 787 information:

  • The aircraft is 50% composite materials by weight.
  • Engines: 2 x General Electric GEnx or Rolls-Royce Trent 1000
  • Length: 186 ft (57 m) [787-8 model]
  • Wingspan: 197 ft (60 m) [787-8 model]
  • Height: 55 ft 6 in (16.92 m)
  • Empty weight: 242,000 lbs (110,000 kg) [787-8 model]
  • Max. takeoff weight: 502,500 lb (228,000 kg) [787-8 model]
  • Cruise speed: 487 knots (561 mph, 903 kph)  @ 40,000 ft/12,200 m
  • Ceiling: 43,000 ft (13,106.4 m)
  • Range: 7,650 – 8,200 nautical miles (14,200 – 15,200 km) [787-8 model]

links for 2009-06-05