Sunday, 11 October 2015

China's J31 stealth fighter specifications were revealed online

China's J31 stealth fighter copied much of the technology of the fifth generation US F-35 fighter jet. Specifications for the J-31 were revealed online.

The J-31 is a mid-weight, twin rudder and twin-engine jet with the typical configuration that is commonly shared by other 5th generation fighters such as Sukhoi T-50. J-31 incorporates certain stealth characters such as forward swept intake ramps with diverterless supersonic inlet (DSI) bumps, trapezoidal wings and a two-piece canopy.

The J-31 appears to be a smaller and more agile aircraft than the Chengdu J-20 that resembles a twin engine F-35C.

The reported maximum engine thrust figure of "88.29 kn" or 9 tons, does conform with statements made by Chinese officials to IHS Jane's at the 2015 Paris Air Show that China was testing a new 9-ton medium thrust turbofan on the Chengdu Aircraft Corporation FC-1/JF-17 fighter. Thought to be an improved version of the WS-13 Taishan turbofan reportedly developed from the Russian Klimov 8.29-ton thrust RD-33 turbofan, it will power versions of the single-engine FC-1 and the twin-engine FC-31. China is working on an improved variant named WS-13A with 100KN of thrust for use on the J-31.

The data posted online describes the FC-31 as "designed for high survivability, low radar detectability, low IR (infrared) signature, and excellent capabilities for electronic counter measures".

Avic said the fifth-generation fighter jet, which has a 1,200 km (750-mile) combat range and a top speed of 2,205 kph (1,370 mph).

The J31 has a maximum payload capacity of 8 metric tons.

Pakistan Air Force is looking to buy 30 to 40 J-31 aircraft.

A sub-scale model of the Shenyang FC-31 fifth-generation fighter made its second appearance at the September 2015 Beijing Air Show. Source: Via Top81 web page 



General characteristics

Crew: one (pilot)
Length: 16.9 m (55 ft 5 in)
Wingspan: 11.5 m (37 ft 9 in)
Height: 4.8 m (15 ft 9 in)
Wing area: 40 m2 (430 sq ft)
Gross weight: 17,600 kg (38,801 lb)
Powerplant: 2 × RD-93 afterburning Turbofans, 84 kN (19,000 lbf) thrust each
Current domestic powerplant - 88.3 kN thrust each
Powerplant: 2 × WS-13A afterburning Turbofans, 100 kN (22,000 lbf) thrust each
Maximum speed: 2,205 km/h (1,369 mph; 1,190 kn)
Maximum speed: Mach 1.8
Combat range: 1,200 km (777 mi; 675 nmi)
Ferry range: 4,000 km (2,485 mi; 2,160 nmi)
Thrust/weight: ~1

Armament

4x PL-12 internally in stealth configuration.


SOURCES - wikipedia, ifeng.com, Janes.com, reuters

Man claims MH370 wreckage on south Philippines island



Police in Malaysia's Sabah state have received a report claiming that an aircraft wreckage with the Malaysian flag painted on it was found on a southern Philippines island.

The report was made by a man who said the wreckage with human remains inside was spotted by his nephew, from the southern Philippine island of Tawi Tawi,  at Ubian Island in southern Phillippines several days ago.

State Commissioner Jalaluddin Abdul Rahman said the man made the report at the Sandakan police station on Saturday.


This matter is being investigated,” he told The Star in a text message.

In the report the man, an audio visual technician in his 40s, said his nephew and a few others were hunting for birds when they spotted the wreckage on the island.

They managed to get near the wreckage where they found human bones. They also found skeletal remains in the pilot's chair with the seat belt fastened.

Before leaving the area, they took a flag they found in the wreckage.

The man said he informed police as the wreckage could be that of an airplane that disappeared last year.

Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 disappeared in March last year en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing with 239 passengers and crew on board, most of them China nationals.

The incident triggered one of the largest search for an aircraft focusing in the Southern Indian Ocean.

Last month, French authorities confirmed a  piece of wing found on the shore of Reunion Island in the Indian Ocean has been identified as part of the MH370 wreckage.

The flaperon was found on the shore of the French-governed island on July 29 and Malaysian authorities have said paint colour and maintenance-record matches proved it came from the missing Boeing 777 aircraft.

The Star
Publication Date : 10-10-2015

Sunday, 27 September 2015

11 Facts About the September 27/ 28, 2015 Blood Moon Eclipse

On September 28, 2015, a rare Total Lunar Eclipse of a Super Full Moon will be visible from most of North America, South America, Europe, West Asia and parts of Africa. Here are 11 facts you should know about this eclipse.

Different stages of Total Lunar Eclipse over Indianapolis, United States in February 2008.
Different stages of a Total Lunar Eclipse.
©bigstockphoto.com/alexeys

1. A Rare Eclipse of a Supermoon

The full Moon of September 27/28 is a Supermoon – the Moon will be closest to the Earth. or at its perigee, as it turns into a full Moon. A rising Super Full Moon can look larger and brighter to spectators on Earth.
Total eclipses of Super Full Moons are rare. According to NASA, they have only occurred 5 times in the 1900s – in1910192819461964 and 1982. After the September 27/ 28, 2015 Total Lunar Eclipse, a Supermoon eclipse will not happen again for another 18 years, until October 8, 2033.

2. People in the US Will Get Front Row Seats

People in eastern and central areas of the United States and Canada will have some of the best views of the Total Lunar Eclipse on the night of September 27, 2015, weather permitting. Here, the eclipse will begin after moonrise and finish around midnight (00:00 on September 28).
Those on the West Coast will miss the beginning stages of the eclipse because they will happen before moonrise.
It will be the last Total Lunar Eclipse visible from mainland USA until January 31, 2018.

3. Late Night & Early Morning Eclipse

While North and South Americans will be able to see the eclipse after sunset on September 27, 2015, people in Africa, Europe and Middle East can view it during the early hours of September 28, before the Sun rises.

4. No Need for Eye Protection


Illustration image
A partial solar eclipse looks like the Moon has taken a bite of the Sun.
©bigstockphoto.com/underworld1

Lunar eclipses can be spectacular and they are easy to see with the naked eye. Unlike solar eclipses, which require protective eye wear, a lunar eclipse can be viewed without specialized eye wear.

5. A Solar Eclipse Takes Place Two Weeks Before

Solar and lunar eclipses come in pairs – a lunar eclipse always takes place two weeks before or after a solar eclipse. The September 27/ 28, 2015 Total Lunar Eclipse will be preceded by a Partial Solar Eclipse on September 13, 2015.

6. It's Part of a Lunar Tetrad

The September 28, 2015 Total Lunar Eclipse is the fourth and final eclipse in a series of four total lunar eclipses called the lunar tetrad. The first three eclipses of the tetrad took place on April 15, 2014October 8, 2014 and on April 4, 2015.
Notice something interesting about the dates? Each of the eclipses in the tetrad occurs about 6 months apart and have 5 full Moons between them!
Lunar tetrads can be rare in some centuries and can occur frequently in others. The 21st century will have 8 lunar tetrads, the maximum number of lunar tetrads that can occur in a century. The last time this happened was in the 9th century!
The next lunar tetrad of the 21st century will start with the April 25, 2032 Total Lunar Eclipse.

7. ...And is Being Called a Blood Moon


An eclipsed Moon can take on a reddish glow during totality
Rayleigh scattering can cause the Moon to look red during a lunar eclipse.
©bigstockphoto.com/Medardus

In recent years, the term Blood Moon has been frequently used to refer to total lunar eclipses. Some sources suggest that the term stems from the Bible. Christian pastors Mark Blitz and John Hagee claim that the eclipses of the 2014-2015 lunar tetrad fulfill a Biblical prophecy of forthcoming difficult and trying times.
Astronomers do not use Blood Moon as a scientific term. However, it is possible that the term came to describe total lunar eclipses because of the reddish color the eclipsed Moon takes on during totality. This happens because ofRayleigh scattering, the same mechanism that causes colorful sunrises and sunsets.

8. Despite Rumors, the World Will Not End


Illustration image
Relax! The World will not end.
©iStockphoto.com/DNY59

The views of pastors Blitz and Hagee gathered attention in early 2014, because the eclipses in the tetrad coincide with important Jewish festivals. The eclipses in April 2014and April 2015 occured at the same time as Passover, while the October 2014 and September 2015 eclipses occur during the Feast of Tabernacles. Some people took this coincidence as a sign of the end of times.
Others have dismissed any apocalyptic significance of the tetrad. Data of past eclipses show that at least eight lunar tetrads have coincided with Jewish holidays since the First Century.
The Jewish Calendar is a lunar calendar and Passover always occurs around a full Moon. Since a total lunar eclipse can only occur on a full Moon night, it is very likely that an eclipse will take place on or near Passover.
In conclusion, scientists and astronomers have found no reason to believe that the current lunar tetrad is a sign of the world to end. Even mainstream religious organizations have debunked this claim, so don't start hoarding end-of-the-world supplies just yet!

9. It will Happen on Harvest Moon


Harvest Moon is the Northern Hemisphere's first fall (autumn) full Moon.
The Harvest Moon is the first full Moon of the Northern Hemisphere fall (autumn).
©iStockphoto.com/klagyivik

The Lunar Eclipse on September 27/ 28, 2015 will occur during the Northern Hemisphere's first fall (autumn) full Moon. Called the Harvest Moon in many northern cultures, it is the full Moon closest to the September Equinox, and is astronomically significant.
On average the Moon rises about 50 minutes later every successive day in a lunar month – the time period between two full Moons or two new Moons. In New York, for example, a new Moon will rise at 6:50 am on September 13. On September 14, the Moon will rise almost 60 minutes later at 7:46 am.
Around the Northern Hemisphere's Harvest Moon, this time difference between two successive moonrises decreases to about 30-40 minutes for a few days. In New York, a full Moon will rise at 6:36 pm (18:36) on September 27 and on September 28, the Moon will rise 40 minutes later at 7:16 pm (19:16).
This curious phenomenon, which is also sometimes called the Harvest Moon Effect occurs because of the low angle that the Moon's path around the Earth makes with the horizon during the northern fall (autumn) months. This effect reverses during the Northern Hemisphere spring. The large angle that the lunar orbit makes with the horizon ensures that the moon rises more than 50 minutes later every day around the northern Spring Equinox.
Because seasons in the Southern Hemisphere are opposite to the seasons in the North, the Harvest Moon Effect occurs around the southern Fall (Autumn) Equinox in March.

Wat arun in night with super full moon
A Super Full Moon is also known as a Perigee Moon.
©bigstockphoto.com/Prasit Rodphan

10. It is Part of Lunar Saros Series 137

Like solar eclipses, lunar eclipses tend to occur in 18 year long cycles called Saros cycles. Lunar eclipses separated by a Saros cycle share similar features, including time of the year and the distance of the Moon from the Earth. Eclipses that are separated by a Saros cycle are included in a Saros series.
The September 27/ 28, 2015 Lunar Eclipse belongs to Saros Series 137. It is the 28th eclipse and the last total lunar eclipse in a series of 81 lunar eclipses. The series began with a penumbral eclipse on December 17, 1564 and will end with another penumbral eclipse on April 20, 2953.

11. It's the Last Eclipse of 2015

2015 has 4 eclipses, the minimum number of eclipses that can happen in a calendar year. TheSeptember 28 Total Lunar Eclipse marks the last eclipse of the year. It will be preceded by a partial solar eclipse on September 13, 2015.
The first eclipse of the year, a total solar eclipse took place on March 20. Two weeks later, on April 4, 2015 the first lunar eclipse of 2015 took place.

- http://www.timeanddate.com/eclipse/facts-lunar-eclipse.html

Thursday, 30 July 2015

MH370 was 'shot down by US military', claims former French airline boss


Published time: 22 Dec, 2014 14:16

Flight lieutenant Jayson Nichols looks at a map as he flies aboard a Royal Australian Air Force AP-3C Orion aircraft searching for the missing Malaysian Airlines flight MH370 over the southern Indian Ocean on March 27, 2014 (AFP Photo / Pool)
A former French airline CEO Marc Dugain claims that the US may have shot down Malaysian Airlines flight MH370 and then covered it up, adding to a rash of conflicting theories about the missing plane.
In a six-page article published by French weekly Paris Match, Dugain claims that the Boeing 777 may have got into trouble and as it was approaching the US military base on the British territory of Diego Garcia in the Indian Ocean, it was shot down. US forces may have feared the plane was attempting a 9/11 style attack on the base, Dugain said.
“It’s an extremely powerful military base. It’s surprising that the Americans have lost all trace of this aircraft. Without getting into conspiracy theories, it is a possibility that the Americans stopped this plane,” Dugain said, English-language website The Local reported Friday.
Dugain said there were witness in the Maldives, the nearest islands to Diego Garcia about 500 kilometers to the north, who claim to have seen a “huge plane flying at a really low altitude” with Malaysian Airlines colors flying toward Diego Garcia.
A graphic of the area being searched for missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 (AFP Photo/ Pool / Greg Wood)
In August, the UK Daily Mirror reported that the MH370 was heading for the tiny Indian Ocean atoll of Diego Garcia, but the US Embassy in Kuala Lumpur denied this. A spokesperson for the US Embassy in Malaysia told the local Star newspaper at that time that there was “no indication that MH370 flew anywhere near the Maldives or Diego Garcia.”
He added: “MH370 did not land in Diego Garcia.”
Dugain writes that the aircraft, which disappeared on March 8 with 239 people on board, while on a scheduled flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing, could have been hijacked remotely and then steered toward Diego Garcia.
Another explanation, he says, is that an onboard fire forced the crew to turn off all electronic devises without damaging the plane’s exterior, allowing it to continue on autopilot with everybody on board asphyxiated.
A Chinese relative (R) of passengers on Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 prays in front of candles as he takes part in a prayer service at the Metro Park Hotel in Beijing (AFP Photo / Wang Zhao)
The testimonies of witnesses in the Maldives have been suppressed, Dugain claims, adding he was approached by a British intelligence officer, who warned him he would be taking “risks” by trying to find out what really happened to the MH370. As the British own the island, it would figure they would cover up any incident, Dugain said.
The US has consistently denied it has had any knowledge of the fate of the airliner, but Dugain doubts the US, which is “equipped with the best technology in the world” could have completely lost track of “a 63-meter-long object.”
Sir Tim Clark, CEO of Emirates Airlines, the world’s largest, said in October that he thought information on what happened to the doomed airliner was being withheld by some people and that even with all its electronic communications systems turned off the plane would still be traceable by powerful military radar.
There have been a host of theories about what could have happened to the missing airliner, some them seemingly more the stuff of thrillers than air crash investigators.
British journalist and author Nigel Cawthorne said that it may have been shot down by military exercisesbeing conducted by Thailand, Japan, Indonesia, the US and personnel from China in the South China Sea.
Even more far-fetched is that MH370 could have been flown north in the shadow of another plane and would have avoided detection on radar before branching off and landing at an airfield in north east China, Kyrgyzstan or Turkmenistan.
A third claims there could have been a botched hijack attempt. Analysis of radar data shows the plane began to fly erratically and climbed to 45,000 feet before dropping to a very low altitude.
The pilots could have flown like this to disorientate the hijackers or the hijackers themselves could have flown the plane up to this altitude to kill the passengers by starving them of oxygen by depressurizing the cabin, while they had access to another oxygen supply. Under this theory the attempts fails and the hijackers accidentally kill themselves.
In October, the investigation was focused entirely around an underwater search. As of December 17, 11,000 square km of the seafloor had been searched. The search of the southwest Indian Ocean is being conducted by three vessels and is expected to be completed by May 2015.

Wreckage Could Dim Hope of Survival

by PHIL HELSEL
A piece of aircraft wreckage discovered on a remote island in the Indian Ocean has raised hopes that it may be from the missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370. But the possibility was not greeted with joy by all.
Sarah Bajc's boyfriend, Philip Wood, was on the Boeing 777 before it disappeared on a flight from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, to Beijing with 239 people on board on March 8, 2014.
"My initial reaction was I wasn't sure whether to believe it because there have been so many false alarms," Bajc said in a statement to NBC News Wednesday.
"If it is from the plane than any hope that I might have had that this plane landed safely somewhere is harder to believe," she said. "My thread of hope goes away."
The wreckage was found Wednesday on the coastline of rugged Reunion Island, a French territory east of Madagascar off the southern tip of Africa. The wreckage has not been confirmed to have been a part of Flight 370.
Image: FRANCE-OVERSEAS-REUNION-ACCIDENT-AVIATION-INVESTIGATION
A policeman and a gendarme stand next to a piece of debris from an unidentified aircraft found in the coastal area of Saint-Andre de la Reunion, in the east of the French Indian Ocean island of La Reunion, on July 29, 2015. YANNICK PITOU / AFP - Getty Images
Sources told NBC News that Boeing investigators have looked at photos of the piece of debris and believe it appears to have come from a Boeing 777. There is only one 777 missing in the world right now — Flight 370, also called MH370.
Bajc was preparing to move from Beijing to live with Wood, a 50-year-old Texas native and IBM Malaysia employee, in Kuala Lumpur at the time of the tragedy.
Bajc said that if the wreckage is determined to be from Flight 370, the confirmation would bring closure and perhaps some insight into why the passenger plane went down. She does not believe Malaysia has been tough enough in its response.
"I am still very angry at the country of Malaysia for their lack of efforts to hold anyone responsible for this," Bajc said. "They have failed the world."
Search crews from around the world have scoured the vast region for any sign of the missing plane, but no debris confirmed to have come from the aircraft has ever been found.
NBC News

Debris looks like Boeing 777, could be MH370, says source

(CNN)Debris found in the western Indian Ocean on Wednesday appears to be part of a Boeing 777, the same model as Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 that disappeared in 2014, according to a source close to the investigation.
The source said there is a unique element to the Boeing 777's flaperon, a wing component, that Boeing observers believe they are seeing in photos.
The debris was found Wednesday off the coast of Reunion Island, a French department in the western Indian Ocean. It is being examined to see if it is connected to flight MH370, a member of the French air force in Reunion said Wednesday.
The debris was found off the coast of St. Andre, a community on the island, according to Adjutant Christian Retournat.
Officials conducted an initial assessment of the debris using photographs.
The source said stressed the observations are preliminary.
    The debris was found off the coast of St. Andre, a community on Reunion Island, according to Adjutant Christian Retournat.
    Earlier, Retournat said the debris appeared to be a wing flap and had been taken to the island, located about 380 nautical miles off the coast of Madagascar.
    The Malaysian government has dispatched a team to Reunion Island to investigate the debris, Malaysian Minister of Transportation Liow Tiong Lai said in New York.
    "We need to verify. We have wreckage found that needs to be further verified before we can further confirm if it belongs to MH370. So we have dispatched a team to investigate on these issues and we hope that we can identify it as soon as possible," the minister said.
    Police carry a piece of debris from an unidentified aircraft found off the coast of Reunion island.
    CNN analysts say there are indications that the airplane part could be from a Boeing 777, and if that's the case, it's likely from MH370.
    Making the determination should be "very simple" because the serial numbers riveted to numerous parts of the plane can be linked to not only the plane's model, but the exact aircraft, said CNN aviation analyst Les Abend, who flew 777s during his 30 years as a pilot.
    This means crash investigators may be able to figure it out from photographs of the part -- which could be an aileron, a flap or a flaperon -- even before arriving on the island, he said.
    There are at least three elements of the discovery that are consistent with MH370, said CNN safety analyst David Soucie. The first is that the part appears to have been torn off of the aircraft.
    Airplane debris is being examined to see if it's connected to MH370.
    "This is from a sudden impact, it looks like to me," Soucie said.
    There also is a seal on the top of the part that "is consistent with what I would see on an inside flap on a triple 7," he said, and the barnacles on the part are consistent with the "parasitic activity" that would take place from being under water so long.
    However, the part appears to be coated in white paint, which would run counter to Soucie's other observations in that the 777's parts would be coated in zinc chromate, not paint. Soucie acknowledged, however, that the part could be coated in something from the ocean.
    "If it is a part from a triple 7, we can be fairly confident it is from 370 because there just haven't been that many triple 7 crashes and there haven't been any in this area," said CNN aviation analyst Mary Schiavo.
    Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, with 239 people aboard, disappeared after a late-night take off from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, on March 8, 2014, bound for Beijing.
    Authorities have said they still don't know why it turned dramatically off course over the sea between Malaysia and Vietnam, or where exactly its errant journey finished.
    An international team of experts used satellite data to calculate that the plane eventually went down in the southern Indian Ocean. Search teams have been combing a vast area of the seafloor in the southern Indian Ocean, hunting for traces of the passenger jet, about 2,300 miles (3,700 kilometers) from where the debris was found.
    The Malaysian government eventually declared the loss of Malaysia Airlines flight 370 an accident and all of its passengers and crew presumed dead.