Monday, October 3, 2016

223 Boeing experts view on MH17

"Here is my analysis as an ex-Boeing aero-engineer:
The Boeing 777 was initially at 33,000 ft. The aircraft, therefore was above the Su-25's (Ukrainian fighter jet) ceiling, as listed at Wikipedia. (service ceiling: 7000 m = 22,965 ft. clean, 5000 m (16,000 ft.) with max weapons.. I am aware of the comments both sides that this is an artificial, CIA-changed figure and that Su-25 pilots have reached at least 30,000 ft. with supplemental oxygen. For the purpose here, it does not matter. I am presuming the Su-25 was carrying only two R-60 air to air missiles, which are low drag. So the service ceiling in this case would have been around 21- 22,000 ft. (the upgrades to the Su-25 did not include engine or aerodynamic changes, so are unlikely to have increased the ceiling). The 777 was within reach of the R-60s, though (66,000 ft, Match 2.7). As a non-maneuvering transport aircraft, it would have been laughable easy to hit the 777. It would have salvo-ed both missiles, both for increased hit chances and to avoid coming back with only one missile (very noticeable, as opposed to just empty pylons). The above would tie in with ret. Col Zhilin's testimony. Most reports indicate the accompanying jet-fighter was closing from he rear, which is the most advantageous for infra-red guidance. With infra-red guidance, the missile would home-in directly on the hottest area - the engine exhaust. The warhead would probably detonate in the exhaust cone adjacent to it. In the Boeing 777, the engine is slung well out in the front of the wing. The expanding-rod warhead would rip up the engine but probably not take out the wing or the flight control cabling. The 'hit' (or hits) might indeed be survivable, (which explains FA Minister Timmermans unintended off the cuff remark that some passengers still had their oxygen masks on) To-days engines are built with FAA-mandated 'containment shields' They are meant to contain high velocity fan/compressor/turbine blades if something causes them to shear-off. They are basically armored 'cans' surrounding the rotating parts. A missile detonating inside this 'can' might have the expanding-rods contained, rather than punching through the nacelle and into the fuselage. If detonating on the far side of this e'can' from the fuselage, much the same result...Also Col Zhinlin says:...."the Boeing turned 180 degrees to the left". This would be the direct result of loosing thrust on the left engine. The pilots were probably more concerned with staying in the air (under control) than their heading....( -out altitude capability (MTOW,ISA + 10C) Basic: 16,200 ft Maximum Weight: 15,600ft"
After the 777's engine was hit and disabled by the R-60, the 777 would have descended to around 15-16,000 feet. That is the standard one-engine out 'cruise altitude as above. It may have been below with damage. If I were the pilot, I would have been on a circling descent through and below that altitude looking for a nearby airport or good field. Since the R-60 ha such a small warhead, the pilots may not have known they were hit by a missile and assumed engine-out problem that could  account for the lack of initial reporting.(and sent out mayday calls, which must have been received by Kiev ACT and recorded on the flight recorders, but have never been released or revealed * my addition).
The decent would have put the 777 well within the Su25 (Wikipedia) altitude capability. So it would have been possible at that point to conduct a 'strafing' run with 30 mm cannons. With the 777 turning, that may have presented the opportunity for whatever angle shot the pilot wanted. As various commentators have noted, there seem to have been a concentration on the cockpit and avionics bay. Unfortunately, with the 'secrecy agreement' in place, I see no way that any important evidence will be revealed, barring a Snowdon-like release by someone with a conscience......"

*) More posts on MH 17  scroll down from 170 and 201