06 April 2010

Missile Tech

So, in the previous post I mentioned the blue missiles on the wingtip racks being training missiles. Turns out they're also an older style. Visiting over to Instapinch, I saw a picture of the latest Sidewinder, the 9x. These missiles use vectored thrust, meaning the "cone" they can acquire a target in is much wider, since they don't need to rely on fins to do the steering. Older styles of Sidewinders relied on the front fins turning to guide the missile, which relied on little roller-wheels on the back fins using gyroscopic forces to tell which direction the missile was going. All very complicated.

The two guys fiddling with stuff are the ordnance crew. Red shirts take care of things that go boom. The green shirt signifies the arresting gear/catapult crew.

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