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Re: spinning stegos

On Tue, 28 Jul 1998 12:25:30 +0100 John Clavin  writes:
>Interesting (and logical) idea there Dann. Off the top of my head I
>think of any speed merchants with a rearward defence. Can anybody 
>think of an example that would disagree with this theory?
Desert swifts, speedsters of the lizard world.  Usually they just run
away from a threat.  But when they can't, they will try a few tail
whacks-sometimes works.
>For some reason I've got an image of a World War Two heavy bomber
>stuck in my mind - they almost all had rear facing guns to try to deal
>the much faster fighters. But in modern times when the speed of
>and "fighters" is more comparable, the rear facing guns aren't a
>feature....a slightly off topic analogy I know, but with striking
Not a close as you seem to be thinking.  The heavy bombers of World War
Two had better protection in the tail, because it was easier tfor a
fighter to attack a bomber that way.  Relative closing speeds-  with a
bomber going  160 mph and a fighter going upwards of 300, the closure
rate in a nose attack is 460 mph; in a rear attack, it is a paltry 140. 
The reason that modern heavy bombers have few or no guns  (those that do
have them in the tail, BTW)  is not because the relative speeds are so
close.  In fact, the ture heavy bombers of today spend almost all of
their time at subsonic speeds  (except those that are supersonic will
make  a  'dash'  when they are near the target); most modern fighters
reach speeds of around Mach 2.5.  At these speeds, it is extermely
difficult for  guns, even radar directed guns, to hit a target.  Modern
fighters achieve cannon hits by aiming the entire airplane at the
target-and by slowing down.  Modern bombers rely much more on evasive
routing, electronic countermeasures and in a few rare instances, on
stealth characteristics.
I seriously doubt, however that the last two options were open to
dinosaurs.  Evasive routing, however, was probably practiced by all and
sundry, as it is today.

I'm a lizard.  Stay away from my cloaca.  I flash my throat fan at you.

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