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Old 08-04-2014, 10:49 AM   #21
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The military has aircraft with inertial navigation , as do some airliners.

I'l throw in the best solution I have. FEDEX.

Fedex , DHL, UPS , etc., fly freight into some of the most remote places everyday, with little or no ground support , often on short notice. I think they have a lot of aircraft with I.N.S.

I wonder how long the military would take to muster something that could fly that distance without re-fueling. Even in this post 9-11 era, finding some assets that are ready to go on battle stations on short notice might not be as easy as the public thinks.

Just my 2 cents worth.
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Old 08-04-2014, 10:56 AM   #22
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OK,
Here is an idea, Global Hawk, or one of the other drones. They can be programmed to take off and land anywhere without human guidance. Put the message inside, write on the outside 'look here' and send it on it's way, might even put Please return.
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Old 08-04-2014, 10:59 AM   #23
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T-Al, it is possible to find a landing strip and land at night without electronic devices. It would require at least some light in most cases (moonlight is good) ground lights are better - especially for navigation. From a height of 25,000 feet or so, you can pick out major cities from a couple hundred miles, assuming the cloud cover cooperates. (In the day time, I once saw Chicago downtown - Hancock, Sears, etc. from 22,000 feet near Indianapolis.)

Using only a compass, airspeed indicator, and a clock, it is possible to get "close" if you know what you are doing. It wouldn't be pretty, though. Ground reference is needed for corrections along the way (some cloud cover is okay as long as visual reference is available from time to time.) This assumes a good, seasoned pilot who hasn't forgotten basic navigation because of all this new fangled GPS, etc. For a trip of this duration, the best flight path would be to use Great Circle navigation. Great-circle navigation - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
I've never done such myself since my aircraft was good for maybe 300 miles and I just used dead reckoning (and a sectional map). I'm not sure Great Circle navigation can be done without at least a good calculator and lots of maps (figuring reference points along the way.) Again, ability to see the ground on occasion would be critical without any other reference. Except for a very dark night, you can see the ground at night.

Some folks have supposedly navigated with just the north star. (Over your left shoulder must mean you are going east.) Go east until you see the atlantic and look for gross features of the coast to decide whether to turn left (north) or right (south) to find another feature that can lead you to DC. With any light at all, you can see the appropriate coast structure (including seeing the Potomac). From there, navigate by sight to the airport. Again probably not possible in black on black conditions, but I've never seen such except for vast amounts of water (I wasn't the pilot, heh, heh.)

It's scary to land without runway lights, but I've done it. The aircraft will have a landing light which helps (but is not required). Again, SOME kind of light is needed. If you are seeing black on black, you will need something else. Dropping a few flares when you get to the landing strip might be sufficient.

Good luck with your project.
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Old 08-04-2014, 11:00 AM   #24
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...

So a tube ham radio is totally immune to EMP? ...
edit - ooops, didn't see your follow-up post. I'd be curious as to how much damage was done, and under what conditions. I'll need to see if they have that detail. Maybe it was at a level that would destroy even non-electronic stuff - that has other implications?

Yep, pretty much. You can look at a typical vacuum tube (OK, you'll probably need to do google images unless you are a ham or an audio buff), and it's just some metal in a sealed glass tube. There's some actual physical distance between the metal parts, easily seen with the naked eye. It takes on the order of hundreds of volts to get it to conduct, and most tubes require a heater (that little red glow-y thing) to even get it to do that.

In comparison, the separation in semiconductor layers is measured in nano-meters (or some other very tiny scale), and they start conducting around 0.7V. Yes, a very big difference.

I'd guess a radio tube is about as impervious to EMP as the coins in your change jar.

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Old 08-04-2014, 11:16 AM   #25
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OK,
Here is an idea, Global Hawk, or one of the other drones. They can be programmed to take off and land anywhere without human guidance. Put the message inside, write on the outside 'look here' and send it on it's way, might even put Please return.
I don't think the Global Hawk drones will work.
1) They have INS, but it updates using GPS to find their way. I'm not sure it could autonomously find an airfield across the country without GPS or a way to be steered from the ground.
2) Unless things have changed, they don't land autonomously, they need to be piloted by a guy at a ground station within line-of-sight of the runway. (at least the NASA one, according to this site).
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Old 08-04-2014, 11:17 AM   #26
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I recently read this book about widespread EMP-related problems. It was good.

http://www.amazon.com/One-Second-Aft...e+second+after
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Old 08-04-2014, 11:31 AM   #27
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T-Al, it is possible to find a landing strip and land at night without electronic devices.
I'm assuming T-Al's scenario allows the aircraft from CA to have all its electronics intact, and useable enroute (the large-scale EM disturbance has subsided). So, that allows for INS, airborne ground-mapping radar, NVGs for landing, etc.
If the super EM disturbance is still going on, then there's a whole nuther basket of woes. Even the electronic engine controls, all the instruments, etc might be affected. If "simple" electrical devices were okay (pumps, motors, magnetos, etc), then maybe we'd need an old reciprocating engine aircraft with a carburetor and no electronic ignition (magnetos only), navigation by compass and reference to the ground and a paper map, and hope for good weather at the landing site. I don't know of any airplane like that that could make the trip from CA to DC in one hop, but if they could get fuel enroute (if there's fuel in the truck--at very worst, refill the airplane by hand with 5 gal jugs refilled by gravity from the truck.) Figure about 250 knots max.
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Old 08-04-2014, 11:55 AM   #28
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Perhaps it is not immune:

MYTH: Gear that uses vacuum tubes is EMP proof.
FACT: Sadly, no. There was vacuum tube equipment that was damaged in the 1962 tests.

EMP Myths | The Preparedness Podcast
Correct. In the 1962 high altitude EMP tests (Starfish Prime and others), vacuum tube radios connected to the power grid or external antennas suffered 'punch-through' failures of selenium rectifiers, and arcing damage to transformer insulation.

Older radios using vacuum tube rectifiers (Yaay 5U4s..) and not connected to the grid or antennas at the time of the event will not be exposed to the high induced voltage of an EMP event. The metal case on these old beasts are Faraday cages, by design. Without that shielding, the tremendous amount of electronic noise generated inside one of these radios would ruin reception in other equipment in the same space. (And yes, even within the radio, there are typically electromagnetic shields to prevent one art of the radio from affecting other parts. Brute force engineering at its finest!)

A modern solid state radio within a Faraday cage can also survive an EMP blast. Faraday cages are popular DIY projects in the prepper community.

Where EMP phenomena rally excel is at roasting infrastructure. Long wire runs develop very high voltages, which take out substations and long distance transmission lines. The induced voltages on local lines produce massive power surges.

For the ham radio operators, antenna feedpoints would arc over and most feedlines (coax cable running out to the antenna) would fail from induced high voltages exceeding the breakdown voltage of the cable insulation. Carbonized insulation would short circuit the cables. (Ask how I know. :-( )

With no power, no antennas, and in most cases no equipment, they're off the air. That's why I mentioned that it would be up to the old timers to drag their AN/ARC-8 or similar boatanchors out of the basement. It might take them a few days to re-rig antennas and get an ancient dynamotor running again.

Maybe have your bad guys hit repeated EMP blasts to keep the radios down. There's only so much feedline and equipment that the hams and preppers could have stashed...

Take a look at "Directive 51" and "Daybreak Zero" by John Barnes. (I haven't gotten to "The Last President" yet. It's in the 'to read' stack.)
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Old 08-04-2014, 12:07 PM   #29
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Grumman thinks it can land without a human

http://www.northropgrumman.com/Capab..._Factsheet.pdf

I will confess, I don't know nuthing about drones except what I see on TV or read on the net. Also I think a earlier post said GPS would be operational, or at least T-Al's emp could have left it viable.
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Old 08-04-2014, 12:13 PM   #30
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Grumman thinks it can land without a human

http://www.northropgrumman.com/Capab..._Factsheet.pdf

I will confess, I don't know nuthing about drones except what I see on TV or read on the net. Also I think a earlier post said GPS would be operational, or at least T-Al's emp could have left it viable.
I'll certainly yield to Northrop's info, and if we are back to GPS being operational, then that might be all it needs.
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Old 08-04-2014, 01:27 PM   #31
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If you want something to happen in flight, it could loose navigation input for some reason, then recover, or get a spurious signal from the alien ship, and self correct after an appropriate time.
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Old 08-04-2014, 01:56 PM   #32
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If you want something to happen in-flight use the B-1 scenario. Anything that can go wrong usually does
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Old 08-04-2014, 04:09 PM   #33
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Global Hawk is certainly viable, although it won't win any awards for speed. In fact since it uses satellites for communication, the operators at Beale could monitor its success. T-Al, will your alien attack affect the satellite systems listed in the Northrop doc?


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Old 08-04-2014, 06:49 PM   #34
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T-Al, it is possible to find a landing strip and land at night without electronic devices. It would require at least some light in most cases (moonlight is good) ground lights are better - especially for navigation.
If you have moonlight (a full moon would be great) and a pilot or navigator - doesn't have to be the one doing the flying, just on board perhaps solely for that reason so it could even be a civilian private pilot - who is intimately familiar with the DC area as seen from the air he/she won't need anything else.

I've flown from the Chesapeake Bay - pretty easy to find from the air - to my home airport north of DC by plain eyeball and having done it many times before. After a while you learn which roads, buildings, racetracks, malls, etc are landmarks along your route and don't need no stinkin' chart.

And I have landed by moonlight. Not hard at all.

Oh, if you need possible things that can go wrong with the old reciprocating engine airliners, here's a good read: http://www.amazon.com/FATE-HUNTER-Er...+is+the+hunter
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Old 08-04-2014, 08:09 PM   #35
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You have to figure some nutty old guy has built a Faraday cage and stored some electronics in it.
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Old 08-04-2014, 08:54 PM   #36
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I just finished reading Directive 51, by John Barnes. He presents a scenario similar to EMP (no, won't spoil it for you) that does a good job of considering the consequences of suddenly having to deal with early 1800s communcations.

For all the studies, experiments, and real-world demonstrations, EMP is not that well understood with respect to its probable consequences. I think you could rely on that to tailor the scenario to your desired outcomes. With a little knowledge of how electromagnetic waves are propagated (and attenuated), you can probably also construct favorable situations (e.g., "gee, being behind that mountain was fortunate", or "the resonant frequencies of the wire lengths in a SmartCar were short enough to minimize the damage") that are plausible.
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Old 08-05-2014, 09:13 AM   #37
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Not sure if you've seen this:

SR-71 Online - SR-71 Flight Manual
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Old 08-05-2014, 10:26 AM   #38
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... a civilian private pilot - who is intimately familiar with the DC area as seen from the air he/she won't need anything else.

And I have landed by moonlight. Not hard at all.
Great idea about having someone along who knows the area.

So,

Full moon, clear night: No problem
No moon, clear night: Impossible?
Full moon, occluded by clouds: ??
Half moon, clear night: ??

Thanks.
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Old 08-05-2014, 10:40 AM   #39
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For dramatic effect, half moon, broken low deck of clouds. Observer and/or pilot(s) struggle to locate airfield, fuel running low, maybe engine problems...
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Old 08-05-2014, 11:44 AM   #40
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For dramatic effect, half moon, broken low deck of clouds. Observer and/or pilot(s) struggle to locate airfield, fuel running low, maybe engine problems...
Yes, that's exactly what I have in mind. It's a prototype too, so glitches are frequent, might have to reboot at a critical time.
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