Main Just Plane Wrong Discussion

Collapse/Expand Topics

06:38:42 AM Jan 12th 2018
Question about obscure aircraft.

There is a novel, Victoria, which is already getting a mention here in a moment for radar tomfoolery. In it, a private individual purchases the last Arado Ar 234 (Luftwaffe jet recon/bomber from the last days of WWII) from the Smithsonian, reconditions it to fighting trim and "takes her up sometimes." His role in the story is agreeing to carry and drop a 5 kiloton nuke on Atlanta, Georgia. Now, I already believe the purchase, as well as his keeping it in fuel, are improbable if not precisely this trope. My question is, could the Ar 234, which carried its bombs on external racks, really carry and drop a nuke?
01:57:55 PM Jan 13th 2018
edited by isolato
Well - it kind of depends what type of nuke it was meant to be. First generation nuclear weapons are inevitably huge, but some more modern nuclear weapons/warheads can be quite small...ish. Cf.: and - on The Other Wiki.

I'm not familiar with the novel in question (and it does not seem to me to be the kind of book I'd bother to read) and details of the mission, but delivery of a nuke of ~ 5 kt yield can be within Ar-234's capabilities. (Max. payload about 1 500 kgs)

What seems weird to me is the "Arado Ar 234" part - looks like a major case of Rule of Cool, Hollywood Tactics or Putting on the Reich to me.

03:16:48 PM Jan 14th 2018
Ah, thanks. I knew that you needed specialized bombers back in the day, but so much recently.

The context is a story where about thirty years into the future, the U.S. breaks apart into a series of warring successor states. Texas Rangers break into a New Confederacy, previously USAF, base to steal the nuke, because the Confederacy is too 'weak' to react with proper force when ethnic gangs seize Atlanta and declare it a commune.
07:53:11 AM Jan 24th 2018
Actually, another question, same story. The heroes send a wing of WWI wooden biplanes (AN-2) to land troops at a fusion center, content that radar will either not pick it up, or automatic systems will scrub them as false positives. How likely is that?
09:16:59 AM Jan 26th 2018
Well, I'm afraid I can not help here much, but few points:

a) Antonov An-2 is a post-WWII design.

b) Its airframe is of all-metal construction (perhaps with some fabric/wooden covering - I'm really not sure here, but I can with a reasonable degree of certainty exclude an all-wooden construction) - and even then wooden construction by itself does not provide some "anti-radar shielding" - and even wooden aircraft typically have substantial metal parts, such as engines. Any claims of stealth-by-design would be wrong.

c) On the ther hand, it's relatively small, slow and agile, so flying it "under the radar coverage" can be a plausible option, even when the radar site is relatively close to its flight path, especially under some advantageous circumstances, e.g. more than average piloting skills and hilly or wooded terrain.

[Allegedly, using An-2s for infiltration of special forces/saboteurs is up to this day tactics envisaged by the Korean People's Army Air Force, but it's perhaps the only air force of the world which still plans to use them in combat transport role (or claims so), chiefly from lack of a better option.]

In conclusion, my opinion is: Claims that An-2 would certainly be not picked by radar is complete nonsense, but it can be plausible to evade it under some really favourable circumstances.

02:40:34 PM Mar 3rd 2014
Uh, I'm afraid we have a Just Plane Wrong in the page iamge quote. The X-15 isn't a very maneuvrable aircraft either (it's a rocket plane with wings not much bigger than the F-104).
04:07:59 PM Mar 3rd 2014
Who said anything about maneuverability?
03:42:09 PM Feb 26th 2012
edited by blakeyrat
How pedantic are we allowing here? The entry for "Superman Returns" where Lex Luthor asks for a quart of gas instead of a quart of "Jet-A/kerosine"— come on man!

Sure Lex Luthor is a genius, but he's not a pilot, and he's also not so socially-awkward that he uses the pedantically correct term (instead of the accepted, understood term) at all times.

Is there a rule-of-thumb in-place?
07:22:28 PM Oct 17th 2010

* This Troper has seen this mistake made on this very Wiki in reference to the opening level of Mercenaries: Playground of Destruction.

If that's true, Timber Wolf, You Could Always Edit It Yourself.
11:55:21 PM Jul 24th 2010
'Scuse me while I kiss this guy... In a moment, I'll be deleting the "Buddy Spike" line at the end of the entry for "The Incredibles" under Films — the original poster apparently both mis-heard the soundtrack, and isn't as savvy about U.S. military radio brevity codes as he'd like us to believe. The actual phrase is "Mud Spike", the correct terminology for a warning of a sufrace-to-air missile threat.
04:09:01 AM Jul 25th 2010
..Except that she's saying "buddy spike," and even if she were saying "mud spike" it would make even less sense since she'd be warning the people firing the missile at her that someone might fire a surface to air missile at them.
06:26:17 AM Nov 25th 2012
Also considering she's probably transmitting on a UHF distress frequency or 121.5 VHF during that evasive flying...

03:17:22 PM Jan 24th 2014
Also, with the avionic fit on her Learjet, she wouldn't be able to distinguish whether it was an airborne or ground-based fire-control radar painting her. Her RWR kicked off after the missiles were launched.

08:29:49 AM Jun 28th 2010
I've deleted a great deal of this page owing to the problem of Natter- you military otaku are treating this too much like a discussion board. Mind the notice that appears when you try to edit a page and try to avoid arguing with each other.

One note- a lot of the deletions I made weren't for inaccuracy so much as "this has nothing to do with the show". For future reference, if you repurposed the organization of this page so that it was folderized by specific airplanes as opposed to specific types of fiction, it would probably fit in better with the writing style.
09:12:35 PM Jul 2nd 2010
Thank you for vandalising the page.
09:43:35 PM Jul 2nd 2010
I'll agree that this page was a bit forum-ish but those cuts went far too deep.
10:15:03 PM Jun 27th 2010
Moved from Main:

  • One of the most recognisable commercial aircrafts, the Concorde, seems to be relativly unknown and is nearly never used or mentioned in movies. Now i wont be able to sleep till i found out why that is.
    • Well try this for a lullabye: the Concorde is recognizable, but also rare. Only twenty were ever built, and those flown by a recognizable handful of companies (contrasted to over a thousand Boeing 747s, flown by a score of companies around the world: it's much easier to create suspension of disbelief for making up a fictional airline flying a common aircraft). This supersonic speed also came at a steep price (in fuel alone: the 747 is six times as efficient in terms of gallons/passenger-mile), which meant it was used for routes that catered to the business elite and not the average traveler. Contrast the 747, which has been used for just about every conceivable route that could fit it. Finally, where the Concorde is most known for its speed, the 747 is best known for its capacity: a 747 can hold over three times as many to-be-imperiled passengers as a Concorde, passengers that may have come from all walks of life. Therefore, the Concorde is rare in fiction because it's hard to write a story that fits the known characteristics of a Concorde in terms of rarity, route, and consumer base-and there are planes that are much easier to have flying wherever and whenever, and much more likely to have a high-drama passenger load.

Collapse/Expand Topics