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 Re: Why retcons don't bother me anymore Posted By: Bry Date: 5/23/11 9:06 a.m. In Response To: Re: Why retcons don't bother me anymore (Stephen L. (SoundEffect)) : Whether the author realized this or not, this becomes a calculation for the : Pelican's velocity. If the creators haven't noted this down and figured : out this velocity yet, they're in danger of directly establishing the : Pelican's top speed as being a certain number of km/h. : What if it's a lower number than what is calculable from those two data : points in the novel? Just for the record, when it comes to flying, those kind of figures are actually rather flexible as there are an incredible amount of variables. =) If you're going on a long haul flight, a tail wind could easily shave over 30 minutes off the time without dictating that the aircraft ever exceeded its maximum velocity, and it would also have used less fuel than one would typically calculate simply by going from published figures. By the same token a head wind can dramatically increase the flight time and fuel burn. Even published maximum velocities are flexible. Operationally, the MiG-25 has a maximum 'do not exceed' limit of Mach 2.8 But it can be readily pushed up to Mach 3.2 with little effort if you're prepared to replace the engines afterwards. Altitude is a further factor. Higher speeds can be attained at higher altitudes. The F-15, F-16, MiG-25, Tornado and Typhoon are all perfectly capable of exceeding Mach 2. But they can only do it at high altitude. At low level, their maximum speed is more than halved thanks to the increased drag of the much higher air density. Of those three aircraft, the Tornado has the slowest maximum speed, but the highest low-altitude speed, thanks to its more slippery swing-wing design. So something as simple as the altitude of a Pelican flight can significantly alter how long it would take for it to reach its destination, even if it was flying at 'maximum speed', as such a figure is never consistent through all stages of flight.

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