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Stall Speed of SU-24
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A few readers have taken issue with the 243mph stall speed of the SU-24 reported by Zero Hedge, which I cited in this article:

First let me say that nothing in the article depends on the stall speed of the SU-24. The point is that
17 seconds is not sufficiently long for a pilot to get authorization to shoot down what Turkey claims
was an unidentified aircraft. It was a pre-arranged event with pre-planned authorization.

Now for the stall speed. Zero Hedge says 243 mph is stall speed. Another writer says it is 150. I cannot find online information about the stall speed of the aircraft. What I have found is explanations that many think of stall speed in terms of level flight, but that stall speed varies according to angle and maneuver. In other words, straight line stall speed can be lower than one in which wings are in positions that receive less lift, or that is the way I read the explanations. A 150 mph straight line stall speed, assuming that is a correct number, is only 93mph less than 243, and thus 243 mph could be in the stall speed area depending on wing angle and maneuver.

What is for certain, according to the online information about the SU-24 is that 243 mph is far below the normal operating range of the aircraft. The supersonic aircraft is not intended to fly at such a low speed. I think Zero Hedge’s point is that it is unlikely that a pilot would be flying at or approaching stall speed as his control over the aircraft can become an issue. Pilots tell me that they are trained to operate aircraft in the range that the aircraft is intended to operate.

(Republished from by permission of author or representative)
• Category: Foreign Policy • Tags: Russia, Syria, Turkey 
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  1. Kiza says:

    The stalling speed is worth considering, but why would a bomber at a cruising altitude of 6,000 m (18,000 feet) be travelling at any speed other than a cruising speed? The cruising speed of such plane is about 1000 kmph (600 mph). A 3 km wide sliver of Turkish territory would have been crossed in about 9 seconds.

    Importantly, the first claims in the Turkish media, taken over by the Western media, was showing the Russian’s flight path as about four full circles over the Turkish territory. They also claimed that the Russian plane fell down inside Turkey. This is how the claim of 10 warnings over 6 minutes came about originally. When the circles inside Turkey became unsustainable, they got changed to a quick overflight, and “the warnings” took place during the jet’s approach to Turkish territory, not during the breach (how many words can one pronounce in 9 seconds?).

    BTW, the Turks did a similar trick back in March 2014, when they shot-down a Syrian jet on the Syrian side of the border and just made up exactly the same story that their territorial integrity was breached.

    But even then, when the airspace is breached, the jets are usually scrambled to intercept. They do not just loiter near a 3,000 km long Turkish border with Syria. The Turkish F16 was loitering near a certain point and it shot-down a plane on the other side. Here is what Putin said about this: it was the sharing of flight path data between Russia and US which enabled Turkey to know exactly where the Russian bomber would be and when. This is from the data sharing agreement signed a few weeks ago between Russia and the US, to avoid a clash over Syria within the “Anti-ISIS Coalition”. The US was providing the paths of its sorties to Russia and Russia to US. It appears that the US passed this info on to Turkey.


    • Replies: @Orville H. Larson
  2. The SU-24 is similar to the American F-111 aircraft. The F-111 has an advertised landing speed in the neighborhood of 160 mph. The SU-24 would not be greatly different. The swing wing design is there for the purpose of providing a lower stall and landing speed.

    The figure of “243” is almost certainly kph, not mph. 243 kph would be about 144 mph. That figure is likely a little low, but should be in the ball park. If I were betting, I would bet that the two aircraft are within 5 mph of each other on stall speed, somewhere within 155 and 165 mph, depending on take-off weight, air temperature, barometric pressure, humidity, and of course, altitude.

    Hope this helps.


    The Grate Deign

    • Replies: @Jim Christian
  3. I would think that stall speed would depend on weight also but there wasn’t a reason to fly anywhere near that speed.

    Russia isn’t cranking out all those bombing missions at a leisurely 200 mph.

  4. @Kiza

    The circumstances of this shoot-down are shady as hell. Turkey shot the Russian plane down on purpose, probably at the behest of the U.S. and/or NATO.

    Even in cases where an aircraft actually strays into territorial airspace, isn’t it customary to intercept the plane and escort it back into international airspace? Failing that, the intercepting plane fires warning shots ahead of the intruder, and signals the latter to follow it to an airport.

    • Replies: @Kiza
  5. @The Grate Deign

    Concur. 243 MPH is a ridiculously high stall speed. Building in a margin, nominal landing speeds in “dirty” configurations (flaps and wheels down, plus external stores) would necessitate approach speeds of well north of 250-270. Supersonic planes indeed can fly slowly and for the 24′ I’d bet it is possessed of the typical landing speeds of 150-170 depending on dirty configuration, approach speeds of the old F-14 Tomcat coming aboard my beloved Nimitz in the old days.

  6. Bill B. says:

    So the Turks feel free to shoot down a Russian plane for clipping its territory.

    Does this mean the Russians can now shoot down any of the Turkish planes that regularly breach Syrian, and Iraqi, airspace in their mission to crush the real Turkish enemy the Kurds?

  7. David says:

    This is funny. PCR who wrote in his last column, “The entire Western media was too incompetent to do the basic math!” now says he picked up the outcome of the “basic math” at Zerohedge, a largely anonymous site. Can we assume that PCR is not competent to do the basic math himself?

    He claims the column didn’t depend on this latest shiny object to capture his whole attention, but his three supporting points were: one, an actual joke; two, the found fact he now disowns; three, a point corrected by Kiza in the first comment above. That’s no supporting points left.

    But in a sense the column didn’t depend on his supporting points. Whatever facts he has at hand he deploys to emote self-righteousness and superiority.

  8. Kiza says:
    @Orville H. Larson

    It was not really Turkey which shot down the Russian bomber in Syria. This act was organized through MIT (Turkish “intelligence”), which organized the shoot-down (for money), the Russians know this very well. Neither Erdogan, not Davutogly knew about the shoot-down beforehand. The same goes for Obama. The whole thing was organized behind the backs of the “leaders”.

    It was the US Deep State which did this (the Ziocons), to kill the good relations between Turkey and Russia, which took last two painstaking years to build. The Ziocons use corruption in most countries in the World to force political outcomes which the leaders most often do not want, behind the backs of the leaders. Sometimes they work in the US interest, but most of the time they work for their own or Israel’s interests.

    The economic damage to both countries, Russia and Turkey, will be huge, in tens of billions of dollars (nuclear power plant, Turkish Stream gas pipeline, Turkish agricultural produce etc). Effectively, the US got Turkey to join its EU puppets in the economic sanctions on Russia.

    The US is laughing, Russia is unhappy, the Turks are stupid dogs. The Ziocons knew all this, I have to give them credit for an intelligent setup. It worked like a charm. Russia made a very simple demand on Turkey, but the Ziocons knew that the Sultan is incapable of apologizing to Russia, only escalation. Now, which leader would admit that he is not in control?

  9. Svigor says:

    This is from the data sharing agreement signed a few weeks ago between Russia and the US, to avoid a clash over Syria within the “Anti-ISIS Coalition”. The US was providing the paths of its sorties to Russia and Russia to US. It appears that the US passed this info on to Turkey.


    The Russian Nationalist radicals at Unz have been running around with their hair on fire presenting this as irrefutable proof that the USG ordered the Turks to shoot down the Russian bomber, but…the whole point of sharing the data with the USG was that they then share that info with NATO. WTF would be the point, if it didn’t help prevent problems with the Turks?

    The circumstances of this shoot-down are shady as hell. Turkey shot the Russian plane down on purpose, probably at the behest of the U.S. and/or NATO.

    Really, the “probably” part is the opposite of the truth. The evidence suggests that Turkey probably shot the plane down for her own reasons, and not at the behest of the USG.

    On the other hand, no one is forcing NATO and USG to go along with Turkey’s bullshit story.

  10. On Fox News of all places, General McInerney said that the attack was pre planned. If you want to see the interview, click on my website to see the interview and a short commentary by me on my blog.

    • Replies: @Minnesota Mary
  11. @Positive Dennis

    I’ll bet we never see General McInerney on FOX again, at least not on this subject. He strayed from the Necom talking points and propaganda. General Jack Keane is still at it every day on both FOX News and Fox Business News. I don’t know how he can keep a straight face.

  12. krollchem says:

    Why did Turkey shoot down the Russian Soukhoï 24 ?
    by Thierry Meyssan

    Interesting that Turkey should have cleared the shoot down with CAOC. If this was done then NATO declared war on Russia. If not Turkey carried out a rogue operation without NATO approval. If it was a rouge operation, then why did the NATO political leaders, including Obama, side with Turkey. There is more to this story…

    “Technically, the aerial defence of Turkey, like that of all NATO members, is co-ordinated by the CAOC in Torrejón (Spain). The chief of the Turkish air force, General Abidin Ünal, should therefore have given advance warning of his decision to CAOC commander General Rubén García Servert. We do not know if he did so [2]. In any case, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan confirmed that he himself had validated the order to destroy the Russian plane.”

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