Someone spent a lot of time thinking about this.
January 16, 2015 9:40 AM   Subscribe

 
The original Apache vs. Dragon.
posted by Kabanos at 9:50 AM on January 16, 2015 [4 favorites]


"Dragons, according to lore, grow up to 85 feet long, with a wingspan of 170 feet, fly up to 80 miles per hour, and spit fire at 6330 Fahrenheit."

the dragon stats excel table is def my favorite part of the legend of St George
posted by Greg Nog at 9:51 AM on January 16, 2015 [23 favorites]


War porn viral ads for Boeing: Your tax dollars at work.
posted by Sys Rq at 10:01 AM on January 16, 2015 [13 favorites]


Well that was embarrassing for the Smithsonian.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 10:08 AM on January 16, 2015 [22 favorites]


Seriously, I kept looking at the Smithsonian logo thinking, "Why does this exist? What the fuck universe have I stumbled across?"
posted by dellsolace at 10:12 AM on January 16, 2015


Though process watching without sound:

1) Dragon must be a new HTTP server, hmm...
2) Apache people vs. mythical dragon, that might be cool...
3) (skips ahead) bleh
posted by Mister Cheese at 10:19 AM on January 16, 2015 [9 favorites]


Why would they send an attack helicopter against a VTOL, high-maneuverability air threat? Attack helicopters are for close air support and other ground attack roles, and helpless in most air-to-air situations.

You'd send in a JAS 39 "Gripen", with a full rack of IRIS-T's. Send it in at Mach II straight out of the sun from nine miles up. Flappy-flap your way outta that one, garlic-breath.

Or you'd send in "Apache Chief" from the Superfriends - the dragon would feel so embarrassed by the misplaced and tone-deaf attempt at inclusion, the cringe would cause it to literally die.
posted by Slap*Happy at 10:23 AM on January 16, 2015 [27 favorites]


I liked the one where they showed that the Lockheed Martin F-35 could defeat Green Lantern if they painted it yellow first.
posted by George_Spiggott at 10:24 AM on January 16, 2015 [5 favorites]


I feel safer now. Thanks, Boeing!
posted by Invisible Green Time-Lapse Peloton at 10:24 AM on January 16, 2015


I liked the one where they showed that the Lockheed Martin F-35 could defeat Green Lantern if they painted it yellow first.

Only if Apache Chief picked it up and hit him with it. Good lord, that plane's a hot mess.
posted by Slap*Happy at 10:25 AM on January 16, 2015 [2 favorites]


This makes an interesting case study in the resolution of implicit ambiguity as a psychological marker — what kind of person, when hearing the word "Apache" without context, thinks of military helicopters before thinking of Native American tribes? You can make some fairly safe inferences there, based on the reception of just one word. (As you can, differently, of the person whose first thought is of web servers.)
posted by RogerB at 10:28 AM on January 16, 2015 [3 favorites]


Cut me a little slack, I'm at work and thinking about web servers is something I have to do.
posted by ardgedee at 10:34 AM on January 16, 2015


So I guess the movie with Matthew McConaughey, Christian Bale, and Gerard Butler wasn't good enough for anyone at the Smithsonian to have seen it.
posted by The World Famous at 10:41 AM on January 16, 2015 [6 favorites]


what kind of person, when hearing the word "Apache" without context, thinks of military helicopters before thinking of Native American tribes?

Speaking for myself: fans of Reign Of Fire
posted by Greg Nog at 10:43 AM on January 16, 2015 [3 favorites]


This made me laugh.

But on the other hand, when I was younger this sort of military gear seemed really fascinating and impressive. Now it just creeps the hell out of me, since Apache helicopters are almost never used against tanks these days, just soft targets like guys in technicals, or the odd Al Jazeera journalist or two. Like something out of the Terminator.
posted by Nevin at 10:45 AM on January 16, 2015 [2 favorites]


We just fired a salvo of Hellfire missiles and missed! Sorry, Seattle!
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 10:50 AM on January 16, 2015 [1 favorite]


They didn't really make it clear that the dragon was any kind of threat. Polar bears can mess you up, but we don't generally blow them up just for giggles. I'm more worried about that massive dragon dropping on downtown Seattle.
posted by lucasks at 10:53 AM on January 16, 2015 [1 favorite]


Eh, it's time to get rid of that monorail thing anyway.
posted by Invisible Green Time-Lapse Peloton at 10:54 AM on January 16, 2015


This makes "My Husband's Not Gay" seem like a pretty reasonable TV show.

Seriously, how is it even remotely possible that someone was paid to make this? It barely qualifies for 20 minutes of bar discussion. maybe 30. OK, 45.
posted by GuyZero at 10:54 AM on January 16, 2015 [1 favorite]


Don't worry, with the many many hours of Gunship 2000 I played back in the day, I'll soon take that lizard out.

(I did once chat to a Dutch Apache pilot at an airshow once... he was a pretty cool guy. I'm sure he'd do alright too)
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 10:58 AM on January 16, 2015 [1 favorite]


And, you know, coming back to this, the thing that really bothers me about it is that when real missiles are really fired from real Apache helicopters, the target is generally not a dragon. This machine is a killer of humans. It's not cool, and it's not fun, and presenting a real tool of real murder in this way strikes me as beyond fucked up.

Oh, and the story of St George and the dragon? Popularized during the Crusades, used to cast the invading murderers of innocent Muslims as noble heroes saving the world from a mythical beast. One would hope that the creators of this video were unaware of the propagandist dehumanizing symbolism and were just going for the Game of Thrones market, but I'm not entirely convinced.
posted by Sys Rq at 10:59 AM on January 16, 2015 [1 favorite]


Why wouldn't you unload all your hellfires immediately on engagement? What are you waiting for, a second pass?
posted by echocollate at 11:02 AM on January 16, 2015


Don't worry, with the many many hours of Gunship 2000 I played back in the day, I'll soon take that lizard out.

That sim was the bomb weapons pod full of rockets.
posted by Gelatin at 11:04 AM on January 16, 2015 [1 favorite]


Amateurs. Everybody knows that dragons' weak spots are their bellies.
posted by Hairy Lobster at 11:11 AM on January 16, 2015


Hell, you don't even need an Apache to take out that dragon, an older Cobra fitted with Maverick missiles would let you kill it from over ten miles away.
posted by Invisible Green Time-Lapse Peloton at 11:12 AM on January 16, 2015


I thought Apache meant a member of the glorious Apache tribe was going to take down a fire breathing beast. It would be no contest!
posted by helmutdog at 11:14 AM on January 16, 2015


OK, how about a Minnesota Episcopalian versus a cockatrice next?
posted by 1adam12 at 11:14 AM on January 16, 2015 [3 favorites]


I think Sidewinder missiles would serve fine, and you could fire those from several miles away. (A flying dragon is going to be very hot, and Sidewinders are IR homing missiles.)

But using any of these weapons over a city is going to be problematic. Even if you drop the dragon, you just dropped it on a lot of people.
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 11:19 AM on January 16, 2015


Dragons are used to breathing pristine Medieval Times (R) air. Ten minutes above a major metro area and they'd choke out.
posted by ian1977 at 11:20 AM on January 16, 2015 [3 favorites]


Nah, the air was pretty toxic back then also!
posted by Invisible Green Time-Lapse Peloton at 11:24 AM on January 16, 2015 [2 favorites]


Well, maybe, but there were no CFCs right?
posted by ian1977 at 11:25 AM on January 16, 2015


I have posted this on MeFi before, but: Jesus vs. Spiderman.
posted by wenestvedt at 11:34 AM on January 16, 2015


Even if you drop the dragon

No euphemisms, please.
posted by eriko at 11:42 AM on January 16, 2015 [2 favorites]


This makes an interesting case study in the resolution of implicit ambiguity as a psychological marker — what kind of person, when hearing the word "Apache" without context, thinks of military helicopters before thinking of Native American tribes?

But there is a context, and that context is important! The context is: versus Dragon.

It could mean lots of things. I choose to believe it means a single member of the Apache nation taking on a space capsule. The Apache will win because the Dragon just sits there doing nothing -- it is after all Apache vs Dragon and not Apache vs Falcon 9. AFAIK it doesn't even have the sensors needed to fire its thrusters at him or her. So the Apache can walk up and calmly and methodically disassemble it, taking care with the hypergolics of course.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 11:46 AM on January 16, 2015 [4 favorites]


I posted this because it definitely made me go "What the fuck?".
posted by josher71 at 12:23 PM on January 16, 2015 [2 favorites]


I am pleased that I am not alone in thinking they meant Apache Chief.

Although, I thought maybe they meant this Dragon.
posted by oddman at 1:02 PM on January 16, 2015


I posted this because it definitely made me go "What the fuck?".

I love seeing posts that come from this place!
posted by Greg Nog at 1:06 PM on January 16, 2015 [2 favorites]


The earliest dragon vs fighter picture that I know of.

Also, IIRC in the fantasy novel Doomfarers of Coramond, an M113 APC gets transported from Vietnam to a fantasy world, and ends up fighting a dragon. Neither come out of it in good shape.

...I'm a geek, therefore I know these sort of things.
posted by happyroach at 1:30 PM on January 16, 2015


IN A SEDATE VALLEY in one of the farther provinces, there abided a scholarly young AH-64 Apache helicopter by the name of Yang. The time arrived for this Yang to sit the examinations for public office, and so he bundled up some meager provisions and began the long flight to the capital.

While reviewing in his mind certain of the more subtle Confucian precepts, Yang came to a river crossing, where he spied a comely maiden huddled at the margin of the ford, weeping. Moved by pity, he descended to her. After the noise of his rotors subsided, he courteously asked the maiden what troubled her, and whether his aid might avail.

"Alas, sir!" cried the maiden. "I am daughter to the King of the Sable Deep. For reasons of state, I was wed to the Dragon of the River. After the union was concluded and I passed from the home of my parents, the Dragon revealed the cruelty of his nature, and he treated me sorely. Every day he increases the measure of his violence, and I fear for my life."

"Though mine is a gentle spirit," said Yang, "your sad tale moves me to meditate violence."

"If you would aid me," said the Princess of the Sable Deep, "you must take word of my plight to my father. He reigns from a palace of pearl beneath the waves of Don Ting Lake, which lies a thousand li to the north."

"I commend your design," said Yang. "But it occurs to me I could simply blow up your husband."

"What?"

"I have Hellfire missiles mounted on all four hardpoints," said Yang. "Is he in the river right now?" His engine roared to life, and his rotors began to turn. "This will take five seconds."

The Princess of the Sable Deep shouted something.

"Can't hear you over the rotors!" said Yang. And he rose into the sky.

"Shall we recompense injury with kindness?" quoted Yang, as he began calculating fire solutions. "With what then will we recompense kindness?"

A form like a great thread thrashed within the river. Yang lit it the fuck up.
* * *

In the second year of the second reign of Rui Zong, the Jing River violently overtopped its banks. The number of peasants drowned was in the amount of three thousand, and the price of grain in the province did not recover for a year.
posted by Iridic at 1:32 PM on January 16, 2015 [39 favorites]


"Shall we recompense injury with kindness?" quoted Yang, as he began calculating fire solutions. "With what then will we recompense kindness?"

Flagged as fantastic, truly the best of the web.

(I confess that I thought from the title of the post that it was about anthropomorphized web servers...)
posted by RedOrGreen at 1:39 PM on January 16, 2015 [1 favorite]


I'd like to thank the Smithsonian for doing my research for my current novel on my behalf, dammit.
posted by cstross at 1:53 PM on January 16, 2015 [5 favorites]


NB: I reckon dragons are a fluorine-based life form. They nest in mountains because they need to chow down on feldspar from time to time, and dragonfire isn't fire -- it's a spray of chlorine trifluouride. (Dragon scales are of course coated in fluorinated long-chain hydrocarbon wax, not unlike teflon.)

Here's what happens when you drip ClF3 on everyday lab items (SLYT). And here's more on this fascinating laboratory reagent and all-around bad-ass mad science toy.
posted by cstross at 3:03 PM on January 16, 2015 [5 favorites]


Did you get spell-corrected there? I assume you mean fluorspar/flourite, CaF2. Feldspar seems pretty boring.

yay 2 minutes on wikipedia!
posted by GuyZero at 3:25 PM on January 16, 2015


/educational programming
posted by brundlefly at 4:12 PM on January 16, 2015


"Apache? Are we talking Native American tribe or web server?"

*watches video*

"Oh. Huh."
posted by brundlefly at 4:15 PM on January 16, 2015


The AH-64 isn't really the preferred weapon for this. For one thing, the Hellfire missile is air-to-ground and isn't designed for air-to-air. The guidance is all wrong for shooting at a moving target.

A better weapon would be the A-10 Warthog. For one thing, its GAU-8 gatling gun is 30 mm and has an obscene muzzle velocity and fire rate, and is designed to be armor piercing. (The pilot has to run his engines up full and go into a dive before firing it, and even then the plane decelerates while the gun is shooting because of the recoil. If he fires it too long continuously, the jet will stall.)

The AH-64 doesn't carry any air-to-air missile, a terrible weakness for this mission. The Warthog routinely carries two Sidewinders, just in case it gets bounced by an enemy jet.

(Gad, I'm a nerd.)
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 4:38 PM on January 16, 2015 [1 favorite]


"You go to war with dragons with the chopper you have, not the jets you want." --Rumsfeld
posted by Invisible Green Time-Lapse Peloton at 4:47 PM on January 16, 2015 [1 favorite]


Sometime when I was young, probably around 1986, my brother took me to an air show. In addition to all the jets and other military vehicles on display, most of the big military industrial companies were there as well, showing off some of their gear as well. Air shows were a little different back when the Cold War was at its height - they had much more of an aggressive, lock-and-load vibe about them. I don't remember too much about that day, but one thing made an impression that stuck with me - it wasn't the jets, or the tanks, it was the Rockwell International booth, and their promotional video about the Hellfire missile.

I was fascinated by it. One part of my brain was geeing out on the complexity, the engineering, the lasers, the exploding tanks, and another part of my brain was trying to make all that fit in a video that was stylistically more like an auto, adding machine, or construction hardware manufacturer promotional video. The music, the narration, it all was so generic and bland, but at the same time serious, important, and 'business formal.' Thinking about the engineering, science, and design that went into those things brought me very close to deciding right then and there, on becoming an engineer when I grew up, but for some reason the idea didn't entirely lock in. Something seemed weird about it. Even at that young age, it wasn't all "war is cool" in my mind - maybe 85% "cool". I had at least basic notion of the deadly realities of war due to the way the veterans my parents knew and those who served in my family would frame their stories they told me of WWII, so perhaps that had something to do with it. They entertained my endless questions about WWII - what you had to carry, what stuff was improvised out of what they had at the time, logistics, strategy, tactics, and sometimes some stories of tank battles and fighting in Italy and Germany, but the cost of war was always part of the story too, and they were good about relaying the seriousness without terrifying a little kid at the same time.

For years I never could find those videos (other than the actually quite interesting SDI project summary video I found in the late 90s) and it was only recently that I have been able to find more of them on YouTube. If you can call it a genre, it's an odd one, but in abstract way, really interesting.
posted by chambers at 1:04 AM on January 17, 2015


What everyone else said.

At first I thought Dragon was a fancy new webserverthingy. Second thought was Dragon vs. an Apache - why would you try using an low velocity anti-tank weapon against a helicopter? (Although there appears to be an U-2 spyplane coded as Dragon Lady.)

Apache as First Nations didn't come up since Dragon as a mythical creature isn't in the same domain, outside of Shadowrun.

Shame on the Smithsonian, but hell, with the economic recession and the slow strangulation on science and education funding, I guess they've got to do what they've got to do to fund their core missions.

At least it's the US military/industrial complex rather than young earth extremist American Christians. "Able on a stegosaurus versus Cain on a triceratops - who wins? Jesus* referees."

*Yeshua ben Yusef
posted by porpoise at 7:40 PM on January 17, 2015


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