Well this is the first site I experience this, but I've seen it quite often.

People actively making wrong calculations and when explained the modifications are "denied". Often by users with quite high reputation themselves.

An example is this topic here. While the answer came to the correct conclusion it was being based on wrong assumptions and showing too much shortcutted equations in the form of an image.

I've tried to explain it in the comments, as the conclusion (smaller stability margin for center of gravity) is correct. However in the comments the explanation was attacked. When I went into the details (which are a question + answer of itself), the details were just ignored and the original statement was reiterated.

So should we do something about these "circle" reasons? I like explaining things with a mathematical rigorous proof, however I don't like having to work through reasoning without explanation.

This question is also not the first I've seen where formal equations are grossly abused to no longer be correct just to shortcut to an answer that is actually correct. But for the wrong reasons. I keep stumbling upon such answers, often accepted for a long time already.

Another example is this answer. Here a highly reputable poster actually calls us researches almost literary "liars who retrofit the truth to fit what they wish to see". I'm not even sure what I can even do there in comments, I can show papers, but the answerer has denied those. I can show calculations - but the answerer has said he has seen those. The answerer has not come up with any actual reasoning, other than below-belly reasoning without calculations.

Yet that answer is highly upvoted, accepted and underlined by a highly reputable person here.

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    $\begingroup$ Just a side-note: Any comments you find rude (or even unkind) please flag for moderator attention. You should not experience rude behaviour in comments or elsewhere on this site! $\endgroup$ – Jamiec Apr 17 '19 at 7:59
  • $\begingroup$ I read your answer, the point seems to have gotten lost somewhere. I reckon we need to keep the general audience here in mind and learn from the up/downvote behaviour. So if a user collects a lot of upvotes, he is doing something right according to the voters. Perhaps they are less interested in differential equations than the average uni student? $\endgroup$ – Koyovis May 26 '19 at 4:56
  • $\begingroup$ @Koyovis But the answer is wrong. How many times do I have to repeat that, the answer is wrong and incorrect. Popularity does not make physics suddenly change. - That's the whole point of this meta post: people vote for the "simple" answer that is wrong. There are too few people actually checking and verifying answers and up/down voting based on actual data instead of how "easy" it read. $\endgroup$ – paul23 May 26 '19 at 9:08
  • $\begingroup$ Yes that has indeed happened before. It's great that you wrote your own answer to that question, perhaps add a couple of bullet points where you reckon the other one is incorrect? $\endgroup$ – Koyovis May 26 '19 at 12:05

The best response would be to write your own answer rather than try to convince others their methods are wrong. If you are able to support your answer with proper math and data it should be upvoted.

Keep in mind that the voting system used on the site does not guarantee that incorrect answers won't be upvoted or accepted. But well-formed answers, backed up with proper data do much better over the long run.

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    $\begingroup$ The problem is: the site seems very unwelcome to any such answers. I am highly dis-motivated by the continuous experience of meta sciences happening here. The topics are on top of my interest (I am going for my masters degree in aerospace engineering after all). However it is a continuous uphill battle when each topic that appears in the sidebar is flooded with meta-science answers. On top of that, to give a good review I need to know the actual knowledge of the question asker - thus I cannot answer as each of these questions have "too little information given". $\endgroup$ – paul23 Apr 17 '19 at 13:48
  • $\begingroup$ Ok case in point: I added an answer showing the actual calculations - and showing why in the first question of my examples the answer is wrong. Yet this wrong answer keeps seeing many more upvotes, even though it's blatantly wrong. $\endgroup$ – paul23 May 16 '19 at 16:35

I have done my own studies and found it highly frustrating to read other studies which clearly were biased in order to come to more spectacular conclusions. Publish or perish in action.

That frustration came to the surface in the answer you find offending. You are entitled to your own opinion and your own conclusions, but then you have the obligation to explain why you came to them. As I did in my answer. If you think I am wrong, please do not downvote without explanation but write your own answer.

So please present your studies and stop complaining that others might have other opinions. And don't use 20 years more advanced, speculative engine parameters to make your configuration look better - that is exactly what the other studies are guilty of. Comparing apples to oranges in order to claim some "breakthrough".

Proof: Some blended wing body studies are now more than 30 years old. If there had been some grain of truth to them, wouldn't you think that someone had by now put those spectacular predictions into reality? Did not happen and will not happen, because those spectacular conclusions were wrong.

  • $\begingroup$ That particular answer comes across as a rant though. $\endgroup$ – Koyovis May 26 '19 at 4:26
  • $\begingroup$ @Koyovis: Yes, I know. I still am upset by the circus happening in marketing and academia. The low level of morality was the fundamental reason why I left that particular industry, and the issue has even gotten worse. Just witness the "studies" about electric propulsion for airliners. That are the BWBs of today … $\endgroup$ – Peter Kämpf May 26 '19 at 19:43

The beauty of this site is that it requires no reputation points to ask and answer.

Misusing the comment section on the other hand is completely unconstructive (as you have witnessed). But it's good you asked here, so we can address that. Your first comment started with:

This explanation is plainly wrong (...)

This is not a good use for comments.

When shouldn't I comment?

  • (...) providing an alternate solution to an existing answer; instead, post an actual answer (or edit to expand an existing one);

  • (...) debating a controversial point; please use chat instead;

Take the time as @TomMcW said to write an answer that addresses the question (not addressing other answers), and in your case if you want it to stand out, provide references.

  • $\begingroup$ Yet answering correctly is taking me several workdays to fully explain and translate everything I have in my head into english. Having dyslexia and non native to english this is just too difficult. - It's just that this site seems to not reject disinformation that is totally unmotivating too. Heck if someone would write "airplane can fly due to the fact gravity is a lie made up by government" should we not comment on that answer that this is ridiculous? - To me many, many of the answers I find here are of that level. $\endgroup$ – paul23 Apr 17 '19 at 13:52
  • $\begingroup$ Addressing other answers is for me many times easier: as I can use the words found in said answers to convey what I think. And I don't have to first create a lot of preamble where I have to translate my native language. $\endgroup$ – paul23 Apr 17 '19 at 13:55
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    $\begingroup$ @paul23 In my opinion commenting to (politely) point out an issue with an answer is acceptable. If it's not controversial ("gravity is not a lie"), it can point out the flaw to other users, and if the author is open to it, help them improve their answer. But as you've found, if your statement is controversial, the comments are the wrong place to debate it. Answers don't have to be perfect English, others can help improve wording, and you're welcome to drop by the chat room to discuss things. $\endgroup$ – fooot Apr 17 '19 at 17:10

Regarding your comments on the stability of flying wings:

You wrote: This explanation is plainly wrong, as stability is not due to this.

I'm afraid I have to disagree! The explanation is merely incomplete as stability can also be achieved with lift on the rear surfaces, but still the explanation is correct. The statement aircraft become unstable as soon as you have positive lift on the tail can be found in many places here and really is wrong. Do you see the difference?

You continue: An aircraft can be perfectly statically stable with the center of lift ahead of the center of gravity.

Are you sure? In my view, an aircraft will continuously pitch if that were the case. The center of lift must be where the center of gravity is in order to achieve stationary flight - and for this the tailplane is adjustable. It shifts the center of lift by means of a variable incidence or elevator deflection. So, with all due respect, the second sentence in your comment is also wrong. And if you had followed the links in the comments, you would had found plenty of explanations. Comments are not meant for explaining, only for commenting (hence the name).

You became outright ridiculous when you claimed that in order to explain stability you would need several pages and a high level physics education in the receiver - and now you are upset that such comments don't go without contradiction? Thankfully, you have deleted that comment, but the responses still are there.

So, again, the answer was not wrong. Your comment was.


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