# Does Damage to MH17 indicate or exclude a Particular Buk Launch Location?

#### Ole

##### Member
Created a blog showing many photos with what is likely shrapel damage. The direction of the fragments all seem to match a missile launched from Zaroshenskye.
http://www.whathappenedtoflightmh17.com/damage-of-mh17-does-not-rule-out-a-launch-from-zaroshenskye/

Comments either here on on the blog are very welcome.
Because it also may help for this thread to visualize the distribution of damages in the cockpit area: Some fotos of the 3-D reconstruction of the cockpit area have been leaked :

The origin probably is here:
http://censor.net.ua/resonance/3289...ila_malayiziyiskiyi_boing_mh17_eksklyuzivnyyi

The location that was chosen for the debris of the engine inlet suggests it's the port engine.

Last edited:

#### Rob

##### Member
The explanation they give of the "static" fragment distribution ends up beeing very ambiguous (maybe caused by the translation). So we have to second-guess what they want to tell us with their "static" fragment distribution. We have done that in two different ways. One way creates a conflict, for the other way I don't see one yet, other than that the fragment distribution is subobtimal energywise while probably optimizing the spacial distribution of the fragments (and that's not a conflict that would make their assesment doubtable).

Ole. the ambiguity was not about the "static" fragment distribution graph.
In fact, Mick based his fragment cone animation entirely on that.

The problem is about the "dynamic" velocity distribution diagram (the one with the perpendicular lancet) that Almaz Antey used to show us how damage will be done from each approach angle (Snizhne or Zaroshens’kye).
That diagram is bunk.

#### Ole

##### Member
Ole. the ambiguity was not about the "static" fragment distribution graph.
In fact, Mick based his fragment cone animation entirely on that.
My understanding is Mike based his fragment cone animation on one of two possible interpretations of that ambiguous "static" fragment distribution graph, namely the interpretation that this graph shows the distribution for warhead at rest. Using this interpretation we get conflicts with the following "dynamic" distribution graphs. The conflicts arising from the interpretation that this graph shows the distribution for plane at rest for all reasonable relative speeds remain to be pointed out.

#### Rob

##### Member
I have renamed this thread: "Does Damage to MH17 indicate or exclude a Particular Buk Launch Location?" from "Was MH17 downed by a buk fired from Zaroshens’kye", to more accurately reflect the discussion in the thread.

Mick, I'm not so sure that was a good move.

For starters, we did not discuss any damage in detail in this thread yet.

Most of the discussion was about Almaz Antey's claim to evidence (such as the fragment distribution pattern that does not make sense), physics of fragment movement and we discovered that the proximity fuse must failed if the missile came from Zaroshens’kye.

Is all that now no longer the subject ?
Do you want us to focus on the damage (pictures) instead ?
And that we are going to have to argue about things like which direction the fragments came from that made three holes in the pilot's belly ? (I'm not kidding; that is used by some bloggers as an argument for the Zaroshens'kye location now).

Could I suggest to rename this thread "Almaz Antey claim for a launch site near Zaroshens'kye" or "Almaz Antey's claim against a Snizhne launch site" or so, and open a new thread with the current title...

Last edited:

#### william wiley

##### Member
The explanation they give of the "static" fragment distribution ends up beeing very ambiguous (maybe caused by the translation). So we have to second-guess what they want to tell us with their "static" fragment distribution. We have done that in two different ways. One way creates a conflict, for the other way I don't see one yet, other than that the fragment distribution is subobtimal energywise while probably optimizing the spacial distribution of the fragments (and that's not a conflict that would make their assesment doubtable).
That's how I was seeing though it quite possible I've not followed all points correctly.
At first it was difficult to see how the fragments would be come straight out the side at something like 90 degrees. As the missile was moving forward they should have sprayed forward rather than straight to the side.
If however, the missile was designed in such a way that they were projected backwards (giving away some energy in the process) then that these two effects might cancel each other out, and they could go straight to the side.
Have I misunderstood or missed something important?

#### Rob

##### Member
My understanding is Mike based his fragment cone animation on one of two possible interpretations of that ambiguous "static" fragment distribution graph, namely the interpretation that this graph shows the distribution for warhead at rest. Using this interpretation we get conflicts with the following "dynamic" distribution graphs. The conflicts arising from the interpretation that this graph shows the distribution for plane at rest for all reasonable relative speeds remain to be pointed out.

We already know that the "dynamic" velocity distribution graph from Almaz Antey is bunk.
Now are you telling us that the "static" fragmentation graph is also bunk ?

If that "static" fragment distribution graph is not a "static" fragmentation distribution graph (with the missile at rest), then what is it ?

#### mvdb22

##### Member
mvdb22, did YOU create that blog ?
yes. I hope many people will start analyze the damage. There are more photos showing damage which could result from a missile exploding in front of the cockpit.
I believe the pilot seats can give some more clues.

#### Rob

##### Member
yes. I hope many people will start analyze the damage. There are more photos showing damage which could result from a missile exploding in front of the cockpit.
I believe the pilot seats can give some more clues.

According to Almaz Antey, the missile exploded HERE :

What makes you think that there would be any pilot chairs left ?
And if you would argue that the blast pattern is mostly forward, and the chairs must have been hit by "backward firing" fragments, then why do you bring up damage to the pilot seats (and the holes in the pilot's belly) as an argument in favor of the Zaroshens'kye launch location ?
After all, the Snizhne launch location would have produced fragments pointing in the same south-west direction.

Last edited:

#### william wiley

##### Member
Most of the discussion was about Almaz Antey's claim to evidence (such as the fragment distribution pattern that does not make sense), physics of fragment movement and we discovered that the proximity fuse must failed if the missile came from Zaroshens’kye.
I don't think you showed that. The missile is coming from slightly in front and to the side of the plane. So it is never near (3-5 metres) the plane until it intersects the plane. When it intersects the plane it has finally drawn level and is 3-5 metres above the plane, but not before.
That is if you are arguing it won't detonate until it is the required distance from the plane.
ui

#### Rob

##### Member
If however, the missile was designed in such a way that they were projected backwards (giving away some energy in the process) then that these two effects might cancel each other out, and they could go straight to the side.
Have I misunderstood or missed something important?

Ignorance is not an argument.

#### mvdb22

##### Member
According to Almaz Antey, the missile exploded HERE :

What makes you think that there would be any pilot chairs left ?
And if you would argue that the blast pattern is mostly forward, and the chairs must have been hit by "backward firing" fragments, then why do you bring up damage to the pilot seats (and the holes in the pilot's belly) as an argument in favor of the Zaroshens'kye launch location ?
After all, the Snizhne launch location would have produced fragments pointing in the same south-west direction.
There are many photos showing the seats of the cockpit. See my post for some. See Flickr accounts for more. Some photos even have the label of the manufacturer. It is hard to analyze what seat is pictured on the photos. A Boeing 777 cockpit has two pilot seats and two jumpseats. So in total 4 seats. People at the crashsite could have turned and moved seats.
But the seat damage do provide a good indication of angle of penetration of the fragments. If the fragments penetrated parallel to the longitudinal axis a missile launched from Zaroshens'kye is quite likely.

Last edited:

#### Rob

##### Member
It is hard to analyze what seat is pictured on the photos.

Here is one of your pictures :

Which seat do you assert it is in your pictures ?
The left one or the right one ?

If it is the right one, then in BOTH the Zaroshens'kye AND the Snizhne launch the fragments would have come from the same direction (from north-east).

And if it is the left seat, and the missile came from Zaroshens'kye, a 70 kg warhead with 7,800 fragments just exploded 2 meters ahead of that chair.
So why are there only two or three holes on that chair (and on the sides only, NOT through the front) ?

Last edited:

#### mvdb22

##### Member
Which seat do you assert it is in your pictures ?
The left one or the right one ?
I do not know. Very difficult to determine which chairs are seen in the photos.

#### william wiley

##### Member
Ignorance is not an argument.
Well I don't know everything, but I find that by keeping an open mind and asking questions I can learn from those who know more
Added in edit: mvdb22 has linked to this thread on a website which probably gets more traffic than here, and I'm sure a lot of people who now visit this site will be wondering if they followed correctly too.

Last edited:

#### Rob

##### Member
I do not know. Very difficult to determine which chairs are seen in the photos.

Do you have a picture of the other chair ?

#### mvdb22

##### Member
One of the holes in the seat pictured below looks to be made by a fragment coming from a location in front of the seat. The most right arrow indicates that hole.
It is very difficult to get an understanding about the seat. What is the front, back, and bottom?
In this pic it is obvious the area with the wide labels is not the side of the seat.

Jeroen Akkermans has many Flickr albums showing pics of the cockpit
https://www.flickr.com/photos/jeroenakkermans/sets/72157651033980990/with/16658794687/

This user also has various photos in albums.
https://www.flickr.com/photos/podpolkovnikvvs/

Here is another
http://ic.pics.livejournal.com/evanesce_girl/8305736/109968/109968_original.jpg

#### Pete Tar

##### Senior Member.
Ignorance is not an argument.
That is true, but you're bordering on the impolite there by not helping to explain and correct the ignorance as you see it.

#### Ole

##### Member
If anybody should be interested, here is some more information to chew on regarding the benefit or non-benefit of optimizing the kinetic energy of the shrapnel. This paper "HIGH-SPEED PENETRATION INTO SAND" investigates penetration depth of steel particles into sand in relation to their speed.

It was found that the decrease in penetration depth is caused by the full melting of the bullet when the impact velocity exceeds Vc,, Moreover, increasing the impact velocity over V¢, gives decreasing penetration depth due to the more extensive melting bullet. The quantitative analysis of experimental results has shown that the main parameters defining V¢, are: melting temperature and heat of fusion of bullet material (overall energy needed for the full melting per unit mass of bullet material ). The bullet shape has a weak influence on its melting during the penetration, because the melting appears only on the front part of bullet (Fig. 2c, 3c and 4c). It can be assumed that melting rate of bullet material depends on the bullet kinetic energy. The experimental data show that for the full melting of the bullet its kinetic energy has to exceed twice the energy needed for the full bullet melting
Content from External Source
http://aux.ciar.org/ttk/mbt/papers/ijie00/ijie_26_675.pdf

So the somewhat counter-intuitive conclusion is, that above certain velocities (here ~1600 m/s) the penetration depth decreases, because the shrapnel melts before having passed all its kinetic energy to its surroundings.

The study investigates penetration into sand, but the same principle should apply for penetration into aluminium/titan. That may be another reason for the warhead designers to favor a broader spacial distribution of the shrapnel over higher kinetic energy.

##### Member
If anybody should be interested, here is some more information to chew on regarding the benefit or non-benefit of optimizing the kinetic energy of the shrapnel. This paper "HIGH-SPEED PENETRATION INTO SAND" investigates penetration depth of steel particles into sand in relation to their speed.
penetration in sand very different from penetration in metal since metal on hypersonic speed count as Newtonian fluid but sand as non-Newtonian fluid.

#### Ole

##### Member
penetration in sand very different from penetration in metal since metal on hypersonic speed count as Newtonian fluid but sand as non-Newtonian fluid.

to my understanding the relevant physics of the penetration process is quite simple. Kinetic energy of the shrapnel is converted into heat. If the shrapnel has sufficient initial energy it will melt before all its kinetic energy is consumed. The process by which the conversion happens (friction, adiabatic heating, or whatever) matters only for the rate of conversion and thus for the numbers involved but not for the general principle. All that matters is how the generated heat is distributed between bullet and target. Because extremely short times are involved, there will not be much heat exchange between target and shrapnel. That's why it can be assumed that the generated heat is distributed by equal quotas, much more so if both shrapnel and target are made of metal as opposed to the study. The way the heat is generated is irrelevant for this principle.

So the benefits of providing the shrapnel with more than twice the kinetic energy required to melt it are probably very small.

Stand to be corrected.

##### Member

to my understanding the relevant physics of the penetration process is quite simple. Kinetic energy of the shrapnel is converted into heat. If the shrapnel has sufficient initial energy it will melt before all its kinetic energy is consumed. The process by which the conversion happens (friction, adiabatic heating, or whatever) matters only for the rate of conversion and thus for the numbers involved but not for the general principle. All that matters is how the generated heat is distributed between bullet and target. Because extremely short times are involved, there will not be much heat exchange between target and shrapnel. That's why it can be assumed that the generated heat is distributed by equal quotas, much more so if both shrapnel and target are made of metal as opposed to the study. The way the heat is generated is irrelevant for this principle.

So the benefits of providing the shrapnel with more than twice the kinetic energy required to melt it are probably very small.

Stand to be corrected.
no, you wrong
kinetic energy same for APDS, but penetration into homogenous armor much more then into composite armour

#### Ole

##### Member
Bit more complicated. And you are goign to get vastly more energy loss in punching through metal than in traveling through three meters of air. Consider a bullet, it't pretty lethal at 1m, 10m and 50m.

There's some math on this here:

Reduction in Velocity with Range

As soon as the fragments are thrown outward from the casing, their velocity will begin to drop due to wind resistance (drag). The drag force is given by:

Drag = ½ rv2 Cd A

where: r = The density of air. Normally 1.2 Kg/m3.
V = The fragment velocity.
Cd = The coefficient of drag. Depends on the shape of the fragment and to some extent, the velocity.
A = The cross-sectional area of the fragment.

We can solve the equations of motion for the projectile and get the fragment's velocity as a function of the distance traveled:

where s = the range, and v0 is the initial fragment velocity.

Example- find the fragment velocity 100 m from the detonation of a M61 hand grenade, given:

v0 = 2150 m/s
A = 1 cm2
Cd = 0.5
m = 2 g

We use the default value for the density of air. This gives a velocity of

v(at 100 m) = (2150 m/s) e-(1.2 x 0.5 x 0.0001 x 100)/(2 x 0.002)
v = 480 m/s
Content from External Source
If you take that equations and plot a graph based on distance, you get:

Not a hugely significant difference over a few meters, and this is for a grenade, with lighter pieces, which will slow down quicker.

This will matter for shrapnel hitting the wing & tanks. At 11000m air pressure is ~1/4 and shrapnel weight was ~4 times larger. So we need to pull the 16th root of that e^-() term. If my math is correct the shrapnel still has ~90% of its initial speed after 100m.

#### Ole

##### Member
no, you wrong
kinetic energy same for APDS, but penetration into homogenous armor much more then into composite armour
The penetration may be deeper, but that was what I meant when saying it matters just for the numbers involved. It doesn't change the general principle that penetration depth won't increase significantly beyond twice the kinetic energy required for melting the shrapnel.

#### Mick West

Staff member
For starters, we did not discuss any damage in detail in this thread yet.

Most of the discussion was about Almaz Antey's claim to evidence (such as the fragment distribution pattern that does not make sense), physics of fragment movement and we discovered that the proximity fuse must failed if the missile came from Zaroshens’kye.

The thread is about inferring or excluding a particular launch location based on where the missile exploded, and the direction it was traveling in. The only evidence we have about those two things is the damage to the plane. Any fragmentation spread scenario has to be consistent with that damage - within the bounds of uncertainty.

##### Member
The penetration may be deeper, but that was what I meant when saying it matters just for the numbers involved. It doesn't change the general principle that penetration depth won't increase significantly beyond twice the kinetic energy required for melting the shrapnel.
Sorry but what you talking about? How it help to MH17 and launch site?

#### Ole

##### Member
Sorry but what you talking about? How it help to MH17 and launch site?
It's a contribution to an earlier discussion in this thread, weather it would make sense for a designer of a warhead to increase the kinetic energy of the shrapnel at all cost. If that was the case, then it would be nonsensical to have backward tilted shrapnel cones for warhead at rest.

#### Mick West

Staff member
Please don't include photos of damage without a diagram indicating how it fits (or does not fit) a particular scenario.

#### mvdb22

##### Member
Here is one of your pictures :

Which seat do you assert it is in your pictures ?
The left one or the right one ?
This is the captain seat so the left one in the cockpit. The type number of this seat is 3A201-0007-01-1. The 7 is visible in another photo.

This photo shows a detail of the co-pilot seat. Co-pilot is seen on the type plate including the model number of the seat

#### Ole

##### Member
This is the captain seat so the left one in the cockpit.

Are you sure?

This one:

has the same shrapnel traces (yellow circles) as this one:

Yet there is that curved sliding rail still attached (red circle), which IMHO can only be the one of the copilot:

I too always thought the seat with the backrest still attached was the copilot's seat but it seems the outher way round.

#### mvdb22

##### Member
I had a close look at both seats. They seem to be the same based on damage. Someone dragged the seat closer to the wreckage of the cockpit and removed that rail. Also some parts are changed. Wondering why.

#### Rob

##### Member
Rob said:
For starters, we did not discuss any damage in detail in this thread yet.

Most of the discussion was about Almaz Antey's claim to evidence (such as the fragment distribution pattern that does not make sense), physics of fragment movement and we discovered that the proximity fuse must failed if the missile came from Zaroshens’kye.

The thread is about inferring or excluding a particular launch location based on where the missile exploded, and the direction it was traveling in. The only evidence we have about those two things is the damage to the plane. Any fragmentation spread scenario has to be consistent with that damage - within the bounds of uncertainty.

I will do my best to comply with this new goal of this thread.

But I'd like to say that it is a whole lot easier to debunk or confirm specific Almaz Antey's claims to evidence, such as their alleged dynamic velocity distribution graph and their perpendicular "lancet", or the missile detonation location and missile flight path, and other inconsistencies that cast doubt on their overall conclusions (alleging a launch from Zaroshens'kye and excluding a launch from Snizhne), than it is to investigate damage from pictures to indicate or exclude a particular launch location in general.

Especially since every single conclusion, no matter how obvious, including the laws of physics and sound engineering appears to be contested repeatedly by some commenters in this thread.

[P.S. In the fragment distribution tool, can you please adjust the plane track to 115 deg (instead of 118 deg), to comply with the Dutch Safety Board FDR assessment ? It is just 3 degrees, but it starts to matter for a detailed analysis]

Last edited:

#### Trailspotter

##### Senior Member.
[P.S. In the fragment distribution tool, can you please adjust the plane track to 115 deg (instead of 118 deg), to comply with the Dutch Safety Board FDR assessment ? It is just 3 degrees, but it starts to matter for a detailed analysis]
If you think that 3 degree difference does matter, than you should also take the high altitude wind into account. The orientation of aircraft relative the ground can deviate from its track by a few degrees, depending on the wind speed and direction. The predicted crosswind (~210°) of 40 km/h would add 3 degrees to the track heading to give the aircraft orientation relative the ground.

#### Rob

##### Member
The predicted crosswind (~210°) of 40 km/h would add 3 degrees to the track heading to give the aircraft orientation relative the ground.

Seems to me that from Zaroshens'kye (at 200°) the missile had the wind in the back.
Or does that 3 degrees wind adjustment only apply to the Snizhne launch location ?

Last edited:

#### Ole

##### Member
... the laws of physics and sound engineering appears to be contested repeatedly by some commenters in this thread.

As an appeal to engineering soundness:
The operating principle of proximity fuses is that they detonate the warhead in proximity of the target.

Some proximity fuses measure distance to target and can detect the moment of closest approach. Such method is used in torpedo proximity fuses and especially in naval mines, but is not usually needed or practical in missiles.

The proximity fuse of a a Sidewinder missile project narrow beams of l@ser light perpendicular to the flight of the missile. If any of the beams strikes the target it is reflected back to the missile where detectors sense it and detonate the warhead. There is no "measuring the range" at all, abd it is not needed - when a target is detected to the side of the missile then it's probably as close as it could be and is is good place to detonate the warhead.

Radar proximity fuses work on similar principle (beams of radio energy projected to the sides, perpendicular to misile or at an angle, to front-side) but they can have a predetermined maximum range at which the fuse can detonate. If the target is let's say closer than 17m the fuse would detonate warhead.

Usually there is no need to determine the "point of closesd approach" because the fuse anyway can detect a target ONLY to the side. So only when it passes by. And then in 95% of cases target is already as close as it can be (passing by) and the warhead (which is also designed to throw shrapnels to the sides) should be detonated NOW.

Radar fuse COULD measure range to target and detect optimal point for detonation, but this would be rarely usefull at all.
Content from External Source
http://www.pprune.org/rumours-news/543733-mh17-down-near-donetsk-57.html#post8595364

Independent of the unknown authority of the author, I find the argumentation quite striking.

#### Rob

##### Member

As an appeal to engineering soundness:
The operating principle of proximity fuses is that they detonate the warhead in proximity of the target.

Some proximity fuses measure distance to target and can detect the moment of closest approach. Such method is used in torpedo proximity fuses and especially in naval mines, but is not usually needed or practical in missiles.

The proximity fuse of a a Sidewinder missile project narrow beams of l@ser light perpendicular to the flight of the missile. If any of the beams strikes the target it is reflected back to the missile where detectors sense it and detonate the warhead. There is no "measuring the range" at all, abd it is not needed - when a target is detected to the side of the missile then it's probably as close as it could be and is is good place to detonate the warhead.

Radar proximity fuses work on similar principle (beams of radio energy projected to the sides, perpendicular to misile or at an angle, to front-side) but they can have a predetermined maximum range at which the fuse can detonate. If the target is let's say closer than 17m the fuse would detonate warhead.

Usually there is no need to determine the "point of closesd approach" because the fuse anyway can detect a target ONLY to the side. So only when it passes by. And then in 95% of cases target is already as close as it can be (passing by) and the warhead (which is also designed to throw shrapnels to the sides) should be detonated NOW.

Radar fuse COULD measure range to target and detect optimal point for detonation, but this would be rarely usefull at all.
Content from External Source
http://www.pprune.org/rumours-news/543733-mh17-down-near-donetsk-57.html#post8595364

Independent of the unknown authority of the author, I find the argumentation quite striking.

Ole, the Sidewinder is a heat-seaking missile. IR guided.
It finds the nearest heat source and detonates when the missile is very close to (or inside) the heat source (typically an engine).

If the target is close enough to reflect the emitted light back to the receiving photodiodes, the warhead is fired.
Content from External Source
http://www.f-16.net/f-16_armament_article1.html

It also has a very small warhead (10 - 22 lbs) compared to a 9N314M BUK warhead, with a very small kill range, and thus should explode very close to (or inside) its target.

That's nothing like a radar guided BUK missile which has a large kill range and thus needs to detonate further AHEAD of its target (see my post #125) blasting forward in a cone :
https://www.metabunk.org/does-damag...-buk-launch-location.t6345/page-4#post-156856

Last edited:

#### Trailspotter

##### Senior Member.
Seems to me that from Zaroshens'kye (at 200°) the missile had the wind in the back.
Or does that 3 degrees wind adjustment only apply to the Snizhne launch location ?
I do not understand your question. Wind adjustment applies to the orientation of the aircraft relative to its last reported course (track heading). In principle, it also can be applied to the orientation of the missile relative its course, but, in this case, the adjustment angle will be much smaller because of the missile speed being much higher than the speed of the plane.

Last edited:

#### william wiley

##### Member
But in the case of the Zaroshens'kye approach, the first metal that the proximity fuse would have detected would be some part of the right side of the plane, behind the cockpit,
The missile is coming from in front of the plane, albeit on an angle almost 90 degrees. But it is still coming from in front of the plane.
According to AA is explodes as it meets the plane. It explodes downward, on an angle into the cockpit on the left side.
Added in edit:Here is the moment they meet. There is no time before this when they are in proximity. The missile is still in front of the plane up to this moment. The plane comes forward into it's path.
You seem to be thinking that the "rocket surgeons" that designed the missile designed one that would most often miss the target.

Last edited: