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What Does This Code Word Mean?

Posted: Tue Apr 10, 2012 6:12 pm
by wardialer
Were about 15 MIKE out. I guess its like MILES...For example, 15 Miles out.

I may be wrong though.

Thx.

RE: What Does This Code Word Mean?

Posted: Tue Apr 10, 2012 6:29 pm
by yeelep
15 minutes out. Military slang from the Vietam era.

RE: What Does This Code Word Mean?

Posted: Tue Apr 10, 2012 10:49 pm
by hercppmx
As yeelep mentioned. It's MINUTES.... it's based off of the Phonetic Alphabet. Mike is what you would use on the radio for the letter "M". It's still very common usage in the military today.

RE: What Does This Code Word Mean?

Posted: Tue Apr 10, 2012 11:15 pm
by kc135topboom
Yeah, for distance he would have said he was 15 KLICKS out (15 km).

RE: What Does This Code Word Mean?

Posted: Wed Apr 11, 2012 4:47 am
by wardialer
Then.....what would miles be??

So, why would KLICKS be used for KM? I thought that would be KILO

[Edited 2012-04-10 21:51:58]

RE: What Does This Code Word Mean?

Posted: Wed Apr 11, 2012 10:32 am
by jollo
Quoting wardialer (Reply 4):
Then.....what would miles be??

Mmmh... what kind of "miles"? Statutory? Nautical? US Survey?

Besides, no need for a military code-word for "miles" in 2012: we've had the International System of Units (SI) in worldwide use for over 50 years...

Oh, wait! In use everywhere in the world except in the USA, Burma and Liberia... the "coalition of the unwilling"!

Sorry, could not resist the temptation...    For an european engineer, stalwart US resistance to the metric system is quite entertaining (I mean, the whole world adopted it for technical/scientific usage because it works, and most nations had far longer histories with local units).

No offence intended, anyway.

RE: What Does This Code Word Mean?

Posted: Wed Apr 11, 2012 11:24 am
by kc135topboom
Quoting jollo (Reply 5):
Quoting wardialer (Reply 4):Then.....what would miles be??
Mmmh... what kind of "miles"? Statutory? Nautical? US Survey?

Because miles have different lenghts, the US Military uses km for most distance applications, but not all.

Quoting jollo (Reply 5):
Besides, no need for a military code-word for "miles" in 2012: we've had the International System of Units (SI) in worldwide use for over 50 years...

Actually it is amixed bag;

The metric system is used when the US operates with NATO or other countries, to avoid confusing with land forces. However the international norm for naval force distances is still in feet, yards, and nm, not in meters or km. Guns are increasingly measured in mm or cm as opposed to inches. Air forces generally use feet and nm.

RE: What Does This Code Word Mean?

Posted: Wed Apr 11, 2012 3:05 pm
by jollo
Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 6):
Air forces generally use feet and nm.

Of course: in well delimited specialty fields the usage of internationally recognised "legacy" units is quite common. Aviation is one such field: english is the language of aviation, and FL100 means 10000 feet everywhere (and anyone with meter-scaled altimeters, e.g. Russians, have a hard time doing conversions in their heads). Another example: once upon a while (centuries ago) Italy was the internationally recognised world leader in music, and in classical music tempo indications are still given in italian (allegro, andante, largo, etc.) rather than in "beats per second" (correct SI unit for frequency).

What I find funny (strictly in my opinion) is your (as a nation) institutional resistance to SI, in splendid isolation (both Liberia and Burma/Myanmar are at least officialy in the process of gradually switching to SI).

Back to the topic: I kind of remember from a Tom Clancy book that "mike mike" was supposed to be military parlance for "millimeter" (e.g. "twenty mike mike" for the caliber of the F15 gun). That kind of makes sense as it's the international radiotelephony (NATO) spelling alphabet rendition of the symbol for millimeter (mm). Is it used in practice?

[Edited 2012-04-11 08:23:25]


[Edited 2012-04-11 08:27:19]

RE: What Does This Code Word Mean?

Posted: Thu Apr 12, 2012 1:41 am
by hercppmx
Quoting jollo (Reply 7):
Back to the topic: I kind of remember from a Tom Clancy book that "mike mike" was supposed to be military parlance for "millimeter" (e.g. "twenty mike mike" for the caliber of the F15 gun). That kind of makes sense as it's the international radiotelephony (NATO) spelling alphabet rendition of the symbol for millimeter (mm). Is it used in practice?

Yes. A lot of the terms aren't "official". I doubt you'll be able to find any military manual that states "15 mikes is 15 minutes." Instead it's just more of a military culture thing, it's in such common usage that even the most jr. members understand it right away. But, Yes "mike mike" is used quite often. Example 40 mike mike is the size the grenades used in the M203 or MK-19.

RE: What Does This Code Word Mean?

Posted: Thu Apr 12, 2012 2:16 am
by vikkyvik
Quoting jollo (Reply 5):
For an european engineer, stalwart US resistance to the metric system is quite entertaining

For an American engineer, stalwart US resistance to the metric system is quite exasperating.

When I was in school, I'd often take a problem that was in Imperial units, convert it to metric, do the calculations, and convert the result back to Imperial.

RE: What Does This Code Word Mean?

Posted: Thu Apr 12, 2012 9:38 am
by jollo
Quoting HercPPMX (Reply 8):
But, Yes "mike mike" is used quite often.

Thanks.

Quoting vikkyvik (Reply 9):
For an American engineer, stalwart US resistance to the metric system is quite exasperating

I can understand. The occasional blunder that results from metric/imperial mixups must be frustrating, too (Mars Climate Orbiter comes to mind). Completely OT: what's the official explanation for this resistance, then?

RE: What Does This Code Word Mean?

Posted: Thu Apr 12, 2012 11:27 am
by sprout5199
Quoting jollo (Reply 10):
what's the official explanation for this resistance, then?


My uneducated answer---cost. To convert all the machines, roads, etc. would cost the US $$$$$$$$$. Plus a 2X4 would now be a 38x89. Just doesnt sound right.

Dan in Jupiter

RE: What Does This Code Word Mean?

Posted: Thu Apr 12, 2012 12:46 pm
by jollo
Quoting sprout5199 (Reply 11):
My uneducated answer---cost. To convert all the machines, roads, etc. would cost the US $$$$$$$$$. Plus a 2X4 would now be a 38x89. Just doesnt sound right.

Well, most nations did the transition by stages, starting with "soft" adoption (that is, nobody uses it but should). The advantages (practical and economical) are such that after a while (years) adoption comes virtually "by itself". Costs remain the same (high), but they are spread out over time and, at the individual level, are largely sustained on a voluntary basis, instead of mandated. Today, many countries are in different levels of "softness". However, the process must start with a national government stating that it wants to adopt SI, eventually: I don't think the US govt ever did that.

Besides, a finished 2x4's section is actually 1 and a half inches by 3 and a half inches, which doesn't sound very "right" even in imperial units... The proportion is also off: a "2x4" has a dimensional ratio of 1:2.3_, not 1:2 as the name seems to suggest. So "2x4" is just a name, and you can stick to the name whatever unit system you use.

Sorry, this has become purely non-aviation... time for moving?

[Edited 2012-04-12 05:51:45]

RE: What Does This Code Word Mean?

Posted: Thu Apr 12, 2012 6:45 pm
by rwessel
Quoting sprout5199 (Reply 11):
My uneducated answer---cost. To convert all the machines, roads, etc. would cost the US $$$$$$$$$. Plus a 2X4 would now be a 38x89. Just doesnt sound right.

Most manufacturing in the U.S. is already metric - try finding a non-metric part on your car (aside from the wheels, speedometer and maybe spark plugs). Anything that's even a remote candidate for export is built metric. True, some big exceptions exist for things like building materials. And why couldn't we just call a 2x4 a 5x10? The nominal sizes are well within the tolerances for that sort of thing.

RE: What Does This Code Word Mean?

Posted: Thu Apr 12, 2012 7:18 pm
by yeelep
Quoting rwessel (Reply 13):
Anything that's even a remote candidate for export is built metric. True, some big exceptions exist for things like building materials

Or airplanes.

RE: What Does This Code Word Mean?

Posted: Thu Apr 12, 2012 10:26 pm
by rwessel
Quoting yeelep (Reply 14):
Or airplanes.

Only older models. The 737 has to be chock full of standard measure parts, while I doubt there's more than a handful, if any (excepting a few instrument displays) 787 parts that aren't metric. It's obviously costly to change an existing design, and what would be the gain?

Of course NASA did build ISS with standard size bolt heads and nuts.   

RE: What Does This Code Word Mean?

Posted: Thu Apr 12, 2012 11:33 pm
by Tugger
Quoting vikkyvik (Reply 9):
When I was in school, I'd often take a problem that was in Imperial units, convert it to metric, do the calculations, and convert the result back to Imperial.

Now are you talking Imperial (i.e. a pint is 20oz and a a ton is a "long ton") or SAE standards?     

Tugg

RE: What Does This Code Word Mean?

Posted: Fri Apr 13, 2012 10:26 am
by jollo
Quoting rwessel (Reply 13):
Anything that's even a remote candidate for export is built metric.

Makes sense. So in practice it looks like you are already on a "soft" adoption path (and costs are not unbearable). However, I still can't figure out the rationale for the institutional stance.

Besides, names and standards don't have to make sense: they just have to be understood. E.g. the whole world talks about screen (display) sizes and car wheel sizes in inches, even people not having the faintest idea of how long an inch is: everybody understands that a 50" display is a big mother***er and 19" wheels are for a sports car even in fully "metric" cultures. And you could happily keep calling a 2x4 "twobyfour" even when everybody will have forgotten the origin of the name.

When it comes to measurements and computations, however, a decimal unit system is just simpler and less error prone: it stuck because it works.

RE: What Does This Code Word Mean?

Posted: Fri Apr 13, 2012 5:20 pm
by yeelep
Quoting rwessel (Reply 15):
Only older models. The 737 has to be chock full of standard measure parts, while I doubt there's more than a handful, if any (excepting a few instrument displays) 787 parts that aren't metric. It's obviously costly to change an existing design, and what would be the gain?

Of course NASA did build ISS with standard size bolt heads and nuts.   

Nope, all Boeing commercial aircraft are still designed/manufactured in good ole standard units.

RE: What Does This Code Word Mean?

Posted: Fri Apr 13, 2012 7:01 pm
by rwessel
Quoting jollo (Reply 17):
However, I still can't figure out the rationale for the institutional stance.

Mainly Americans are stubborn - after all, we're special, what everyone else does doesn't apply to us. That this comes from France is also a minus. Whether it's a good idea or not is of distinctly secondary importance.

Quoting yeelep (Reply 18):
Nope, all Boeing commercial aircraft are still designed/manufactured in good ole standard units.

Make me want to cry...

RE: What Does This Code Word Mean?

Posted: Fri Apr 13, 2012 7:15 pm
by AFHokie
Quoting jollo (Reply 12):
Well, most nations did the transition by stages, starting with "soft" adoption (that is, nobody uses it but should). The advantages (practical and economical) are such that after a while (years) adoption comes virtually "by itself". Costs remain the same (high), but they are spread out over time and, at the individual level, are largely sustained on a voluntary basis, instead of mandated. Today, many countries are in different levels of "softness". However, the process must start with a national government stating that it wants to adopt SI, eventually: I don't think the US govt ever did that.

Doesn't the UK still use stone for someone's weight and miles for driving? Seems to me they do whenever watching Top Gear. Most just go with what they know and are familiar with.

AFHokie

RE: What Does This Code Word Mean?

Posted: Fri Apr 13, 2012 9:45 pm
by n92r03
Quoting rwessel (Reply 19):
Mainly Americans are stubborn - after all, we're special, what everyone else does doesn't apply to us. That this comes from France is also a minus. Whether it's a good idea or not is of distinctly secondary importance.

Stubborn and proud of it! The metric system is like soccer, they both suck. Sorry metric and soccer fans... 

 

RE: What Does This Code Word Mean?

Posted: Sat Apr 14, 2012 6:41 pm
by jollo
Quoting n92r03 (Reply 21):
Sorry metric and soccer fans...

No offense taken: I'm Italian, but no great soccer fan (if you ask me, a ball game where you can use only your feet looks better suited to horses than humans...   ). As for metric vs. imperial, I strongly believe that "everyone is king in his own home": you can proudly keep on multiplying and dividing by 3, 12 and 5280 for as long as you see fit with my blessing. Me, as long as I'll be using decimal numbers, I'll keep on finding it much easier to multiply and divide by powers of 10.

My apologies to the OP for hijacking the thread.

[Edited 2012-04-14 11:45:46]

RE: What Does This Code Word Mean?

Posted: Tue Apr 17, 2012 5:39 pm
by bthebest
Quoting AFHokie (Reply 20):
Doesn't the UK still use stone for someone's weight and miles for driving? Seems to me they do whenever watching Top Gear. Most just go with what they know and are familiar with.

Weight- not so much, only in informal ways like 2x4

Miles for driving - yes, very much so, maybe that's our stubborness against Europe like the Pound (Sterling)

RE: What Does This Code Word Mean?

Posted: Tue Apr 17, 2012 6:13 pm
by bikerthai
Quoting jollo (Reply 12):

Well, most nations did the transition by stages, starting with "soft" adoption (that is, nobody uses it but should). The advantages (practical and economical) are such that after a while (years) adoption comes virtually "by itself".

Virtually the only way the Imperial units will die is when the US gets invaded and the new dictator forces everyone to go Metric . . . or when the Earth gets destroyed and all the colonies in space have used Metric as the base units.

Quoting rwessel (Reply 13):

Most manufacturing in the U.S. is already metric -
Quoting rwessel (Reply 15):
Only older models. The 737 has to be chock full of standard measure parts, while I doubt there's more than a handful, if any (excepting a few instrument displays) 787 parts that aren't metric.
Quoting yeelep (Reply 18):

Nope, all Boeing commercial aircraft are still designed/manufactured in good ole standard units.

Yep . . . Boeing Standard Fasteners are still all non metric . . . in fact, it was (still is) a pain to find any metric fastener available for use with some of the metric components as supplied by the supplier. Try to find it in Titanium would be almost impossible.

Always wanted to ask my Airbus colleagues . . . do you use Metric? If yes, what standards do you buy them from? Insdustry standards or Airbus's own standards?

bt

bt