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.