Profile picture
, 167 tweets, 59 min read Read on Twitter
It's Kotobuki time, isn't it? I know I'm dreadfully late, but I put off Kotobuki Time as much as possible, saving it from when I really, really need that dose of happy.

Apparently these springtime temps won't last. So I find myself needing the happy right now. 🙁
Starting out strong with an existential crisis, I see.

THE PANCAKES TASTE LIKE ASH IN HER MOUTH.
>no adult supervision

Now I know why everyone was dying with anticipation for me to review this episode.
There's tempting fate, and then there's slapping her in the face and calling her a whore.
She really does channel the quintessential crew chief.
Seems like they weren't planning to work while their airship was being repaired, but someone was willing to pay a premium for it.

Kylie, however, is the perfect NEET pilot. Dun wanna, ain't gonna.
MAKE IT SO, NUMBER ONE
So one merc squadron is letting their pilots moonlight, Kotobuki squadron has pretty good PR at the moment, and this is all shit Kylie already knows.
It was said of the great author Dante Alighieri, even by his closest friends, that he would probably throw rocks at children if they disagreed strongly with his philosophical views.

And Kylie is no Dante.

Is she?
Oh, that little shit's asking for it.
Wow, that's really good marshalling.
She's doing what I've come to call "the NEET roam," where you're desperate for some kind of stimulation, but too depressed to care about any hobbies, and so you end up wandering aimlessly, just to see the scenery change.

And these kids are bullying her over it. ASTOUNDING
Ki-61s, looks like.
STOP FLYING IN VICS, YOU MISERABLE SHITS
EPISODE V: PANCAKE STRIKES BACK
Oh look it's a.... oh for fucks sake I don't even care anymore. Twin-engine medium bomber #3452, it's light and fast but blows up easy and there's a 20mm on it somewhere. There.
I'm just gonna be up-front and tell you that I'm not keeping track of the cities and the political details very well. Uh, something something, there's a fight a'brewin.
No wonder she was a shoe-in for fighter pilot.
Oh neat, they're radials. I wanna say Ki-84s because they have that P-47ish vibe that I always associated with the Ki-84 but because all rook same I really can't say for sure.

It's frustrating. Western aircraft I can ID from the briefest glance, but these damn things!?
Emma's giving that logo a very suspicious eyeball.

Hmm. Gee. I wonder. Who are the mysterious Ki-84 flying squadron they've scrapped with a few times now?
Took me a minute to find an image. From this angle you can really see the resemblance. It's all in the general thicc quality of the fuselage, and the profile that accommodates the big radial engine.

These must be Ki-84s, because the Ki-44 has that wee LERX on the wing-root.
"Fucking Saudis buying MORE F-15s AAAHHH"
So Emma's family doesn't know that she's cleansing the skies of air pirates? HAH
Another static wide-angle shot that saves money for the studio but also lets them show the air show performance going on in the background as Emma bitches about her family, which is a great way to exposit without unnatural info-dumping.
... and Emma's friend is going to be patrolling in a.... dive-bomber? Advanced trainer? Both?
You can see the family resemblance between the Ki-43 and Ki-44 here. They've always looked "snub-nosed" to me because of the short distance between the engine and the wing's leading edge, but the larger engine crammed into the Ki-44 and the relatively smaller wings is apparent.
They're talking about pilots retiring, none of them looking forward to the new licensing laws and such, and also, apparently, *unions.*

... and the post office? Flying fighter planes. While looking like a Hot Topic stock-room escapee.

"Going postal" indeed.
... aaand there's the lolita.

I guess even in an alternate universe the Post Office attracts some unusual personalities.

In real life, air mail was the first, and one of the most important, jobs that air travel serviced. It's been influential on the history of aircraft.
Planes meant specifically for carrying air mail actually formed a distinct market of their own, and since they were optimized for speed, payload and range, many were later developed into light bombers - see the Northrop Gamma, He-70, and (for bomber to mailplane,) B-6.
(Sorry for the slow posts, I keep getting interrupted.) Air mail service drove a LOT of innovation in aircraft development; it was aviation's "killer app." Things it pioneered - parasite piggyback craft (I shit you negative,) ship-launched aircraft, and... dieselpunk.
Which is all my way of saying that fighter planes aren't the WORST choice for air-mail, as they are fast, and timeliness is a big issue with traditional post, but they're not great for it, since payload matters too, and

>Japanese fighter design
>payload
... I would not want these too flying behind me. Just sayin.
[OMINOUS CLOUD FRONT MOVES IN]

Also, damn your vics. Damn them to HELL.
Meanwhile, ~someone~ is dreaming of their own isekai fantasy. If they ever DO open the portal to "Yufang" again, she's gonna be through that thing in a flash. 70% water? Kick-ass!
I can't begin to describe the horrific sounds that filled my ears in these few seconds, so I'll just say it's a fairly accurate representation of a government rally/meeting with an angry, incensed crowd.
Because everyone in Darkest Detroit should get to dictate how the farmers of rural western Michigan live because there's more of them, and if you disagree you're an evil Nazi bigot from Soviet Mordor. Hail Obama. Abolish the Senate.
CALLED IT
She's not wrong.
"YOU'RE ON THE WRONG SIDE OF HISTORY!"

Man this sure seems familiar.
REALLY familiar.
"What about democracy?"

"FUCK democracy and FUCK YOU!"

Yeah there's some hella deja vu going on here
"FUCK THE LAW, WE DON'T HAVE TO FOLLOW IT IF WE SCREAM AT YOU ENOUGH!"

Man where have I seen this before... I can almost put my finger on it...
soundtrack:
SHE'S GOING TO DRAIN THE FUCKING SWAMP
"The goddamn millennial Congressional freshmen who think they can storm in here and demand all their dumb shit. 'UBI! UNLIMITED MEDICAID! MORE GIBS! PLAYGROUND SETS! IF TRUMP CAN HAVE THE GORILLA CHANNEL WE CAN HAVE A PLAYGROUND SET INSIDE THE BUILDING!"
"HOPE AND SPARE CHANGE [from behind your ear!]"
What was your first clue, the way the entire room said "fuck the law and fuck your rights and fuck you" or the screaming and hurling of physical objects like Germans at a soccer game?
They might be shit pilots but at least they're not dumb.
Oh look, it's Antifa, just in time to self-defend the FUCK out of that nasty opposition woman!
This is what Tucker Carlson's wife saw.
Looks like she had a getaway plan lined up, though.
Meanwhile, Pancakes has temporarily delayed her existential dread by reverting to a child and falling in with a resident pack of same.
Holy SHIT
Little shit BETTER run. She just dropped a burn harder than the B-29s dropped on Tokyo.
So as I was saying earlier, about mailplanes that became conveyances of death, dropped upon the unsuspecting from on high, and vice-versa...
HIGHLANDER BURIAL
"My shape is chonk, and my purpose is DEATH."
Yeah, because Kylie's definitely the person to come to with a request for a safe, peaceful flight.
She is not thrilled by this. And she's even less thrilled by another offer from someone offering double their normal pay to come out to bumfuck nowhere. They want all of them, but they'll be happy with as many Kotobuki pilots as the can get.

SEEMS

LEGIT
They picked their target well and even baited the hook.
... hmm. This clown again. Maybe the choice of a sleight-of-hand man who is also a politician was no mistake, eh? He's either hiring the best of the best... or luring any talented fighters who might spoil things for him to an out-of-the-way place where he can finish them off.
>having to make her OWN decisions

PUNISHED PANCAKE
It's nice that Autism-chan's brother is giving her friendly nee-san advice but there is no fucking way you'd be able to hear each other in an open cockpit. The engine deafens you on the ground, and that's BEFORE the airflow comes into play.

I'm not upset, just sayin. Y'know.
Why would he? It's not like HE'S driving!

Note, on twin-cockpit planes or trainers (this is a Ki-9 trainer, IIRC,) the instructor/pilot usually sits in the rear cockpit.
This is mainly due to center of gravity issues. Biplanes, esp. early ones, are very light aircraft; so the pilot's weight is significant and is moved rearward as much as possible to balance it. So the pilot is used to flying from the rear seat. Usually.
Kylie is SUCH a gigantic dork, it's fantastic. Even her existential crisis is half-assed and written on her sleeve. And she's LITERALLY kicking the can down the road. HA! HA!

haaaaaaaaaaaa

brb suicide
Brilliant name for her. Powerful, fast, brilliant, and it only lasts a second or two at most. And said brilliance usually results from friction with another airhead. 😃
WHAT
SUSPICIOUS
Just call them meters for FUCKS sake. The fuck is a centi-khrill, 100 meters? So never above 2,000 feet?
So sneaky people have been opening smaller portals. If you don't come to isekai, isekai comes to YOU
ALARM
Good Christ it's like rolling a ball of yarn past a kitten
PHRASING
Meanwhile, the "financial officer" from that pack of air pirates some episodes ago is visiting the hospital, presumably to whack nee-san. He has made a serious error, however, in leaving his entire torso open to a gut-shot from a registered nurse.

Nurses are not nice.
You might live long enough to change your opinion on that m8
Well, we know what their endgame is, then.

Unfortunately for them, nee-san has all this in his head, and there's likely only so many places you can fist-fuck spacetime hard enough to create an inter-dimensional wormhole... and his sister works for mercenaries.

🤔
Naturally, they're planning to do something about that. Also, we're around the halfway point of the episode, so I believe it's time for DOG FIGHTAN
Aww, Kylie is still thinking about her mentor.

... and nee-san here is still doing his research. Hmm.
Call me back the next time you're pecking away fruitlessly at a Ki-84 with those twin 12mms and say that again with a straight face kiddo
Fortunately, blowing up Zeroes is not difficult.
Wait, so they're meters? Oh, right, they were calling them kilo-khrill or some shit before. Fuck it. Who cares. ARGH.
>co-ordinating the rudder with the turn

EVERY DETAIL

U N F
Yes, you can. 2,000 meters is 6,500 feet. You're good up to about 10,000 feet without oxygen... in a pinch. Lower is better. Engine might not be, though, but 6,500 it should still generate some power. And biplanes don't need much speed.
My bad, he said 1500 meters, or about 5,000 feet. Which is about right if you're playing it safe. 6,500 would be pushing it.

Also note she really is zoom-climbing. Technically a "zoom climb" is any max-performance climb; i.e. not a sustainable one.
Oh, whatchamacallims... sun dogs?

... wait.

Where's the sun
BEHOLD

THE VENN DIAGRAM
... son of a bitch. So they're naturally occurring phenomena, at least to an extent. It probably requires some effort to actually "open" them, though.
>perfect cold six bounce
>misses

BRAVO, SHITFORDICKS
Lovely split-S evasive from Kylie there.
Note how THESE guys come in a flight of four. This is why the vic was useless; all three planes had to maneuver together. The four-aircraft flight can break into two two-plane elements, so everyone has a wingman. Much more flexible way of arranging things.
It would appear so, which means that Kylie has a fighting chance of staying alive till help comes, because they're not BAD turners, but they're no Zero by a damn sight.
Ah, there's that rudder again! But note, no ailerons - she's not rolling *yet.* She's dodging fire. But she doesn't need the hard up-elevator for that. That part is the lead-in to a max-rate roll.
Note, she hasn't touched the elevators yet, but the plane is already rolling (i.e. banking) in the direction of rudder input. The elevator input is exacerbating this, because she's pulling the nose up into the newly-tilted lift vector. This is also shedding speed.
YOOOOO WHAT WAS THAT

lemme step through that frame-by-frame to make sure I saw that right
Ah, this isn't mysterious at all. Check the last image - you can see she's still applying hard left rudder and full up elevator. If you do this in most biplanes, it'll do this exact same thing.
And here, her biplane is actually spinning out. Notice she's applying down elevator here, which is how she recovers; she's getting the nose down and airspeed back over the wings to generate lift.
I know this sequence looks weird - and it is, in a monoplane. Biplanes are a very different beast. Even later-war biplanes are usually pretty light compared to a monoplane; esp. a trainer (weak engine, not nearly as much equipment.) Also, they have TWICE the lift.
The double wings are also why they're so damn slow - it's a lot of drag. You couple the insane lift of the wings, the insane DRAG of the wings, and the lightness of the airframe, and you get something that tends to flutter about like a leaf in a strong wind.
Now, the light weight of the airframe - and especially that forward-biased center-of-gravity I mentioned earlier -gives the control surfaces a LOT of control authority. Especially when the UBER LIFT of the wings start to help, as they did here.
Objects in motion tend to stay in motion, and this applies to airplanes as well. When you make a control input, your plane offsets itself from your initial velocity vector - to a small degree, you are flying "sideways."
This resistance (and your engine's thrust) of course alter your trajectory - the same way a boat's rudder does. But some aircraft have the ability to alter their orientation VERY far before those forces can even dream of catching up.

Biplanes are like this.
So at this point in time, right here, you should think of Kylie's biplane as a car that is doing a bootlegger's turn (J-turn), right now, it is literally skidding sideways. Direction of travel - they are zooming through the air feet-first right now.
This is the plane still rolling and yawing due to the continued rudder and elevator input (recalling how rudder yaw creates roll and elevator input exacerbates it,) but now their velocity is also changing VERY rapidly. Imagine a boat that suddenly starts skidding sideways...
That double set of wings - hitting the airstream flat-on - is causing TREMENDOUS drag. Furthermore, since this little bastard is so light, the aircraft doesn't have much inertia. (Or momentum, if you prefer). Low mas == less total kinetic energy to be overcome to alter trajectory
And that's why the aircraft just spazzes out in this bit; going into a tumbling spin. If you've ever been to an air-show you've probably seen a biplane do a tumbling spin just like this. In fact, Kylie could have begun a "Main Lomcovak" from here if she wanted to.
Now this is the part that looks most impossible to the untrained eye - because she's actually flying again, and in the opposite direction, having just been at 0 effective airspeed while tumbling. But remember, this is a trainer biplane.
Between the light weight and the DOUBLE LIFT, you need almost no airspeed to stay airborne in a biplane. This is why the famous AN-2 can "hover" in a light wind; it's stall speed is barely 25 MPH. And this Ki-9 tops out at 130 knots or so - and Kyliee was at cruising speed...
In fact, she was probably at significantly less than cruising speed - probably close to stall speed, to loiter, since they were flying right towards that "gate" and trying to observe them.

It looks impossible, but a biplane at low speeds can absolutely pull this kind of shit.
This is relevant to the historian or combat flight simulator pilot, because biplane fighters persisted into the early years of WWII - the I-15, the I-153 (an I-15 with gull-wings for visibility worth a damn,) and the Gloster Gladiator, which put in a brave showing in Greece.
There's also the tragically untold story of the air war over China, against the Japanese - Chinese pilots had their fights, and a few American volunteers died fighting for China before the AVG ever showed up. Biplanes featured there, too, on both sides.
Having tried this myself in sims, you find right quick that the handling characteristics make a biplane fighter a bit like a hedgehog. It's painfully slow, so it can never stay behind you long enough to shoot you. But every time you zoom in to attack, it WILL point at you.
Usually the safest direction to attack is from above - a pilot wanting to meet you head-on (as he should, obeying dicta #6,) has to time his climb veery carefully to not stall out too soon; very hard given the high closing speed of a diving fighter...
... but a biplane has ALL THE LIFT, so it not only climbs like a jackrabbit (till the airspeed runs out, at least,) but can go from "pointing nose at horizon" to "pointing straight up" very fast (again, two wings == lots of lift == tight turns/loops.)
Worse, biplane fighters tend to be of the older design (duh) and many of them were fabric-skinned; meaning that cannon-shells would whiff right through the empty parts of the wing without the fuzes being set off by the skin. They're surprisingly durable little bastards.
And as Kylie just demonstrated, they can really leave you talking to yourself.

However, with nothing to shoot back with, it's just a matter of time till they manage to plug her. They need help or a cloud bank fast, and I don't see many clouds around.
Oh my god I LOVE this show. Look carefully - the N1Ks have dropped their flaps, so they can come in slower and have a longer firing window.
Note that they're keeping the bullet holes in the starboard wing consistent in every shot.

I LOVE this show.
Note how the rudder is *opposite* the ailerons here; the rudder is actually doing the work of steering the nose (and thus the plane) through a tight spiral while the ailerons do the roll. This is basically an aileron roll with rudder used to make it a very tight barrel.
I've used this exact maneuver before many times during the merge when I wanted a very tight little roll as guns-defense - it's the one I described last episode during Reona's head-on fight; just using the rudder to steer through the spiral. I'm sure it has a proper name. No clue!
NEE-SAN'S PACKIN.

That's a "Type 92" machine gun, and yes, it is a shameless copy of the famous Lewis gun. Note the lack of the air-cooling jacket, since an aircraft has plenty of airflow. Doesn't have the wind-correcting sight you can see in The Mummy, though.
Also, nee-san here is in deep shit, because that's a shitty mount for air gunnery. He can lean a little left and right to keep his eyes behind the sights, but without a Scarff ring his covered arcs are almost nil.

Also WHERE ARE YOUR STRAPS, ASSHOLE?
It's really hard to believe that this booze-chuggin, Lewis-gun slinging badass here is related to AYY LMAO in any way, shape or form. If she comes from a UFO, he's probably the one that shot it down.
Well, they are piloted by fleshy human beings who react poorly to a 7.7mm bullet coming through the windscreen and into their head. They also do not like bullets hitting their engines, as durable as radials might be.
"Bandit's airspeed insufficient for intercept, suggest we get out and walk."
As I was saying. Not even a Zero can out-turn a biplane, but given how insanely well they DO turn, they're probably the best choice for staying with a very sharp turning biplane long enough to riddle it. Remember, you only need to match them long enough to shoot!
He sounds confident but WHY ISN'T HE SHOOTING
Oh yeah, that guy's fucked. One thing to remember about all this "lol it's slow" stuff is, even if you COULD slow down enough to saddle up on them, you probably shouldn't. Because it makes you a beautifully stationary target for the rear gunner(s).
See how this guy pulled even, then fell behind? He was pretty slow to start with to not completely overshoot them.

The defensive ability of this biplane lies not in its speed, but it's ability to maneuver sharply AT that speed. Otherwise, it's just a target.
The hedgehog in action - they're so much faster that by the time they've turned around they're well ahead of you. Biplanes don't follow them, they kind of just sit there tied to a string while the enemy turns around to return to their general area code.
Remember in Red Baron, how one of the damage decals your plane could get was a splintered bullet hole through a wing support strut?

Ahh, my childhood. Where's my Monster? *sip*
Because if they pass UNDER you, he has no shot.
If these assholes had ANY sense, they'd be coming in for a low-six bounce, staying in the dead zone under the plane, and shooting up behind it. In fights like this you're often in a 1v1 duel with the enemy gunner - you're aiming AT him, to kill him before he kills you.
Bullets will go right through the bottom of that thing. So Kylie would dive to prevent them from attacking from that angle, and they'd dive in turn, and pretty soon this would be a zero-altitude fight just skimming the dunes.
I've mentioned before how terribly intuitive this kind of gunnery is - it's the opposite of everything you've learned from normal "forward" gunnery. You usually aim between their nose and your tail to lead them. This guy was angling away just now, though.
A good way to deal with the blind spot but WHERE

ARE

YOUR

GOD

DAMNED

STRAPS

ASSHOLE
Well, I guess at THAT range you don't need to sweat lead.
oh fugge
HOW DID YOU *ALL* MISS

ARE YOU BLIND
To quote Capt. Steven Hiller, I think y'all gotta make a run here, gotta get low, gotta get fast. INTO THE CANYONS, NERD
Now the TV Tropes page likes to shit on these as overdramatic bullshit with no bearing on reality because "they can just fly OVER the canyon" but they don't seem to appreciate that with fixed forward-firing guns, where you aim is also where your plane will GO.
Kylie's biplane has a decided advantage here, because she can cut these corners a lot closer. That gives her a wider envelope of airspace she can fly into and still be able to turn the next corner. i.e. she can fly outside of where her bandits can point to shoot her.
And if they slow down they're gonna eat shit from the rear gunner.
"BACK TO CYDONIA, WENCH"
*CLICK CLICK*

"Out of Time Units!"
REALITY ENSUES
Control freak in complete denial.

P I L O T
Note the bandits aren't nosing down to finish them off because they've probably got their hands full flying just above stall speed. And inside a canyon is no place to get cute.

Despite Kylie's expression, she's in the absolute best plane to make a dead-stick landing in.
She dives for speed, then levels out to start looking for a place to use it. She'd better hope there's good news around that next corner.
Ah I see, she was just picking up speed so she could have some authority instead of just being tied to the glide-scope all the way down. Max performance glide means if you nose up any, you stall out. You don't pick where you land - physics does.
Nosing up like that is for the "landing flare." If you've ever seen a bird land on a branch, you've seen how they kind of catch the air with their wings to slow down before they touch down. It's the same general idea. Now SHE picks where to flare, thus, where exactly to land.
... well, at least they hit wheels-first! In a monoplane you probably wouldn't even have had time to get them down.
Remember what I said a few episodes back about de-assing the area after you belly in?

This is a really good time to put that into practice.
>too rattled to run for it immediately
>they just fly away

.... what was the point of this

WHAT THE HELL DID YOU COME OUT HERE TO DO, IF NOT TO KILL THEM

THEY'RE RIGHT THERE.

FUCK.

NOBODY FUCKING BELIEVES THAT SHIT

ARE YOU REALLY TELLING ME THEY'RE NOT GONNA FUCKING LIGHT THE PLANE UP WITH 20 MIKE MIKE JUST TO BE SURE OF THE JOB

FUCK YOOOOUUUUU
Something something every moron whining about MUH VENEZUELA in these last two weeks something
Does nobody in this damn setting have a clue what "AA" means past fifty caliber machine guns?
See, the reason it's hard to believe that "playing dead" is gonna cut the mustard is, 1. every pilot knows what a survivable landing looks like, 2., if you're serious about your paycheck you always make sure and 3. IF YOU COME AT THE KING YOU'D BEST NOT MISS
THE BOMB

DROPS
MY THOUGHTS EXACTLY
that explains NOTHING
BITE ME
I want to know what the hell is going on and where this going but I don't want this show to ever, ever end.

These are very complicated emotions for a liberal arts major to deal with. Usually all we deal with is crippling depression and self-hatred.
GOOD LUCK WITH THEM TWIN PEASHOOTERS GIRLS
... as usual, Kylie has the best expression.
Missing some Tweet in this thread?
You can try to force a refresh.

Like this thread? Get email updates or save it to PDF!

Subscribe to planefag
Profile picture

Get real-time email alerts when new unrolls are available from this author!

This content may be removed anytime!

Twitter may remove this content at anytime, convert it as a PDF, save and print for later use!

Try unrolling a thread yourself!

how to unroll video

1) Follow Thread Reader App on Twitter so you can easily mention us!

2) Go to a Twitter thread (series of Tweets by the same owner) and mention us with a keyword "unroll" @threadreaderapp unroll

You can practice here first or read more on our help page!

Follow Us on Twitter!

Did Thread Reader help you today?

Support us! We are indie developers!


This site is made by just three indie developers on a laptop doing marketing, support and development! Read more about the story.

Become a Premium Member ($3.00/month or $30.00/year) and get exclusive features!

Become Premium

Too expensive? Make a small donation by buying us coffee ($5) or help with server cost ($10)

Donate via Paypal Become our Patreon

Thank you for your support!