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Sharonian Aircraft?

"Hell's Gate" and "Hell Hath No Fury", by David, Linda Evans, and Joelle Presby, take the clash of science and magic to a whole new dimension...join us in a friendly discussion of this engrossing series!
Re: Sharonian Aircraft?
Post by Jonathan_S   » Sun May 31, 2015 12:16 pm

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Mil-tech bard wrote:You seem to be a little unclear on the concept of "early warning" here --

Jonathan_S wrote:I'm not sure what a spotting network has to do with the inability of AA fire to reach high flying dragons. :?:


Yes, such a network gives early warning and limited raid tracking, allowing you to scramble and position your fighters (pursuit aircraft). A wonderful advantage for them in the pre-radar days.

But without early '30s pursuit airplanes (200+ mph top speed) or high-velocity AA guns in high angle mountings, I'm not sure what even Chennault could have done against 100+ mph high altitude bombers.

So such a network may become a useful part of countering dragons once the Sharonans get aircraft of their own. But prior to that it really only gives you a heads up to take cover - but doesn't assist much in being able to actually hit back against the dragons.


The ability of such networks to Voice-queue distance viewers to track Arcanian air mobile insertions after they pass through a gate oriented early warning networks means Arcanian raiding strategies within 100 plus miles of a portal or rail road nodal force position are doomed to run into a Bison and heavy artillery equipped Sharonan reaction forces with Voice direction from said distance viewer talents.

Remember, the Sharonan nodal forces can be on armored trains to rapidly get near Arcanian ground forces after the dragon transport drops them off. Trains that can move at up to 60 miles (100km) an hour.

Once the Sharonans get any Arcanian ground force -- other than unicorns -- under their Bison towed artillery fan. They are not getting away.

Arcanians cannot afford to commit dragons to pick up Arcanian forces inside Sharonan timed fragmentation artillery shell range.

Of course, the Arcanians have to take the casualties to learn this first.

Ok, but that's not what the sub-thread I was in was talking about. We were discussing the ability of Arcanan dragons to directly assault Sharonan defenses - not to raid around them.

Hence my confusion on how significant early warning would help defenders when it only take a couple minutes to bring online what guns they have with any AA usefulness.


But in the wider discussion of Arcanan raiders inserted behind the lines I can see where a robust spotting network can reduce the effectiveness of that strategy. (If you'd given the context of your thought I wouldn't have been so confused at the apparent non-sequitur)
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Re: Sharonian Aircraft?
Post by Mil-tech bard   » Sun May 31, 2015 4:15 pm

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And it appears you are still unclear on the concept of aerial early warning being of immense military value.


Jonathan_S wrote:
Mil-tech bard wrote:You seem to be a little unclear on the concept of "early warning" here --


Yes, such a network gives early warning and limited raid tracking, allowing you to scramble and position your fighters (pursuit aircraft). A wonderful advantage for them in the pre-radar days.

But without early '30s pursuit airplanes (200+ mph top speed) or high-velocity AA guns in high angle mountings, I'm not sure what even Chennault could have done against 100+ mph high altitude bombers.

So such a network may become a useful part of countering dragons once the Sharonans get aircraft of their own. But prior to that it really only gives you a heads up to take cover - but doesn't assist much in being able to actually hit back against the dragons.


The ability of such networks to Voice-queue distance viewers to track Arcanian air mobile insertions after they pass through a gate oriented early warning networks means Arcanian raiding strategies within 100 plus miles of a portal or rail road nodal force position are doomed to run into a Bison and heavy artillery equipped Sharonan reaction forces with Voice direction from said distance viewer talents.

Remember, the Sharonan nodal forces can be on armored trains to rapidly get near Arcanian ground forces after the dragon transport drops them off. Trains that can move at up to 60 miles (100km) an hour.

Once the Sharonans get any Arcanian ground force -- other than unicorns -- under their Bison towed artillery fan. They are not getting away.

Arcanians cannot afford to commit dragons to pick up Arcanian forces inside Sharonan timed fragmentation artillery shell range.

Of course, the Arcanians have to take the casualties to learn this first.
Ok, but that's not what the sub-thread I was in was talking about. We were discussing the ability of Arcanan dragons to directly assault Sharonan defenses - not to raid around them.

Hence my confusion on how significant early warning would help defenders when it only take a couple minutes to bring online what guns they have with any AA usefulness.


But in the wider discussion of Arcanan raiders inserted behind the lines I can see where a robust spotting network can reduce the effectiveness of that strategy. (If you'd given the context of your thought I wouldn't have been so confused at the apparent non-sequitur)



The military value of early warning is not limited simply to vectoring fighters nor anti-aircraft fire.

Although in the latter case having all your guns looking at the proper threat vector means the guns can all engage at maximum range as opposed to whatever in range cam can engage after a 360 degree hemispheric search picks up the threat.

Another example of early warning usefulness was the WW2 Germans use of radar/visual early warning networks of air raids to set off smoke generators around their oil and coal-liquification refineries to hide them from B-17 Nordon bomb sights. (There are implications in that historical example.)

Your inability to see the full implications of early warning are the same sort of paradigm blindness/frame of reference errors US Navy Admirals Turner and Nimitz made at Okinawa with Japanese land based radars.

The Japanese never developed US/UK/German style radar fighter direction and the US Navy assumed early warning radars not performing it were little threat at Okinawa.

The existence of Japanese E.W. radars on islands inside the US Navy's destroyer picket screen at Okinawa was as responsible for the blood bath the US pickets took at there as the attacking planes themselves.

The Japanese radar could see all the US Navy combat air patrol stations around Okinawa in real time.

See the following, it is typed from the after action report (AAR) of the naval invasion force commander for Kume Shima in early July 1945 --

Commander Task Group 31.24 ( ComDes Ron 63)
Subject: Action Report - Capture of KUME SHIMA, Okinawa Gunto, 25-27 June 1945

----
6. Conclusion

Destroyers who hare done Radar Picket duty around Okinawa the past three months have long been suspicious of KUME SHIMA. bogies seemed to appear if by magic, from the shadows of this island; and on the few occasions they were able to use a round trip ticket, disappear as strangely into KUME.

The landing strip, immediately behind Green Beach, contained a number of wrecked planes. indicating it my have been used for emergency landings. The strip itself, however, was reported to be in such poor shape that it could hardly have been used as an operational or even staging field. It seems probable that a radar and radio on KUME SHIMA served as a beacon to bogies approaching the Okinawa Area from the south and west.

The destroyers, then, perhaps more so than any other units, will be glad to see this island out of enemy hands. It should make a first rate, unsinkable Radar Picket, and soon relieve the destroyers of their vigil along the FORMOSA-OKINAWA Air Highway."
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Re: Sharonian Aircraft?
Post by n7axw   » Sat Aug 01, 2015 1:01 pm

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As we think about the subject of an airforce for Sharona, I think that in our own timeline we have to think of WW1. They seem to be about 20 years away from being able to come up with planes comparable to the Sopwith Pups, the Camels, the Fokkers and so on. Whether or not the war will last that long, of course, is a different question… probably not. But let’s assume for a bit that they do get airborne quickly enough for it to matter in this war. Given that, let’s pose some questions.

Would it be beneficial for them to do so? Yes. WW1 aircraft had a range of say, 150 miles, give or take. That would be very useful for reconnaissance, providing cover for ground positions and so on. These craft were not well enough developed to provide significant transport, although that came rather quickly after the war.

Could WW1 fighters keep up? The dragons would be faster. They can fly at about 200 mph, although it has to be borne in mind that this would be a burst speed that the dragon couldn’t maintain for any extended period of time. I did a bit of googling and found that the top end for a WW1 fighter would be about 120 mph. There was one toward the end of the war that achieved 146 mph, but most were in that 100 to 120 range. In fact, some of the slower ones were quite effective. The Fokker flown by the Red Barron had a top end of 107 mph.

How about maneuverability? The fighters would have the edge here, probably a pretty solid one. They can dip, dive, spiral and climb in ways that dragons cannot. There is one piece of text evidence that suggests that the dragons are agile and must be so to compete with enemy gryphons. But agile does not mean maneuverability –unless you believe that something between 40 and 60 tons is going to be able to tap dance. There are the laws of inertia and gravity and unless those have been canceled, they are not going to be able to twist and turn like a Sopwith Pup at roughly 1500 lb.

Who can climb higher? The dragons can probably go higher. The ceiling for a fighter, IIRC, is in the neighborhood of from 12,000 to 15,000 feet. When Shaylar and Jathmar rode over the top of that one mountain range on a transport dragon, they were handed oxygen tanks so they could continue to breathe. How high up would that be? Perhaps 20,000 feet or higher? That would be my guess, anyway.

How about absorbing damage? Face it! If a fighter gets hit by a dragon, the pilot can kiss his arse goodbye. It’s flameout time.

Could they compete with the dragons for air supremacy? The answer here is a qualified yes, but only with proper doctrine. So what would that be? Let’s start out by avoiding the idea of going one on one. I suspect that a black dragon wins a contest with a Fokker because his effective range with lightening weapon will be longer than the effective range of a machine gun in a bucking, jinxing plane trying to avoid the blacks target zone. Fighters would be a bit more effective against the reds with their fireballs. And yellows would be toast in the same contest. I would suggest that the key here would be to swarm the dragons, providing with so many targets that they wouldn’t be able to react to all of them. Call it the swarm. From what we’ve seen so far, you probably are not going to have more than 15-20 dragons in the same flight. Swarm those dragons with 100-150 fighters. You will lose some planes…maybe lots of planes. But the dragons will be toast as well and figher pilots can be trained and planes manufactured whereas the dragons will simply be gone. And we already know that the supply of battle dragons is low. It wouldn’t be too long before Sharona owned the skies above any potential battlefield.

So…my two cents on the aircraft discussion for what its worth.

Don
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Re: Sharonian Aircraft?
Post by phillies   » Sat Aug 01, 2015 1:59 pm

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Speaking of Dragons: "...There are the laws of inertia and gravity and unless those have been canceled,..."

It would appear that those have been cancelled. Dragons certainly do not fly by flapping their wings to generate lift.
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Re: Sharonian Aircraft?
Post by n7axw   » Sat Aug 01, 2015 2:54 pm

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phillies wrote:Speaking of Dragons: "...There are the laws of inertia and gravity and unless those have been canceled,..."

It would appear that those have been cancelled. Dragons certainly do not fly by flapping their wings to generate lift.


M missing a trick here, Explain please.

Don
When any group seeks political power in God's name, both religion and politics are instantly corrupted.
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Re: Sharonian Aircraft?
Post by phillies   » Sat Aug 01, 2015 3:25 pm

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n7axw wrote:
phillies wrote:Speaking of Dragons: "...There are the laws of inertia and gravity and unless those have been canceled,..."

It would appear that those have been cancelled. Dragons certainly do not fly by flapping their wings to generate lift.


M missing a trick here, Explain please.

Don


They weigh 40 tons.
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Re: Sharonian Aircraft?
Post by Astelon   » Sat Aug 01, 2015 8:08 pm

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phillies wrote:Speaking of Dragons: "...There are the laws of inertia and gravity and unless those have been canceled,..."

It would appear that those have been cancelled. Dragons certainly do not fly by flapping their wings to generate lift.


Textev indicates that they do fly by flapping their wings, although there might be a magical assist using the dragons ability to harness magic (how they power their breath weapon) and cancel some inertia or gravity.

I just pointed out in another thread that there is not much to stop the arcanans from building their own aircraft, using magic as the power source. The only question is a problem of "fuel" density (how much power can an accumulator store for its weight), and the idea occurring (or being shown to them).
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Re: Sharonian Aircraft?
Post by n7axw   » Sat Aug 01, 2015 10:17 pm

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phillies wrote:
They weigh 40 tons.


That is precisely what I'm pointing out. Even if you do get a magic assist levitating them upward and even a power assist as they go, although there is no textev for any magic for anything other than their weapons, at 100 plus mph, they have this thing called momentum (inertia). Unless they come with inertial compensators, an abrupt change in vector is going to be awefully hard on a poor dragon's body even if is possible at all...which I rather strongly doubt. 40 tons is going to take a lot of compensating if you are going to avoid damaging the beast.

I am perfectly well aware that our authors can change the laws of physics if doing so suits their storyline. However my own assumption is that unless we have either textev from the books or a post from the author, the physics is normal. I don't see any other way to have an intelligable conversation. And with the subject currently under consideration, I am unaware of any evidence that things are not what we would normally expect.

Don
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Re: Sharonian Aircraft?
Post by Keith_w   » Sun Aug 02, 2015 7:39 am

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phillies wrote:Speaking of Dragons: "...There are the laws of inertia and gravity and unless those have been canceled,..."

It would appear that those have been cancelled. Dragons certainly do not fly by flapping their wings to generate lift.


In Hell's Gate, the 1st dragon we meet takes off by running and flapping it's wings. It needed to run down the stream bed because that was the only open space available for it to build up to takeoff speed. In other words, dragons need runways.
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Re: Sharonian Aircraft?
Post by Astelon   » Mon Aug 03, 2015 6:43 pm

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Keith_w wrote:In Hell's Gate, the 1st dragon we meet takes off by running and flapping it's wings. It needed to run down the stream bed because that was the only open space available for it to build up to takeoff speed. In other words, dragons need runways.


They might have a system that lets them negate inertia, but not create it. Therefore large dragons need room to build the speed for a take off, but not for a landing. This would also let them maneuver better than their weight would indicate, although there are likely to be some kind of trade off (slowing down while using any inertia cancelling). I'm not saying they have one, just considering the possibility.
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