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Another Aircarft thread

"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!
Another Aircarft thread
Post by Trevor   » Sun Feb 02, 2014 9:43 am

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Starting over on the aircraft discussion that was hijacked by the quartermaster corps. 8-)

As of the HHNF, we've seen internal combustion engines. The steam engines we've seen are probably similar to the engines developed by the Doble/Bresler brothers.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Doble_steam_car
One engine was successfully used to power an aircraft in the 1930's.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steam_aircraft
So power plants are available.

The HG universe is set around the 1930's, based on the Krakatoa eruption.

Wilhelm Kress, Samuel Pierpont Langley, Gustave Whitehead, and the Wright Brothers were all contemporaries working on powered flight around 1900. Their failures and successes were based off work on gliders in the 1890.

It is possible that Sharonon's powered flight, but it's still in it's infancy. Voices, plotters, and distance viewers all remove some of the military advantages of pursuing flight. Early military aviation was for reconnaissance and dropping things, it was only after pilots started trying to kill each other that guns were added. Why pursue aviation when Talents provide more reliable, safer, and faster recon? And if you can see it, you can probably shoot it(Distance Viewer gun or battery Captains)

Commercial aviation may also be a non-starter, as Voices and Flickers can move information and small packages. There are even Teleporters for VIP's.

Based on all of the above, I could see a small group of aviation enthusiasts working on aircraft design and theory in garages and at universities/colleges. The designs will be than the Wright Flyer, but mostly one off prototypes or kits.

Against this Arcana has a 20 year production cycle for dragons. 20 years from Kittyhawk, aircraft were far more capable.
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Re: Another Aircarft thread
Post by Mil-tech bard   » Sun Feb 02, 2014 1:53 pm

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The impact of talents will reduce Sharonan pre-War Dragon encounter thoughts of aircraft, no doubt.

However, there is a much easier and timely Sharonan lighter-than-air counter to Dragons.

They are called Barrage Balloons.

It is darned hard to dive bomb or fly low over a position with several barrages of balloons over and surrounding it.

The combination of Sharonan automatic weapons, precognitive talents, far viewer talents, and barrage balloons will make taking any further Sharonan forts...problematic...once the Sharonan's get around to such aerial fortifications.
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Re: Another Aircarft thread
Post by brnicholas   » Sun Jul 06, 2014 11:36 am

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I remember the past aircraft threads and think they reflected a major error. That error is to assume that dragons are like aircraft. They are not. There are two very significant differences.

First, dragons do not require the short term support structure that aircraft do. They don't need runways or gasoline, at least in the short term. The ability to land anywhere, rest and recover (including hunting if the dragon is hungry) and then take off again has major military effects. The big one for the aircraft discussion is that it means aircraft cannot hunt down dragons. If a dragon force sees aircraft coming which it can't fight it will turn directly away from them and run, it doesn't have to run toward anything, when the aircraft have to turn around to go back to their base the dragons land, rest and then go on.

Second, dragons are much easier for AA to shoot down then aircraft. Most of the battles in the series involve too much surprise or too many doctrinal errors to give us a comparison to aircraft but we can use one for comparison. Hundred Myr's second attack on Fort Salby. He took twelve dragons in a dive bombing attack on a prepared target and lost 8 of them and two more were badly hurt. 66% losses by dive bombers to improvised and manually aimed AA fire!! I'm not a military historian but nothing I have read indicates that dive bombing defended targets was anywhere near that dangerous when there weren't fighters to defend the targets. To me that says dragons are far easier for AA to shoot down then aircraft.

In my evaluation the combination of these two factors means that an airfield and an artillery base are very similar for defending against dragons. Each establishes a sphere within which dragons can be engaged and beyond that sphere can't touch dragons. The comparison of them is simply a question of which requires more resources to cover the necessary area. I doubt we can really judge that but it also doesn't matter, given how angry and scared Sharona is whatever resources are required will be provided.

Nicholas
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Re: Another Aircarft thread
Post by Howard T. Map-addict   » Mon Jul 07, 2014 12:24 pm

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Barrage Balloons might be destroyed by lightning strikes.
OTOH, each strike could only destroy or damage 1 balloon.
A fireball could also knock out a balloon, but the Fire
Dragon would have to get much closer than the Lighting
Dragon would.
And then the Magister-Magicians might design Spells to
destroy many balloons at once, but those spells would
get weaker as they got closer to Sharona.

Weber & Presby will tell us the Authors' Truth about it.

HTM

Mil-tech bard wrote:The impact of talents will reduce Sharonan pre-War Dragon encounter thoughts of aircraft, no doubt.

However, there is a much easier and timely Sharonan lighter-than-air counter to Dragons.

They are called Barrage Balloons.

It is darned hard to dive bomb or fly low over a position with several barrages of balloons over and surrounding it.

The combination of Sharonan automatic weapons, precognitive talents, far viewer talents, and barrage balloons will make taking any further Sharonan forts...problematic...once the Sharonan's get around to such aerial fortifications.
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Re: Another Aircarft thread
Post by Howard T. Map-addict   » Mon Jul 07, 2014 12:28 pm

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1 I understand it to be set about 1910,
based on Sharonan Technology available.

2 Were we told Arcana's Dragon Breeding Cycle?
ISTR about 30 years, but I may have imagined it.

HTM

Trevor wrote:
[snip - htm]
1 The HG universe is set around the 1930's,
based on the Krakatoa eruption.

[snip - htm]

2 Against this Arcana has a 20 year production cycle for dragons. 20 years from Kittyhawk, aircraft were far more capable.
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Re: Another Aircarft thread
Post by PeterZ   » Mon Jul 07, 2014 2:34 pm

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My recollection was 20 years to raise and train your dragon. I am not certain enough to argue.

Howard T. Map-addict wrote:1 I understand it to be set about 1910,
based on Sharonan Technology available.

2 Were we told Arcana's Dragon Breeding Cycle?
ISTR about 30 years, but I may have imagined it.

HTM

Trevor wrote:
[snip - htm]
1 The HG universe is set around the 1930's,
based on the Krakatoa eruption.

[snip - htm]

2 Against this Arcana has a 20 year production cycle for dragons. 20 years from Kittyhawk, aircraft were far more capable.
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Re: Another Aircarft thread
Post by Howard T. Map-addict   » Thu Jul 10, 2014 10:13 am

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So we agree that the number has a curve on top of it.
:D
HTM

PeterZ wrote:My recollection was 20 years to raise and train your dragon. I am not certain enough to argue.

Howard T. Map-addict wrote:

2 Were we told Arcana's Dragon Breeding Cycle?
ISTR about 30 years, but I may have imagined it.

HTM

"Trevor" had written:

2 Against this Arcana has a 20 year production cycle for dragons. 20 years from Kittyhawk, aircraft were far more capable.
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Re: Barrage Balloons
Post by brnicholas   » Thu Jul 10, 2014 4:44 pm

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I think barrage balloons would be less effective against dragons then they are against normal aircraft. We have some evidence, because Shaylar noted several times when she first met dragons that they seemed to slow down too fast, that dragons are not subject to the normal laws of physics. I expect they use magic to slow down for landing and as a result are probably more maneuverable then aircraft and so would have an easier time flying between them then aircraft.

Of course that doesn't mean they won't work well enough to protect targets from dragon attack.

Nicholas
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Re: Barrage Balloons
Post by PeterZ   » Thu Jul 10, 2014 7:17 pm

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If dragons require magic to perform at optimal levels, then they become less functional the closer to Sharona they move. Best to assume they require magic to create/gestate and their physical abilities allow them to fly adroitly. That way Sharona doesn't depend on assumption which are too optimistic.

brnicholas wrote:I think barrage balloons would be less effective against dragons then they are against normal aircraft. We have some evidence, because Shaylar noted several times when she first met dragons that they seemed to slow down too fast, that dragons are not subject to the normal laws of physics. I expect they use magic to slow down for landing and as a result are probably more maneuverable then aircraft and so would have an easier time flying between them then aircraft.

Of course that doesn't mean they won't work well enough to protect targets from dragon attack.

Nicholas
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Re: Another Aircarft thread
Post by JOETHEMAN   » Fri Jul 11, 2014 12:17 pm

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The biggest threat from dragons is that of bombers,
Take a few transport dragons load them with those magical demo charges or some magical naplam and they can do some serious damage.
especialy since the Shornians do not have proximity fuses for their retasked guns.
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