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Aircraft question

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Aircraft question
Post by Michae   » Mon Jul 25, 2016 2:21 am

Michae
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I was mentioned in another topic that steam-powered aircraft
were feasible but extremely hard to control.

Given that Charis have rockets coming into production now,would it be possible to produce a aircraft that
would not break the Proscriptions that could carry
a payload of a couple of dozen rockets and then
drop them on the enemy?
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Re: Aircraft question
Post by Michael Everett   » Mon Jul 25, 2016 3:44 am

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The most obvious attempt for a manned aircraft (assuming that the Writ hasn't reserved flight for birds, wyverns, Seijins and Archangels) would be the basic Hot Air Balloon. they already use parachute flares in night-time battles, so the notion of hot air holding something up is well-established.

The earliest types would probably be attached to a winch/windlass and used as mobile pseudo-towers for scouts and possibly snipers. They would rise above where bullets could hit and the scouts (armed with telescopes and/or binoculars) would send tactical updates down the rope. As the lines moved forwards, the balloon could then be wound back down and relocated with relative ease.

The discovery of lighter-than-air gas (Hydrogen) would give rise to Zeppelins, although the steam engines would be rather heavy and impractical for powering the propellers. A smaller type of engine would be required, but the lack of electricity means that something like a petrol piston engine would not be viable. It's possible that the turbines used to derive power from water (via the Accumulators) could lead to the creation of the Jet Engine, although ignition could be a minor issue (flint and steel?).

If jet engines are developed, the notion of attaching them to kites shouldn't take long, leading to the development of heavier-than-air flight. The creation of recoil-powered machine-guns would make arial strafing a valid tactic, in addition to simple bomb dropping. However, the bombs would have to be effectively unguided since guidance systems use electricity.

I leave it to any engineers amongst us to contemplate the feasibility of non-electrical jet turbines ...
~~~~~~

I can't write anywhere near as well as Weber
But I try nonetheless, And even do my own artwork.

(Now on Twitter)and mentioned by RFC!
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Re: Aircraft question
Post by ewlandmine99   » Mon Jul 25, 2016 11:05 am

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How you power the aircraft is pretty much irrelevant to how controllable it is. The forces acting on an aircraft in flight are gravity, lift, drag and thrust. Your engine is the thrust part and it does not really effect the others (quibble here because the torque from the engine has to be counteracted, but I'm keeping it simple).

The real issue with steam power in aircraft is power to weight ratio. There is no way to build a steam engine both light enough and powerful enough to be carried on an airplane. You might be able to do it with a lighter than air craft such as a dirigible. However, you will not be able to locate that engine anywhere near where you would want the thrust, hence you add even more weight, getting your power where you need it. Given where you would need to place the boiler, and its all important firebox, and the the craft is probably using hydrogen for lift you would probably be re-enacting the Hindenburg. This goes even more for launching rockets from the thing.

You would probably be much better trying to figure out how to do an internal combustion engine without electric sparkplugs (diesel anyone?). I'm not certain anyone has ever put a diesel engine on an airplane or not.

Finally, bombs, not rockets. I've already mentioned the issues with launching rockets from a dirigible. The early airplanes were made of wood with lacquered cloth covering the wings. We did not start shooting rockets from airplanes until we had advanced to all metal aircraft.

Hope this helps.

"To err is human, to forgive is not SAC policy"
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Re: Aircraft question
Post by n7axw   » Mon Jul 25, 2016 12:13 pm

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ewlandmine99 wrote:How you power the aircraft is pretty much irrelevant to how controllable it is. The forces acting on an aircraft in flight are gravity, lift, drag and thrust. Your engine is the thrust part and it does not really effect the others (quibble here because the torque from the engine has to be counteracted, but I'm keeping it simple).

The real issue with steam power in aircraft is power to weight ratio. There is no way to build a steam engine both light enough and powerful enough to be carried on an airplane. You might be able to do it with a lighter than air craft such as a dirigible. However, you will not be able to locate that engine anywhere near where you would want the thrust, hence you add even more weight, getting your power where you need it. Given where you would need to place the boiler, and its all important firebox, and the the craft is probably using hydrogen for lift you would probably be re-enacting the Hindenburg. This goes even more for launching rockets from the thing.

You would probably be much better trying to figure out how to do an internal combustion engine without electric sparkplugs (diesel anyone?). I'm not certain anyone has ever put a diesel engine on an airplane or not.

Finally, bombs, not rockets. I've already mentioned the issues with launching rockets from a dirigible. The early airplanes were made of wood with lacquered cloth covering the wings. We did not start shooting rockets from airplanes until we had advanced to all metal aircraft.

Hope this helps.

"To err is human, to forgive is not SAC policy"


Not quite right. There has been at least one heavier than air craft that made a successful flight. Google steam aircraft for an account of the Bessler brothers aircraft in 1933. Interesting.

Don

-
When any group seeks political power in God's name, both religion and politics are instantly corrupted.
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Re: Aircraft question
Post by phillies   » Mon Jul 25, 2016 1:26 pm

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n7axw wrote:
ewlandmine99 wrote:How you power the aircraft is pretty much irrelevant to how controllable it is. The forces acting on an aircraft in flight are gravity, lift, drag and thrust. Your engine is the thrust part and it does not really effect the others (quibble here because the torque from the engine has to be counteracted, but I'm keeping it simple).

The real issue with steam power in aircraft is power to weight ratio. There is no way to build a steam engine both light enough and powerful enough to be carried on an airplane. You might be able to do it with a lighter than air craft such as a dirigible. However, you will not be able to locate that engine anywhere near where you would want the thrust, hence you add even more weight, getting your power where you need it. Given where you would need to place the boiler, and its all important firebox, and the the craft is probably using hydrogen for lift you would probably be re-enacting the Hindenburg. This goes even more for launching rockets from the thing.

You would probably be much better trying to figure out how to do an internal combustion engine without electric sparkplugs (diesel anyone?). I'm not certain anyone has ever put a diesel engine on an airplane or not.

Finally, bombs, not rockets. I've already mentioned the issues with launching rockets from a dirigible. The early airplanes were made of wood with lacquered cloth covering the wings. We did not start shooting rockets from airplanes until we had advanced to all metal aircraft.

Hope this helps.

"To err is human, to forgive is not SAC policy"


Not quite right. There has been at least one heavier than air craft that made a successful flight. Google steam aircraft for an account of the Bessler brothers aircraft in 1933. Interesting.

Don

-


The very first airplane to achieve substantial positive lift had a steam engine and made a safe landing. It was built by Hiram Maxim. Yes, that Hiram Maxim. It was tethered. Tethering to multiple steel rails on both sides of the flight trajectory was a wise decision. While the lift was substantial -- It almost pulled the rails out of the ground -- the airplane had no arrangements for controlling its roll, pitch, or yaw.
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Re: Aircraft question
Post by n7axw   » Mon Jul 25, 2016 1:52 pm

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I was speaking of an honest to goodness first flight which could only occur after the difficulties of pitch and yaw were resolved.

Don

-
When any group seeks political power in God's name, both religion and politics are instantly corrupted.
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Re: Aircraft question
Post by Weird Harold   » Mon Jul 25, 2016 1:56 pm

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ewlandmine99 wrote:You would probably be much better trying to figure out how to do an internal combustion engine without electric sparkplugs (diesel anyone?). I'm not certain anyone has ever put a diesel engine on an airplane or not.


see: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aircraft_diesel_engine
.
.
.
Answers! I got lots of answers!

(Now if I could just find the right questions.)
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Re: Aircraft question
Post by Silverwall   » Mon Jul 25, 2016 3:02 pm

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Forget zepelins - no hydrogen to power them and extracting helium from natural gas requires a whole new industry (and realising that it exists given that it is so unreactive)

While conceptually possible as shows by the list in wikipedia I doubt that the fine scale engineering required for such compact steam engines will be developed before the fall of the church and the end of the proscriptions. Making small efficint high power steam engines is probably harder than making a small Internal combustion engine due to the fact that you have to recycle your feed water and maintain a small high pressure boiler. Also you would need to develop the petrochemical industry to power it. Liquid fuel is basically a necessity for this to be viable - can't exactly stoke an open boiler in an aircraft. Maybe this could be a use for firevine oil?

As for rockets, all air launched rockets are electrically triggered, given thier shape they have to be underwing so how the hell would a pilot launch them? Free fall iron bombs with a mechanical trigger release are far far more important and practical.

Finally what is the tactical reason for having aircraft? Historically the main function of early aircraft was artillery spotting and reconnisance. Recon is already covered by the senjin network and those in the inner circle with SNARCs and artillery spotting requires that pesky electricity for spark generation of a radio transmitter which is clearly a really bad idea in the Rauriki environment.

Lacking both radio and electricity I don't think that the aircraft would have any tactical value beyond replacing the cavalry screen in the recon role.

Strategically there is industrial bombing but given how controversial that proved in WW11 I am not sure that this is somewhere the inner circle would want to go. Also most of the targets are way deep in enemy territory so unless you want to build a carrier they probablly can't reach viable targets.

Edit:

Rocket launching from aircraft also requires that you make the launching wing from metal as hot rocket exhaust plus fabric wing skin is a really bad combo.

After consideration I think that the best use of tactical air power in a non radio environment is in behind the lines interdiction of supplies and disruption of enemy supply columns or attacking troops in march formation on the roads. Basically you want to keep them well away from a fluid front line to avoid blue on blue issues.
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Re: Aircraft question
Post by Michael Everett   » Mon Jul 25, 2016 4:12 pm

Michael Everett
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Silverwall wrote:--[SNIP]--
artillery spotting requires that pesky electricity for spark generation of a radio transmitter which is clearly a really bad idea in the Rakurai environment.
--[SNIP]--

Really? It does?
So what the Charisians are doing now via specially-trained advanced scouts doesn't count?
Surely a high enough hot air balloon would simply need some way to communicate directly with the guns, such as a Heliograph system or similar. A large square of white canvas mounted on the side of the basket with a black shutter-system akin to Venetian blinds would work almost as well for morse code transmissions.
If all else fails, some pulley-mounted metal tubes to carry rolls of parchment down the anchoring cable would work quite well since it could then be relayed via heliograph.
And not a single electrical system in sight (barring lightning strikes).
Seemples.
~~~~~~

I can't write anywhere near as well as Weber
But I try nonetheless, And even do my own artwork.

(Now on Twitter)and mentioned by RFC!
Animal Crossing Dreams at 6E00-00F5-2891
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Re: Aircraft question
Post by Silverwall   » Mon Jul 25, 2016 4:21 pm

Silverwall
Captain (Junior Grade)

Posts: 376
Joined: Mon Sep 26, 2011 11:53 pm

Michael Everett wrote:
Silverwall wrote:--[SNIP]--
artillery spotting requires that pesky electricity for spark generation of a radio transmitter which is clearly a really bad idea in the Rakurai environment.
--[SNIP]--

Really? It does?
So what the Charisians are doing now via specially-trained advanced scouts doesn't count?
Surely a high enough hot air balloon would simply need some way to communicate directly with the guns, such as a Heliograph system or similar. A large square of white canvas mounted on the side of the basket with a black shutter-system akin to Venetian blinds would work almost as well for morse code transmissions.
If all else fails, some pulley-mounted metal tubes to carry rolls of parchment down the anchoring cable would work quite well since it could then be relayed via heliograph.
And not a single electrical system in sight (barring lightning strikes).
Seemples.


Real life experience from world war one says that without radio artillery spotting from the air sucks ass. Heliograph and mirrors were tried but were very unusable. the best method was dropping message canisters and that was really only useful in a static environment not the fluid battlefields see so far. There is a reason artillery spotting aircraft were big and slow so they could carry the necessary observer and radio equipment.

From Wikipedia on the topic

"The critical discipline of communicating results led to rampant improvisation. At first it was not uncommon for aircraft to land next to command posts so the pilot could personally pass on urgent information. For artillery spotting, time was of the essence, and the French tried air-dropped messaging, colored flares, and pre-arranged aircraft maneuvers to convey information. France was reportedly the first to try airborne radios, often transmitters alone due to the weight penalty; others maintain that Britain preceded with the light-weight Sterling radio set in aircraft by 1915."

Edit: The big problem with your heliograph system is that aircraft and balloons with Heliograph messages are difficult to read as they are only readable on a face on viewing angle and don't stay in a consistent orientation to the viewer. Think of the trouble trying to reading a LCD screen from an acute angle during an earthquake as the screen bobs and sways in the wind. The amount of info required for artillery spotting is also quite high with at least 2 sets of co-ordinates needed.
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