Topic Actions

Topic Search

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests

Rocket-powered interceptors?

This fascinating series is a combination of historical seafaring, swashbuckling adventure, and high technological science-fiction. Join us in a discussion!
Rocket-powered interceptors?
Post by Dilandu   » Mon Oct 14, 2019 7:31 am

Dilandu
Admiral

Posts: 2394
Joined: Sat May 07, 2011 12:44 pm
Location: Russia

Well, if our phenomenal battleship-killing Church rockets weren't retconned yet ;) , then what about going a bit forward with them? What if we think about rocket-powered interceptor aircraft?

The idea is not excactly impossible one. A rocket-powered interceptor was suggested in France during World War I:

[img]https://rec.aviation.military.narkive.com/dYYPYv7o/1917-riffard-rm-1-rdp-rocket-plane:i.1.1.full

[/img]

https://rec.aviation.military.narkive.c ... i.1.1.full

Technically, it is not impossible for blackpowder rocket of enough size and in enough quantity to propel the light biplane. Pre-war "photographic rockets" - reconnaisance rockets designed to launch a photo camera into sky and return it on parachute - were good enough. Of course, a dozen or two of such engines could led to the point of catastrophic failure very fast... but hey, only the most daring ones went into early aviation anyway)

So the idea: let's someone outside the Charis develope the idea of rocket-powered plane. :) After all, kites - including box kites - hardly could be unknow on Safehold, and any country could born a Otto Lilienthal. Who would start with kites, then (maybe with some ideas from Merlin) went to gliders... And then figured out that they have rockets big enough to actually carry a glider in the sky.

P.S. IMHO, but it would fit the Deshnari pretty good. For their noble-based culture, the idea of "knights of the sky", roaring on rockets upward to meet Charisian airships would fit perfectly. During World War 1 (after cavalry proven itself outdated), quite a lot of young, eager aristocratic cavalerists found thenselves in aviation, where they could express their personal skill, courage and general coolness.
------------------------------

Oh well, if shortening the front is what the Germans crave,
Let's shorten it to very end - the length of Fuhrer's grave.

(Red Army lyrics from 1945)
Top
Re: Rocket-powered interceptors?
Post by WeberFan   » Mon Oct 14, 2019 8:15 am

WeberFan
Captain (Junior Grade)

Posts: 354
Joined: Fri Mar 27, 2015 9:12 am

Relatively easy to make something that will fly. Something altogether different to make something that can TURN or be controlled at any kind of speed.

I ran a couple quick calculations...

Assume a horizontal stabilizer on a "conventional" aircraft.

Now assume an elevator (control surface) attached to the back of that horizontal stabilizer that's 20 square feet (2 feet wide and 10 feet long) in total area. We can quibble about size all day long, but I just picked numbers out or a hat to illustrate the point.

Finally, assume that the aircraft is moving at 150 MPH (reasonable, I think for something that has to actually "fly" instead of just "floating").

If the elevator is moved to a 30 degree angle, then the "apparent" area (the area that the wind "sees" as the aircraft moves through the sky is 10 square feet (the sine of 30 degrees is 0.5, times the area).

Based on the 20 SF area, the 150 MPH, and the 30 degree angle, the force required to hold the elevator in position is 576 pounds! At 5 degrees (a much more reasonable number for an aircraft in flight), the force is still 100.4 pounds. More reasonable, but not something a human could exert repeatedly during flight.

The faster you go, the less you have to displace the control surface (degrees). But in slow-speed flight, you need a large surface displaced a large amount to get adequate controllability for takeoffs and landings, especially if there are any winds.

For a more conventional aircraft design, the same model holds true for ailerons (roll) and rudder (yaw). It COULD be done, but you'd have a really fatigued pilot. You'd need a Praigr steam engine for control power assist...

His Celeryness gave us a clue to the problem in one of the books where he was discussing the force exerted by the wind on a galleon's sails... The actual formula is 0.00256*V*V where V is the velocity in MPH and the total force is in Pounds per Square Foot. Beyond that, it's basic trigonometry.

Don't get me wrong... It IS possible... WWI aircraft with all-mechanical controls proved that. But it's NOT as simple as it appears at first glance.
Top
Re: Rocket-powered interceptors?
Post by DrakBibliophile   » Mon Oct 14, 2019 8:40 am

DrakBibliophile
Admiral

Posts: 2289
Joined: Sun Sep 06, 2009 2:54 pm
Location: East Central Illinois

Then there's the problem of controlling the thrust of the engine.

The pilot likely won't be able control the thrust of a "solid rocket". IE The rocket burns until all of the propellants are used up.

Liquid propellants could be "turned down" (ie for landing) but use of liquid propellants may be beyond the ability of Safehold (non-Charis) technology.

WeberFan wrote:Relatively easy to make something that will fly. Something altogether different to make something that can TURN or be controlled at any kind of speed.

I ran a couple quick calculations...

Assume a horizontal stabilizer on a "conventional" aircraft.

Now assume an elevator (control surface) attached to the back of that horizontal stabilizer that's 20 square feet (2 feet wide and 10 feet long) in total area. We can quibble about size all day long, but I just picked numbers out or a hat to illustrate the point.

Finally, assume that the aircraft is moving at 150 MPH (reasonable, I think for something that has to actually "fly" instead of just "floating").

If the elevator is moved to a 30 degree angle, then the "apparent" area (the area that the wind "sees" as the aircraft moves through the sky is 10 square feet (the sine of 30 degrees is 0.5, times the area).

Based on the 20 SF area, the 150 MPH, and the 30 degree angle, the force required to hold the elevator in position is 576 pounds! At 5 degrees (a much more reasonable number for an aircraft in flight), the force is still 100.4 pounds. More reasonable, but not something a human could exert repeatedly during flight.

The faster you go, the less you have to displace the control surface (degrees). But in slow-speed flight, you need a large surface displaced a large amount to get adequate controllability for takeoffs and landings, especially if there are any winds.

For a more conventional aircraft design, the same model holds true for ailerons (roll) and rudder (yaw). It COULD be done, but you'd have a really fatigued pilot. You'd need a Praigr steam engine for control power assist...

His Celeryness gave us a clue to the problem in one of the books where he was discussing the force exerted by the wind on a galleon's sails... The actual formula is 0.00256*V*V where V is the velocity in MPH and the total force is in Pounds per Square Foot. Beyond that, it's basic trigonometry.

Don't get me wrong... It IS possible... WWI aircraft with all-mechanical controls proved that. But it's NOT as simple as it appears at first glance.
*
Paul Howard (Alias Drak Bibliophile)
*
Sometimes The Dragon Wins! [Polite Dragon Smile]
*
Top
Re: Rocket-powered interceptors?
Post by Dilandu   » Mon Oct 14, 2019 8:49 am

Dilandu
Admiral

Posts: 2394
Joined: Sat May 07, 2011 12:44 pm
Location: Russia

WeberFan wrote:Don't get me wrong... It IS possible... WWI aircraft with all-mechanical controls proved that. But it's NOT as simple as it appears at first glance.


Of course not. But we have good uncle Merlin to help with calculations, and other stuff. After all, even with his pro-Charisian bias, he could hardly just ignore the breakthrough ideas in other nations?
------------------------------

Oh well, if shortening the front is what the Germans crave,
Let's shorten it to very end - the length of Fuhrer's grave.

(Red Army lyrics from 1945)
Top
Re: Rocket-powered interceptors?
Post by Dilandu   » Mon Oct 14, 2019 8:50 am

Dilandu
Admiral

Posts: 2394
Joined: Sat May 07, 2011 12:44 pm
Location: Russia

DrakBibliophile wrote:Then there's the problem of controlling the thrust of the engine.

The pilot likely won't be able control the thrust of a "solid rocket". IE The rocket burns until all of the propellants are used up.

Liquid propellants could be "turned down" (ie for landing) but use of liquid propellants may be beyond the ability of Safehold (non-Charis) technology.


Yep. So basically the idea of solid-fuel rocket interceptor (Japanese actually tried to make one in 1945, but did not have time) is to burn your rockets one after other, gaining speed & altitude, then climb, using remaining momentum, as high as possible, and glide toward target.
------------------------------

Oh well, if shortening the front is what the Germans crave,
Let's shorten it to very end - the length of Fuhrer's grave.

(Red Army lyrics from 1945)
Top
Re: Rocket-powered interceptors?
Post by SilverbladeTE   » Mon Oct 14, 2019 2:25 pm

SilverbladeTE
Captain (Junior Grade)

Posts: 308
Joined: Sat Jan 12, 2019 8:14 am

At the moment all Charis enemies need is an interceptor capable of attacking an airship!

Why not create something more akin to manned, but powerless, V-1 *glider*?
Use rockets or steam to propel an unpowered glider along a ramp.
This would overcome many problems and allow a craft faster than an airship.
You may also add small, detachable rockets to the craft of course for extra boost.

Armed with rockets, it could be a real threat to dirigibles

And, crucially begin from a project to give a reconnaissance platform. Recon is even more important than combat.

Additionally it would obviously result in basic cruise missiles carrying heavier warheads further than pure rockets could, considering tech limits.
Kamaikazi V1s or unmanned bombardment weapons

You know, there's nothing to stop anyone developing a pulse jet engine, they are incredibly simple....
Top
Re: Rocket-powered interceptors?
Post by Dilandu   » Mon Oct 14, 2019 4:43 pm

Dilandu
Admiral

Posts: 2394
Joined: Sat May 07, 2011 12:44 pm
Location: Russia

SilverbladeTE wrote:
You know, there's nothing to stop anyone developing a pulse jet engine, they are incredibly simple....


Well, nothig with the exeption that RFC absolutely hate when Good Guys do not have absolute technical advantage :D But I agree with you completely, it is possible to have working pulsejet even in Safeholdian conditions.
------------------------------

Oh well, if shortening the front is what the Germans crave,
Let's shorten it to very end - the length of Fuhrer's grave.

(Red Army lyrics from 1945)
Top
Re: Rocket-powered interceptors?
Post by SilverbladeTE   » Mon Oct 14, 2019 8:10 pm

SilverbladeTE
Captain (Junior Grade)

Posts: 308
Joined: Sat Jan 12, 2019 8:14 am

Dilandu wrote:
SilverbladeTE wrote:
You know, there's nothing to stop anyone developing a pulse jet engine, they are incredibly simple....


Well, nothig with the exeption that RFC absolutely hate when Good Guys do not have absolute technical advantage :D But I agree with you completely, it is possible to have working pulsejet even in Safeholdian conditions.


true, but...I like RFC's fiction, because the Good Guys *win*, more or less and they are "good guys".
Dunno about you mate, but I am heartily sick to death of scumbags messing it up and abusing folk :(
fiction is along with my beloved dog, and playing Fallout or Skyrim on good days, a pleasure :)

heck, it would be fun to imagine giving 1250 AD folk of Europe and Russia flintlock technology and see if that eventually stops the damn Mongols...and thus all the garbage those arseholes set in motion ;)


writers should also consider folk creating sort of "pseudo technologies"
just because we haven't come up with some invention, doesn't mean it's impossible provided the Laws of Physics aren't against it.
So letting say, a Desnairian create the "Tribble-Dalek Steam Thingy Ma'bob (tm)", :lol: :twisted: a steam engine that's only suitable for say one purpose that has limitations (like it's good for small high speed, or large low speed only) but in that bailiwick it's BETTER than the engines we know, is perfectly reasonable.

really surprising no one DIDN'T invent the pulse jet earlier
or the Fresno Scraper (one of my most fave bits of uber simple tech that is not appreciated enough, IMHO)
Top
Re: Rocket-powered interceptors?
Post by Dilandu   » Tue Oct 15, 2019 12:04 am

Dilandu
Admiral

Posts: 2394
Joined: Sat May 07, 2011 12:44 pm
Location: Russia

SilverbladeTE wrote:

true, but...I like RFC's fiction, because the Good Guys *win*, more or less and they are "good guys".
Dunno about you mate, but I am heartily sick to death of scumbags messing it up and abusing folk


Silverblade, I have nothing against "good guys win", and love happy endings, but I always thought that any major victory the good guys achieve must be a challenge, and the bad guys must be worthy of their adversaries. Including in technology. That's why I stopped to read Honorverse eventually: the good guys became so ridiculously overpowered, that basically they faced no real challenge at all, and only victories bad guys manages to score were through some kind of extreme treacherousness that good guys "failed to notice".

Thing is, RFC never allows bad guys to have comparable technology, not to mention superiority in some area. They always are hopelessly backward (even if it is not logical), they could not hope to do anything more than temporarily surprise the good guys with crude analogue of good guys technology (like Haven surprised Manticore with MDM of their own).

The good guys, on the other hands, never have unreliable technology, never seriously invest in technological dead ends, never even made a mistake in doctrine or underestimate some promising technology. They always have state-of-art tech that is best in the world, which is always refined to highest extent possible. Bursting cannons, unreliable torpedoes are only reserved for bad guys. We never saw Manticore Navy losing battle after battle just because their ultra-high-tech "Apollo" system, rushed into production during wartime, have a bug, or lose frequency, or messed up with fire control channels (which in real world would basically be taken as granted for such massive high-tech improvement).

P.S. As a good counter-example, see Taylor Anderson "Destroyermen". Not only good & bad guys are constantly locked in vicious arm race, but bad guys sometimes have better technology that good guys could not immediately counter, good guys made serious technological mistakes, their newest equipment are quite often unreliable to the point of being more dangerous to them, than to the enemy), and they are often forced to be stuck with outdated, ineffective equipment just because it is mass-produced, and any attempt to replace it would bring the disruption of industry.
------------------------------

Oh well, if shortening the front is what the Germans crave,
Let's shorten it to very end - the length of Fuhrer's grave.

(Red Army lyrics from 1945)
Top
Re: Rocket-powered interceptors?
Post by SilverbladeTE   » Tue Oct 15, 2019 4:17 am

SilverbladeTE
Captain (Junior Grade)

Posts: 308
Joined: Sat Jan 12, 2019 8:14 am

Dilandu
fair enough mate :)
will send private message so as not to derail and excellent thread!


I think the Desnarians may well go for air "cavalry" as you suggest but what would REALLY get them excited at first anyway would be...armoured cavalry!
there's no way those cavalry mad sods wouldn't think about turning the new "steam carriages" into armoured cars and eventually tanks ;)
Top

Return to Safehold