Looking at Bombers and Aerial Combat

JCab747's picture
JCab747
November 8, 2019 - 5:05pm
I'm pulling this information from my postings on bombs so it will be a bit more coherent... and hopefully encourage feedback.


Joe Cabadas
Comments:

KRingway's picture
KRingway
November 14, 2019 - 11:11am
Hmm - from that description an aircar must be pretty big and can carry more payload than a jetcopter, which sounds a little odd...

JCab747's picture
JCab747
November 14, 2019 - 12:25pm
KRingway wrote:
Hmm - from that description an aircar must be pretty big and can carry more payload than a jetcopter, which sounds a little odd...
 

Isn't the aircar bigger than a jetcopter anyway?

Although, I think in the Alpha Dawn rules that the cargo capacity for the two vehicles are flipped.

the jetcopter is supposed to carry 500 kg of cargo, but can do so in 5 cubic meters.

The aircar can carry 1 metric ton (1,000 kg), but can only squeeze it into 2 cubic meters? That doesn't make sense. The Jetcopter should have the 2 cu. m. cargo space and the aircar should have the 5 cu. m. space.



Joe Cabadas

KRingway's picture
KRingway
November 14, 2019 - 12:51pm
This was something I was never sure about, WRT the aircar. In my mind's eye it was slightly bulkier than a ground car, but could hover and fly, but a jetcopter was bigger. The air transport in Zeb's was more like a jetcopter alternative, as I still saw aircars as something that would be flitting about over cities and populated areas. Possibly Blade Runner fed into that idea. But at the same time I guess aircars are larger vehicles after all, but it is a tad confusing still Foot in mouth

JCab747's picture
JCab747
November 14, 2019 - 2:06pm
KRingway wrote:
This was something I was never sure about, WRT the aircar. In my mind's eye it was slightly bulkier than a ground car, but could hover and fly, but a jetcopter was bigger. The air transport in Zeb's was more like a jetcopter alternative, as I still saw aircars as something that would be flitting about over cities and populated areas. Possibly Blade Runner fed into that idea. But at the same time I guess aircars are larger vehicles after all, but it is a tad confusing still Foot in mouth
 

Yes, it is confusing. but, I like your Blade Runner analogy.
Joe Cabadas

JCab747's picture
JCab747
November 15, 2019 - 4:12pm
OK, here are some additions...



Aircraft Weapons

Although Moore’s “Non-Civilian Duty Vehicles” story in Star Frontiersman issue 15 does not seem to make a distinction between air and ground vehicles when it comes to mounting weapons, the “Tanks a lot!” story did.

"Jetcopters and aircars are a special case. Their weapons are most commonly mounted not in the body or in turrets, but in weapon pods attached to pylons,” theDragon magazine story noted.These pods add space to a vehicle. A jetcopter can have two pods, each holding 2 spaces worth of weapons, while an aircar can have 4 pods, each holding 4 spaces of weapons.”

There are three pylon/post sizes which add hardpoint spaces to aircraft. The small plylon has 1 hp and post costs 200 Credits; the medium pylon (2 hp) costs 400 Credits; and the large pylon (4 hp) one costs 800 Credits. There is a mounting fee to attach pods and pylons/posts to aircraft.

A normal jetcopter can have two hardpoints for weapons that can be mounted in its body, while a normal aircar can have up to four body hardpoints. Adding plyons and pods definitely increases both vehicles’ carrying capacities.

For example, during Laco’s War, Dandel the Dralasite saved money while employed as a mercenary by the Pan Galactic Corporation. Deciding to go into business for itself, Dandel wants to arm an aircar by mounting a medium vehicle machine gun and a vehicle flamethrower coaxially in a large, underbody turret. This fills up the vehicle’s body hardpoints.

However, Dandel can still add up to 4 pylons of up to 4 spaces each, under the wings, so the total weaponry on his aircar could be 20 spaces. Note that pods are fixed, forward firing weapons.


Joe Cabadas

JCab747's picture
JCab747
November 15, 2019 - 4:16pm
Hmm, I'm modifiying the description from Dragon magazine, but really looking closely at it...

It does say that jetcopters can have two pods and an aircar can have 4 pods... But looking at the example, it says: "Dandel can still add up to 4 pylons of up to 4 spaces each, under the wings, so the total weaponry on his aircar could be 20 spaces. Note that pods are fixed, forward firing weapons."

So, maybe the jetcopter can have two pylons while the aircar can mount four plyons.

That's the only way the vehicle modification rules would match the example.
Joe Cabadas

JCab747's picture
JCab747
November 15, 2019 - 11:13pm
The more I look at it, the more I see that the weapons pod and pylon rule from Dragon is confusing! That might be why Larry Moore never tried to use it in his story in Star Frontiersman #15. Maybe that is the route to take...

Of course, there is the idea that you can "overload" an aircraft with weapons and once they are used up or jettisoned, then the aircraft becomes lighter, faster and more manueverable... but that probably just leads to a bunch of other complications that I don't want to get into...
Joe Cabadas

JCab747's picture
JCab747
November 16, 2019 - 9:50pm

Another revision here:


Aircraft Weapons

“Jetcopters and aircars are a special case. Their weapons are most commonly mounted not in the body or in turrets, but in weapon pods attached to pylons,” according to the “Tanks a lot!” story in Dragon Magazine noted.

A normal jetcopter (that found in the Expanded Game booklet) can have two hardpoints for weapons that can be mounted in its body, while the average aircar can have up to four body hardpoints. Adding pylons and pods increases both vehicles’ carrying capacities. As noted earlier under “Vehicle Sizes,” the referee can create or allow other types of vehicles in the game, including special military craft that can exceed the normal weapons limits of modifying civilian craft.

Pylons and Weapons Pods.  Pylons and weapons pods come in three sizes. The small pylon can hold a 1 hp weapon pod and costs 200 Credits. The medium pylon can hold two 1 hp pods or one 2 hp pod and costs 400 Credits. The largest pylon can hold up to 4 hp of pods and costs 800 Credits.

The weapons “pods” can also be the previously mentioned bomb racks and various rocket and missile platforms/launchers that have been detailed in the “Things that go boom!” series. These pods are fixed, forward-firing weapons.

There is a mounting fee to attach pods and pylons/posts to aircraft.

Example: during Laco’s War, Dandel the Dralasite saved money while employed as a mercenary by the Pan Galactic Corporation. Deciding to go into business for itself, Dandel wants to arm an aircar by mounting a medium vehicle machine gun and a vehicle flamethrower coaxially in a large, underbody turret. This fills up the vehicle’s body hardpoints.

However, Dandel can still add two large pylons under the wings that can have four large weapons pods each. The large weapons pods each have  four hardpoints. The aircar can then have a total of 20 hardpoints worth of weapons.

 

Joe Cabadas

jedion357's picture
jedion357
November 17, 2019 - 2:49pm
I agree bombers would be largely unheard of in the Frontier.
I might not be a dralasite, vrusk or yazirian but I do play one in Star Frontiers!

KRingway's picture
KRingway
November 17, 2019 - 2:52pm
And it seems aircars have wings...

JCab747's picture
JCab747
November 17, 2019 - 4:21pm
KRingway wrote:
And it seems aircars have wings...
 

Yes, I believe you are correct. The Dragon magazine article "Tanks a lot!" says they do, so they do!
Joe Cabadas

JCab747's picture
JCab747
November 17, 2019 - 4:26pm
So, since aircars have wings, can they conduct other aerial maneuvers like aircraft? 

What other kinds of aerial maneuvers should jetcopters be able conduct?
Joe Cabadas

KRingway's picture
KRingway
November 18, 2019 - 12:59am
Well, copters can autogyrate. But aside from that there's not all that much difference between the two. Given enough speed, both could do loops also.

It'd be nice to know if there was ever an official picture of what an aircar looks like like. There were a few depictions of what we took to be aircars at the time, but as none of them had wings it means that they're probably something else or artistic license...

jedion357's picture
jedion357
November 18, 2019 - 5:21am
If air cars dont have wings then it begs of the question of how do they fly? Inverted Inertia field?
I might not be a dralasite, vrusk or yazirian but I do play one in Star Frontiers!

KRingway's picture
KRingway
November 18, 2019 - 7:01am
I'd always assumed a mixture of lifting power (via very efficient engines and thrust vectoring) combined with a lifting body. Something possibly a cross between a disc and a concept car. But possibly the word 'car' in this case is a misnomer.

jedion357's picture
jedion357
November 18, 2019 - 7:30am
What was it they said about the F4 Phantom? Its a testament to even a brick can fly if you put a big enough engine on it.

the next thing on the real world horizon is personal air transports in the form of scaling up a drone so I would go with multiple vectored thrust "car" with slight lift body but also variable geometry? cross between a saucer or delta wing shape and 50s-60s concept car sounds nice to me.
I might not be a dralasite, vrusk or yazirian but I do play one in Star Frontiers!

JCab747's picture
JCab747
November 18, 2019 - 10:17am
I was also thinking along the lines of simple moves such as:


Joe Cabadas

JCab747's picture
JCab747
November 18, 2019 - 10:19am
Or things such as changing altitude and accelerating or decelerating.

Loops are good. 

How much speed does an aircraft pickup during a dive? What about pulling out of one?

Air pressure: I would assume the aircar is pressurized, but is a jetcopter? Can one suffer from altitude sickness?
Joe Cabadas

JCab747's picture
JCab747
November 18, 2019 - 12:16pm
Now, I'm sure glijets might be able to do Dawn Patrol like maneuvers, but can aircars?


Joe Cabadas

KRingway's picture
KRingway
November 18, 2019 - 3:23pm
I think aircars could perfrm all of those manouevres. As for pressurisation, the aircar could have that, but a jetcopter wouldn't be able to operate at higher altitides (unless it was possibly an X-copter, but the rules don't mention that at all). Dive speed and pullouts depend on various factors - initial speed, initial energy state, acceleration, controls, blade design, blade speed, etc.

As for variable geometry, it's not really needed if the aerodynamic surfaces/shapes are configured correctly. It was a stopgap measure of it's time, added a lot of weight and was superseded by better airfoil design.

Shadow Shack's picture
Shadow Shack
November 19, 2019 - 9:59pm
jedion357 wrote:
What was it they said about the F4 Phantom? Its a testament to even a brick can fly if you put a big enough engine on it. 

Yet the Air Force incorporated the F-4 "brick" in the Thunderbirds precision aerobatic team...quite the paradox there.
I'm not overly fond of Zeb's Guide...nor do I have any qualms stating why. Tongue out

My SF website

JCab747's picture
JCab747
November 21, 2019 - 12:46pm

Aerial Combat Rule Ideas

1 square = 25 meters

Simple maneuvers include moving straight, banking left or banking right, which are shown in Figures 1 and 2. An aircraft performing one of these maneuvers normally moves at least three squares – though jetcopters,aircars and air transports can slow and hover in place. After moving three squares, the pilot may continue the maneuver or resume normal movement.

The arrows in the maneuver diagram show the directions the aircraft can point when it pulls out of the maneuver. The aircraft using these maneuvers during tailing can climb or dive 50 meters. At other times, the maximum climb or dive rates are _____.  

Joe Cabadas

JCab747's picture
JCab747
November 23, 2019 - 3:17pm
WIP Figure 2 example for Turn and Bank ... updated 11/23/19
Joe Cabadas

KRingway's picture
KRingway
November 21, 2019 - 7:41pm
Aha - the counters for the air car. Completely forgot about those, as IIRC we only used counters when playing Knight Hawks! The image explains some of the rules WRT hardpoints, wings, etc we've been discussing.

JCab747's picture
JCab747
November 22, 2019 - 4:12pm
WIP:  

Again, not sure if the biplane maneuvers are all that appropriate for jetcopters and aircars, but here is another conversion from Dawn Patrol.

The circle maneuver, shown in figures 3a and 3b, is an extended turn performed by an aircraft. It must move at least seven squares before pulling out of this maneuver, but is free to move out of the circle atthe start of the next turn.

Joe Cabadas

JCab747's picture
JCab747
November 22, 2019 - 6:05pm
And here is figure 3b

Joe Cabadas

JCab747's picture
JCab747
November 22, 2019 - 6:54pm
jedion357 wrote:
I agree bombers would be largely unheard of in the Frontier.
 
Also, with the advent of space fighters, the specialized, supersonic fighters of today -- or their ancestors -- are also non-existent on most Frontier worlds. A space fighter, despite their rarity, fills the role of craft like the F-35.

Most atmospheric fighters of the Frontier would be militarized versions of an aircar, hence the VTOL fighter-bomber (which I will have to start adapting a version from "Here Comes the Cavalry.")
Joe Cabadas

JCab747's picture
JCab747
November 22, 2019 - 10:32pm

Wingover. The wingover is a tight turn (see figures 4a and 4b) that uses four squares of movement. It is the only maneuver that uses a 90-degree turn. The aircraft performing a wingover an also climb or dive.

Joe Cabadas

JCab747's picture
JCab747
November 22, 2019 - 8:34pm
Figure 4b 



Joe Cabadas

Sargonarhes's picture
Sargonarhes
November 23, 2019 - 7:08am
All this makes me wonder with all the tanks, aircraft and powered armor in SF. What if some one wanted to go crazy and add in the larger powered armor things known as mechs, mecha or mobile suits. Yeah, they would be a fire magnet, every one with a big gun would be out there shooting at them. But the idea has gained ground in lots of sci-fi, even Star Wars keeps using the idea of a large walker. 
In every age, in every place, the deeds of men remain the same.