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#1 Skonar

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Posted 14 May 2003 - 04:37 AM

And, there we have it.

The skyranger got some plastic surgery, making the storage area smaller and more cramped, but still considerably more spacious than it was in the game. (One can, more or less, have three guys standing abreast in there, even if it is a little cramped.)

Abduction bit goes unchanged, and, what is new and nifty, is the bit on GEOSCAPE.

Read, comment, etcetera. Please.
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#2 The Veteran

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Posted 14 May 2003 - 09:37 AM

Very nice Skonar. Perfect si for the skyranger! If not a little small :)
Very nice work on the Geoscape. It miht be a nice touch to incorporate into the fanfic we're doing here...
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#3 Skonar

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Posted 14 May 2003 - 09:41 AM

The board-based one, or the field manual? (Told spaceman he can use my stuff if he likes, but I have no idea if I'll be able to produce anything specifically useful for him.)

Incidentally, I think GEOSCAPE stands for either -

Global Efficiency Overwatch Software, Communications/Assets/Personnel/Engagements.

or

Global Engagement Overwatch Systems Command - Assets/Personnel/Enemy

Or... something like that, anyway...
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#4 The Veteran

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Posted 14 May 2003 - 10:01 AM

I'm talking about the fanfic on the boards here. At the moment we're detecting UFOs by air traffic control and the like. It would be cool to introduce the geoscape like you've written it.
Maybe have the US government provide the program and then construct a new base of operations in Australia or Europe (knowing the pentagon they'd never let anyone else inside!)
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#5 Skonar

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Posted 14 May 2003 - 10:03 AM

That Pentagon 'war room' is, in fact, in the history as defined by the interceptor manual.

So it's definately there, probably available for X-com use.

In my mind, though, every base would have a 'Command and Control' room, where, perhaps, there is also a GEOSCAPE linkup.
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#6 The Veteran

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Posted 14 May 2003 - 03:36 PM

cool. We have a command center but as of yet, the geoscape view hasn't been mentioned so it would be cool if we write it in later. Nice one Skonny :)
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#7 Hobbes

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Posted 14 May 2003 - 03:40 PM

It would make more sense if there was a control room on each base instead of the "war room" on the Pentagon (you never know when the US might defect to the aliens.... :)  ). And the mention to the war room on the Pentagon on the timeline only appears after the first war is thought.

Also NSA might not be the right choice for implementing the GEOSPACE. The agency is responsible for gathering signal intelligence (SIGINT) and ensuring secure communications. It would most likely be developed instead by DARPA, which means Defense Advanced Research and Development and is run by the Pentagon and develops technology similar to your description (they were the ones who come up with the idea of the internet on the first place).

Finally, about the Skyranger, here's my opinion:

- The maximum speed of 1 450 Km/h you gave is most likely impossible to achieve by such craft. It would turn the Skyranger into a supersonic craft since it could achieve speeds of Mach 1.4. Even VTOL fighters such as the Harrier never reach supersonic speeds.
Furthermore, if one compares the Interceptor and the Skyranger on the UFOPedia their speeds are stated as 2100 and 760. The Interceptor flies nearly four times faster than the 'Ranger and using your calculations it would be a craft capable of Mach 4 speeds. Even the SR-71 Blackbird was only capable of reaching Mach 3.2 and that was already quite a feat (in fact no one thinks nowadays of giving fighters that speed because of the technical problems involved). I usually think that the numbers listed on the UFOPedia actually mean their speeds in terms of km/h.
Of course this is all connected with the problem of the 'Ranger flight range and how much fuel it needs. Most likely the craft would carry disposable fuel tanks on its wings or some inflight refueling probe and some high efficiency engines (again scrapping off the possibility of supersonic speeds since they consume so much fuel).
Another thing are the dimensions. Here's a table of comparision between the C-130 Hercules, the V-22 Osprey and your dimensions for the Skyranger:

C-130  V-22    Ranger
  29.3   17.3          24       Length
  11.4     6.7            8       Height  
  39.     25.8          14       Wingspan (width)
   70t      25t         50t      Maximum take-off weight

In terms of size your Skyranger is more akin to a C-130 transport plane than a V-22 VTOL craft. But the cargo area on a C-130J is 12.5 m long, 2.8 m high and 3.1 wide, allowing it to carry up to 60 equipped paratroopers while your Skyranger is 9.4 m long, 2.2 m wide, 2.3m high and it can only carry 14 armored troops. Even considering how much the space would have to go to fuel storage that Skyranger is way too big.
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#8 JellyfishGreen

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Posted 14 May 2003 - 03:43 PM

I've postulated a "big screen" in the operations room where a worldmap will show UFOs and interceptors (or at least their reported positions). Operators are in charge of updating the map for the benefit of the General and his command staff. This corresponds to the regular "global" geoscape view.

Base logistics operations might be done through a central database, but I can't see it taking up a screen in the operations room. Even base expansion blueprints are probably designed and approved in the back offices rather than the ops room.

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#9 Skonar

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Posted 14 May 2003 - 04:19 PM

In regards to the Skyranger ->

Good lord. Someone who's got more experience with planes than I do. Thank GOD.

Okay. Looks like people are really set on the Skyranger being an airborne bus... but...

Let me defend the portions that I feel need defending, and ask questions to resolving the bits that probably need resolution.

A - I did, in fact, ignore the game's stats for the ranger in this instance, going for a more instinctive, 'What's needed?'
What is needed, is a transport with enough speed to convincingly play an 'emergency response' role. I'm not 100% clear on the systems in use on the Harrier, but AFAIK it makes use of rotating exhaust vents. Not the situation with this version of the Skyranger, in my mind allowing for a sleeker craft body.
So, maximum speed isn't the maximum efficient speed, in any case.
Basically, I don't think we should be looking at the harrier for comparable 'VTOL aircraft' data.

B - Disposable tanks and refueling probes, alright. That is valid. The ranger probably does have some kind of inflight refueling equipment, and, I should really put something in about that. But... X-Com is slated to be a covert organization with little to no local support from airforces. The ranger's design story had similar problems, needing to perform for long periods of time in American airspace - Not exactly the kind of situation one can bring over a fuel tanker for. Disposable tanks... yes, well... I have no real argument against them, but the airframe is cluttered enough. Especially with the relatively tiny wingspan. EG - It doesn't make a 'pretty picture' in my head, aesthetically.


Now onto the other stuff...

... I never, to be honest, understood what the heck's going on with fuel ratios. All I've really managed to make out is that:

A - Going further than a 'Hop' for small craft seems all but impossible without devoting inordinate amounts of the craft for fuel.

B - The ranger is a big and heavy beastie at best, and as such will need a hell of a lot of fuel.

As for sizings, well. Shrink it more? (Says he who seriously goes for this heavy monster of an aircraft.)

I can't justify it in my head just yet. If you can provide some kind of argument to sway me, please do. (I also, somehow, can't justify crunching the cargo area enough to be a believable 'Fourteen men but spacious', which would be more like 8/2ish/2ish. However. If I do that then HWPs end out being these tiny little things. Wheras with the current model they're three meters to a side. ... Ick. The problems... Hell. Maybe I should just bump up occupancy. =P)


On the Geoscape bit.

Well. It is just a piece of software - Display on any computer terminal you like. And only display the portions currently relevant, yeah?

As for who MADE it...

I'm not 100% boned up on US intelligence groups. GEOSCAPE seems like a project more suited to covert actions and the intelligence community, and interfacing with those assets. So, maybe NSA, maybe some other group. I think NSA has a public image for being dark and shady enough to provide this sort of software, even if that's not fact.

The 'War room' mention is after the war, but, lemme quote the handy interceptor book here...



Quote

Although it is not dismantled, the X-COM War Room, a sophisticated monitoring center at the pentagon used for coordinating worldwide X-COM operations during the war, is placed on automatic.


Speaks for itself, really. Although I personally agree - I think the War Room was probably the only non X-Com command and control center. In my mind, it's really just an excuse for the player's imagined location, y'know?


(Edit for note) Er - I meant that the HWPs are three meters long, and two wide. Of course. Silly me. ... Yes. *Ahem.*
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#10 Hobbes

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Posted 14 May 2003 - 06:24 PM

Well I'm not an airplanes expert myself but I know a couple of things :)

About the points you mentioned I'll go through then one at the time.

A - You're right about the Harrier not being a craft to compare the Skyranger with. I only mentioned it as a general example of how VTOL craft operate. Besides the Harrier and the V-22 Osprey and the Soviet Yak-38, there was only one VTOL craft that ever went supersonic and it was the Yak 141 Freestyle. When I wrote the Unknown Menace I had the engineers of Yakolev developing the Skyranger because of their know-how, although the engines were capable of rotating to an upward position like the V-22 to allow it to VTOL. I don't remember what precise dimensions I gave my Skyrangers but I tended to imagine them about the size of a CH-46 helicopter fuselage (length 14 m, width 4,5m, height 5m). The cargo sectiong of the CH-46 allows for 14 soldiers, the same number as the Skyranger.

B - But that still leaves the question of the Skyranger's huge range. From what I know of the formula to calculate the range of a craft you need to know the mass of fuel and the rate of fuel consumption. There are a lot of factors that play into the last one such as aerodynamics, engine efficiency and so on. I'm not an expert on the matter but like you said the entire question is about fuel and there are only a number of possible solutions already mentioned:
a) The craft carries an enormous amount of fuel (i.e. large) and/or inflight refuelling/disposable tanks. In the event of a nuclear war the US bombers were supposed to refuel from tankers before starting their attack runs on the Soviet Union before they crossed into their airspace.
B) It possesses highly efficient engines that significantly reduce consumption during the cruise to the target area at the maximum efficient speed.

If there's a compromise between both there might be a solution for the problem in the real world.

As for the Interceptor timeline it does indeed state there about the war room on the Pentagon and overall I really think Dave Ellis did a great job there but it's a bit too US centric :). There's hardly a mention there about the other countries in the world and it has a lot of Wild West folklore. I don't have anything against it but since X-COM is an international force.... :)
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#11 The Veteran

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Posted 14 May 2003 - 07:49 PM

Blimey Hobbes... Did you miss this conversation last time it was had? And the fact that it's all based on a game :)

The skyranger is perfect the way it is! The speed that's been calculated is taken from the assumption that the UFOpedia is in knots... The size is arguably just how we want it after several days of mutation. I like it! :)
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#12 Hobbes

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Posted 15 May 2003 - 04:54 AM

Well, I was getting carried away by the discussion  :)

Either way Skyrangers rule!  :)
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#13 The Veteran

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Posted 15 May 2003 - 09:59 AM

lol true... true... I'm just waiting to hear on the specs or the Hurricane. They sure as hell had better fit in with what's already been said in the fic though! I could do them actually... :)
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#14 JellyfishGreen

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Posted 15 May 2003 - 10:39 AM

Quote

Payload considerations have also been a sore point with the CV-22. Planners will have to take into consideration its reduced cabin volume and lift capacity. Not only does it carry fewer troops (18 vs 27), it is also incapable of transporting any of the armored, wheeled vehicles currently used by SOF teams. Procurement of a new vehicle is still pending...

--CV-22 Tiltrotor Osprey compared to Pavelow helicopter in Special Forces deployments, 1 June 1998. Take away the supersonic/jet requirement and it _is_ a Skyranger.

That new vehicle would logically be a HWP :)
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#15 Skonar

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Posted 15 May 2003 - 10:41 AM

Where'd the 'Hurricane' designation get digged out from, anyway? My plans for the 'Interceptor' were, to, er, call it the 'Interceptor'. ...

Gee... Ain't I original? Heh.
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#16 The Veteran

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Posted 15 May 2003 - 05:45 PM

The earlier craft (The Lightning) was built as a supersonic atmospheric reconnaisance fighter and measures 15meters long and 3meters high with a wingspan of 11meters. It's simply built and follows all the basics of any American fast jet. It has a single cockpit two meters back from the tip of the nose cone and two air intakes just before the wings.Flaps operate as a normal aircraft including the rudder assembly. A single jet engine occupies the body and tail section of the craft. It's powered by a pulse detonation engine with advanced radar and communication systems housed in the nose and around the cockpit. All of these systems are specially shielded from the magnetic pulse at take off. The Lightning was never meant as a transport vehicle and as such has room only for the pilot and can hold only two simple weapon systems beneath the wings. It's speed, manoueverability and range is far superior to most modern craft as was it's specification but the Lightning was soon made obsolete following the construction of the mark two SAR fighter.
The Hurricane project emerged soon after the completion of the Lightning prototype when it became apparent that a more rugged craft was necessary to accomodate the new pulse detonation system. The Hurricane was meant as a heavy fighter craft capable of supersonic atmospheric flight. This meant that the new craft would have to be capable of carrying much larger and more advanced weapons systems and alloy armour. The final blueprint for the Hurricane presented the US government with an extremely versatile craft capable of a large number of missions. At 21meters long it surpasses the prototype Lightning in every way. The Hurricane stands 7meters off the ground and has a wingspan of over 15meters, the wings turning upwards at either end to provide the craft with better handling and manoueverability than it's predecessor. The craft features two air intakes in the same location as the Lightning but they have little function in the craft itself, standing only to cool the pulse detonation chamber. The Hurricane's manoueverability is provided by a simple rudder assembly and a more complex system of air brakes and hydrofoils on the forward fuselage and wings, each featuring a second flap on the outer wing along. Unlike the Lightning, the Hurricane features a large pulse detonation chamber allowing a second pulse in it's operating sequence. This allows the Hurricane to achieve far greater speeds than the Lightning and the sheer power it generates surpasses even the most advanced civilian reactor. Reaching a top speed of over 3800km/h no pilot has yet been capable of achieving the craft's top speed. The Hurricane's fuselage and airframe construction has been reinforced with a complex alloy comprising of twelve natural metals and the pilot is protected by almost three inches of an experimental steel laced glass compound. The Hurricane was built as a fighter and is equipped with a heavy cannon and either Stingray or Avalanche missiles along with two extremely powerful machine guns mounted in the craft's wings. The Hurricane's weapon systems can be easily interchanged and the control system has been created to allow new weapons systems to be easily accomodated into the craft's operation. The Hurricane is a large craft and can easily seat two although the craft needs no co-pilot. This makes the craft very well suited to personnel transfer and therefore an invaluable asset to any military force operating in such a broad area as the United States. A spacious detonation chamber also means that the Hurricane can be modified quickly and easily to accomodate a cargo or personnel module, sacrificing only a small fraction of it's speed. The Hurricane was created to serve the United States Air Force exclusively but on it's completion it was temporarily removed from action by a unanimous UN sanction. The only Hurricanes known to exist, along with the Lightning prototype, are currently being held in a UN military base in Australia.
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#17 Hobbes

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Posted 16 May 2003 - 12:48 AM

Veteran,

Just one remark considering the description of the planes you just made...

If the engines you just described are Pulse Detonation Wave they do not produce a magnetic pulse to propel the craft (from what is know - most of this stuff is theoretical). They still need air (or oxygen) to function since the fuel (liquid hydrogen or methane) is heated and then detonated in a special chamber pushing the plane forward at tremendous speeds.

Check this page in case you want to know a little more about them.
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#18 Skonar

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Posted 16 May 2003 - 07:12 AM

Wow. And I thought they just made the term up! Heh.
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#19 The Veteran

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Posted 16 May 2003 - 09:06 AM

Me too! I'd better go check it out... Not now though, i'm on a college computer and they are more than a little bit slow...
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#20 Zager

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Posted 21 May 2003 - 03:04 AM

"The Hurricane was created to serve the United States Air Force exclusively but on it's completion it was temporarily removed from action by a unanimous UN sanction. The only Hurricanes known to exist, along with the Lightning prototype, are currently being held in a UN military base in Australia. "

I've just got one question. Won't the United States be building as many Hurricanes as it can? I don't see the Pentagon giving up its jets like this if they don't have the possibility of getting more.




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