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why a turreted gunn...
 


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why a turreted gunner in Star Wars?  

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tsmspace
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October 3, 2019 1:08 pm  

well, I just can't let it go. I can only spend more time imagining how Star Wars would go with regular thrust physics. 

 

for example, The bomber in The Last Jedi makes sense, because it would fly directly at the target, open the bay doors, fly up a bit allowing the bombs to tumble out, then fly away while the bombs free-fly into the target. 

 

anyway,,, Everyone is all of this turreted rear gunner. Ok , but lets say that in a battle in space, where the ships are using forward throttle, they will have two requirements. (assuming the dogfights are avoided so rarely or never happen and fighters make little clouds of guns that can fire down a firing line,, so, like they will actually mostly not mix in with other fighters, but instead maintain formations to deliver ordinance)... They will need to be able to manuever as a formation to maintain some essential position,, and they will need to be able to contribute to the energy of a salvo. Well, Mostly , if the fighters are expected to spend the whole volley trying to change vector, they will probably have their rear end facing the enemy, and because position will be so crucial, they will NOT be able to aim the craft to prefer a firing line, and will instead need to aim the craft to prefer a thrust vector. Forward guns don't need turrets, because maneuvers towards a target rarely find the fighter with the target anywhere in the forward field of view. This means that if forward guns are going to be used, It will not be possible to execute high-powered maneuvers anyway. 

 

Most salvos are more reliable from fixed formations anyway, so most fighter craft don't require turrets, but if the fighters are going to charge a large heavy opponent to fire close-range directed energy weapons, then they will want the ability to change vector at maximum acceleration, while still maintaining a contribution to a salvo. 


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CaptainKal
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October 3, 2019 2:54 pm  

for example, The bomber in The Last Jedi makes sense, because it would fly directly at the target, open the bay doors, fly up a bit allowing the bombs to tumble out, then fly away while the bombs free-fly into the target. 

 

No it does not. For the price of one bomber (building it, Follow on support, and crew training ) you could probably build 20 to 50 nuclear tipped stand of weapons!!


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tsmspace
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October 4, 2019 5:15 am  

@captainkal

yeah but the resistance wasn't building weapons like that. They couldn't, because they didn't have a population, infrastructure, and manufacturing capability. They were no different than criminals, just using whatever they managed to purchase illegally. The empire had control of normal weapons production and didn't allow just anyone to build just anything, so most of the weapons the resistance had were old equipment that was hidden somewhere or the like. 


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tsmspace
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October 4, 2019 5:16 am  

anyway,,, HERE is a presentation of some newtonian bomber scene concepts. (I know I'm basically terrible at making these things but then again it's pretty good eh??)

 

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D.C.Elington
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October 4, 2019 5:21 am  

IMHO Star Wars designs make sense only in the Star Wars universe (and equivalents), that is with a 'physics' that is tailored to produce the desired effects for the story. Essentially if you want to convey a "WWI-style air chivalry" feeling then making spacecrafts equal to roller-coaster carts with the pilot controlling the rail direction is perfect. The hero is in full control, no machine interfering with their (super)human skills, and there's a "front" and an "aft" that we planet-bound beings can easily relate to. In these settings the "turreted gunner" represents the "last defense" protecting the hero's "six o'clock" in their desperate attempt to go save the princess someplace "ahead"... 🙂
But then if you change the underlying physics, the designs don't "work" anymore.

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tsmspace
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October 4, 2019 12:35 pm  

@d-c-elington

Actually I've been sitting around having spent my whole life thinking what you just said, but now thinking,,, actually maybe not. Maybe the original star wars designs ACTUally make a ton of sense, and maybe it's the OTHER direction people take that's going to miss. I mean, a fighter is just a way to have a gun. you need an engine and a gun. There's actually plenty of reasons to debate about exactly how they will go about stabilizing and maneuvering, but at the end of the day the two features you see are engines and guns. 


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D.C.Elington
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October 5, 2019 5:36 am  

@tsmspace I agree that there is certainly some tactical interest for small spacecrafts: harder to detect and hit, giving the possibility to engage a target from multiple angles... However IMHO putting a biological pilot in command would be a waste of mass (life support equipment)... and likely life. Also as you said yourself about Newtonian 6dof sims: open space and weightlessness are inherently alien to planet-bound creatures and computerized navigation and fire control systems will always beat them at low-level piloting (especially considering the constant evasion patterns).

To me if humans actually have a place in orbital warfare at all, it's in larger ships with a C&C role, with more efficient  systems (life support for multiple beings) and larger power plants for which the extra mass becomes negligible.

I'm extrapolating from RL concepts but these make even more sense in space IMO:

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tsmspace
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October 5, 2019 7:06 am  

@d-c-elington

no doubt about it,, as long as computers work, they will win. It will be like terminator. 

 

however, it is imaginable that there might be conditions that cause the computers to be unreliable (maybe some kind of weapon, or the sheer amount of energy we are talking about with blasters and warp engines),,, and then if we think about the ships in star wars,,, they LOOK like they have clunky electronics with HUGE components,,, maybe the kind you might expect to survive regular, powerful emp. 

 

So, if I were going to try to imagine a human piloted fighter in the high tech world you describe, I would imagine them in a very resilient, electro-mechanical machine with little or no reliance on high-performance computing. literally the sticks are huge, the wires are huge, and a rudimentary synchro-servo system operates fat electric motors and remarkably simple mechanical components to control the thrust. (so, no stabilized rcs attitude,,, just simple vector-nozzle and really not a very good one).

 

so if all else fails,, ,which it did,, you can always show up with a rock and hit them with it. 


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CaptainKal
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October 5, 2019 9:52 am  

yeah but the resistance wasn't building weapons like that. They couldn't, because they didn't have a population, infrastructure, and manufacturing capability. They were no different than criminals, just using whatever they managed to purchase illegally. The empire had control of normal weapons production and didn't allow just anyone to build just anything, so most of the weapons the resistance had were old equipment that was hidden somewhere or the like. 

 

This applies to the original trilogy. On VII & VIII it's the other way around. First Order is modeled after a criminal syndicate (although it still has an industrial base), and the Republic is administrated by some kind of Government (that's get destroyed on Episode VII). Either way, it's far easier to purchase missiles in a black market, than bombers!!  

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