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Unread postPosted: Sun Apr 19, 2020 8:31 pm
  

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Knight

Joined: Tue Dec 14, 2010 6:36 am
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Location: New Frontier Shipyard, Earth-Moon L5
Comment: "My theories appall you, my heresies outrage you, I never answer letters, and you don't like my tie."
jaymz wrote:
They bomb the shield gate.

... and accomplish literally nothing by doing so. In what sense did that bombing run "work"?



In my opinion, the single biggest flaw in the [TLEAD/Beta] design is the lack of focus in its offensive capabilities.

With its air-to-air missiles, its gravity-fed bomb bay, and its air-to-ground rotary cannon primary armament, it's trying to cover too many roles and ends up doing a mediocre job in all of them instead of excelling in any of them. Its [Armo-Bomber/Fighter] mode isn't agile enough to dogfight, but it can only engage enemies with its internally-carried air-to-air missiles at visual ranges. That means it can only fight effectively against other aircraft if it puts itself in unnecessary danger and fights at a clear disadvantage. Lacking the agility to dogfight effectively means it shouldn't be getting anywhere near visual range of enemy fighters. Ideally, if it were to be used in an air-to-air role you would want it to operate similarly to the proposed B-1R Lancer: standing off at a significant distance from the actual aerial combat zone and engaging enemies with long range, high initial velocity, active homing missiles using data links from fighters closer to the action to designate targets. Its bomb bay is gravity-fed and deploys large quantities (72) of extremely small unguided incendiary munitions. That makes it extremely vulnerable because it needs to sustain stable, level flight at low speeds and low altitudes to ensure that it can reliably land its bombs on target and to ensure that its (almost certainly impact-triggered) munitions don't jam in the gravity feeds or detonate prematurely due to jostling. Its body is an aerodynamic nightmare and its wing area is extremely low, meaning it's going to be extremely unstable at low altitudes and it's going to have a high stall speed, making the necessary flight profile to deploy those bombs dangerous in the extreme. It needs a more aerodynamically sound design with a greater wing area and high rigidity to sustain highly stable low altitude flight, something like a very large cropped delta wing similar to the Avro Vulcan's. Its three air-to-ground rotary cannons aren't much use against aircraft due to their inability to traverse and their limited sustain, but they've got an additional problem in that they also require a low airspeed and stable trajectory to direct fire onto a ground target at range. Its swept wings are a major disadvantage there because they're a good deal less stable at low speeds and altitudes. It also lacks any high-precision guided air-to-ground munitions that could allow it to strike ground targets at longer ranges or from higher altitudes.

If it focused on any one of those roles it could probably be OK-ish... but because it's incorporating features for all three it presents a scattered set of capabilities that aren't really suited for any of them. Its close air support and bomber capabilities are mostly a waste anyway, since the [Inbit/Invid] generally don't fight on the ground unless confronted with a threat specifically confined to the ground like infantry and they're not likely to be put off by incendiary rounds.

Ideally, the fix would be to lose the bomb bay and rotary cannons completely, extend the main wing out into a large tailless delta, and turn it into a long-range missile platform like what was planned for the B-1R.

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Unread postPosted: Sun Apr 19, 2020 9:49 pm
  

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Palladin

Joined: Wed Apr 15, 2009 8:33 pm
Posts: 10802
Location: Peterborough, Ontario
Comment: Yeah yeah yeah just give me my damn XP already :)
Thus my caveat about if not being massively shielded.

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Unread postPosted: Mon Apr 20, 2020 2:08 am
  

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Monk

Joined: Tue Jul 06, 2004 1:59 pm
Posts: 13227
Location: Snoqualmie, WA
Seto Kaiba wrote:
Zer0 Kay wrote:
Yeah... nevermind that a bomb is a free fall device so putting it in a tube facing foward, above your fighter shall only result in heartache. Maybe in space they fly toward the target then open the bay and hit reverse thrusters so the bombs exit the bay and travel toward their target at max speed.

Yeah... a gravity bomb deployment system above your aircraft's fuselage is asking for trouble.

One of the major design flaws in the TLEAD/Beta is that its bomb bay's deployment mechanism is a gravity feed system supported by rollers inside the chutes. It won't function at all in zero-g, and what the bombs were in the OSM wouldn't do any good in space either. Napalm is not a particularly effective weapon in a vacuum.



Zer0 Kay wrote:
I was about to say that was dumb but a non powered explosive would be much harder to detect than a missile

Eh... it depends on how close you're deploying the bombs from. Obviously a bomber flying right above an enemy ship is going to get noticed pretty quickly.

Star Wars: the Last Jedi has a very drawn out scene showing precisely why bombers in space are a bad idea.

Obviously the "bombing run" in space would have to be done from a great distance and would actually still be better done by missiles that would just cut off their engines far away and drop the rocket stage to discard any potential heat signature... only problem with that is that the the first stage would still travel along with the warhead unless they had smaller engines to move them into a different vector.

Most of the scenes in the new trilogy sucked. And bombers in space don't suck. The suck trilogies bombers suck. The Y-Wing worked fine any space bomber doesn't carry bombs it carries torpedoes.

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Unread postPosted: Mon Apr 20, 2020 9:33 am
  

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Knight

Joined: Thu Mar 30, 2006 10:50 am
Posts: 6394
Location: WI
What if there was a way to retrofit the existing Beta with technology to give the craft better aerodynamics? I've already mentioned some ideas previously, but I don't think anyone has mentioned this in the recent discussion (or in the past AFAIK): Inflatable Structures!

The idea is not as crazy as it sounds. The basic aspect has been around for decades in the aerospace industry (these are just a few):
-Goodyear GA-466, GA-468 (1950s)
-NASA's I2000 research drone (2000s, just the wings), an inflatable re-entry shield
-Bigalow Aerospace (inflatable module currently on the ISS)
-Northrop Grumman has proposed an inflatable drone for a mission to Venus (this was a few years ago, it wasn't selected)

The main questions IMHO aren't is it durable enough, but relate more to inflation and deflation time for the Beta to minimize impact on the Beta's transformation time. Inflation time on the I2000 shows that it could be done in under 1second. Deflation time and control so it deflates back into its storage slot would be an unknown.

So what I propose for the Beta (using appropriately durable materials) is to primarily deploy from the Wings and Docking Beam (secondary locations are also possible) inflatable structures shaped to improve the aerodynamics of the vehicle. The wings could then be "inflated" to a more classic delta wing or cranked arrow shape, with the docking beam creating a more "classic" nose design for the Beta. The inflatable nose then would block the center-line EU-14 station when deployed, all of them would retract/deflate for Guardian and Battloid mode operation and could be cut-loose if damaged (or for other purposes).


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Unread postPosted: Mon Apr 20, 2020 11:54 am
  

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Knight

Joined: Tue Dec 14, 2010 6:36 am
Posts: 5255
Location: New Frontier Shipyard, Earth-Moon L5
Comment: "My theories appall you, my heresies outrage you, I never answer letters, and you don't like my tie."
Zer0 Kay wrote:
Obviously the "bombing run" in space would have to be done from a great distance and would actually still be better done by missiles that would just cut off their engines far away and drop the rocket stage to discard any potential heat signature... only problem with that is that the the first stage would still travel along with the warhead unless they had smaller engines to move them into a different vector.

TBH, pretty much any munitions that are launched/dropped from a fighter are going to be hotter than the background temperature of space and therefore show up pretty cleanly on an infrared imaging sensor unless you're attacking with the sun at your back. It's better by far to just use the missiles, because there's a greater probability to hit with guided munitions than non.

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Macross2.net - Home of the Macross Mecha Manual

Zer0 Kay wrote:
Damn you for anticipating my question. I've really got to unfoe you, your information is far more valuable than my sanity when dealing with your blunt callousness. :)


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Unread postPosted: Mon Jun 01, 2020 2:31 pm
  

Explorer

Joined: Sat Jan 10, 2009 6:55 am
Posts: 154
Well it took me a little while but I did put together a reasonable write up for the Beta. Besides adding MRMs to the upper pods, moving up the damage dice and giving the ion cannon barrels each a damage profile similar to the EP-20 on the Logan I just made some tweaks in the sensors when it's swapping the missiles for the sensor pod.

-POUNCER


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