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Post Reply Is it possible to make a Variable Fighter with today's tech?
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Posted 7/16/08 , edited 7/17/08

MidnightReverist wrote:

All in all, it's pretty impossible with today's technology. Maybe the engineers should give it a shot in the second half of the 21st Century.. But for now, they should focus on non-transforming robots, like Mobile Suits... but for easier balance, 4-legged Zoids.


I still say that a power suit would still be the most practical with today's tech (the US could actually build this today if it wanted it put the necessary time and effort into it)...





^ Anyone who has seen Uchū no senshi (Starship Troopers) will know what this is... ^.^

And yes, it would fill a nice role too...Fast moving heavy infantry that could go head to head with a tank as long as it they are properly equipped? Yeah, that would fill a nice role...I say equip the troopers with 7.62mm Dillion M-134 Gatling Guns...3000 rounds per minute...An ammunition drum would be nice...Best part is that you wouldn't really have to worry about weight that much as the servomotors would take care of the lifting... ^.^

And if you want to see how practical this really is...

http://www.engadget.com/2007/01/15/project-grizzly-inventor-crafts-real-world-halo-suit-for-militar/

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JPS2l5fQ55A

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Powered_exoskeleton

So my vote, is leave the air to the Apaches and the Raptors and the JSFs...Put the idea to where it might actually be of use... ^.^
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Posted 7/16/08 , edited 7/16/08

brennan wrote:

Mixtech and I were talking a little about this and basically, it's come down to this.

Is it possible to construct a Variable Fighter with today's modern-day technology? Nevermind the VF-25 Messiah, let's start with the basic of the basics - the VF-1 Valkyrie.

Some basic stats on the VF-1 Valkryie (pulled from the Macross Compendium):

VF-1 Valkryie: (All-regime variable fighter and tactical combat battroid)
Design Features:

Variable Wing
VTOL Capability
4x Mobility of Destroid SPARTAN
Single Axis Thrust Vectoring
2x Shinnasaku Heavy Industry Thermonuclear Reaction Turbine Engines providing 25400 pounds of thrust each
At least 20 vernier thrusters for movement in space
Canopy HUD
Various Radio Antennas
AWG-20 radar FCS
Head Turret Mounted Hybrid Sensor / TV Eye
Combat Computer
Engine Control System
Fire Control System
Anti-Aircraft Laser Cannon mounted on head
55mm 3 barrel gattling gun pod, firing 200 rounds at 1200 rounds per minute
Fuselage reported to be tougher than a tank due to overtechnology

In comparison, I present to you, the F-22 Raptor, the most advanced fighter plane in the world currently.

F-22 Raptor: (Stealh Superiority Fighter)
Design features:

2x F119 PW 100 Afterburning turbofan engines, capable of thrust vectoring, providing 35000 pounds of thrust each.
BAE Systems E&IS radar warning receiver AN/ALR-94 (passive receiver system)
Active Electronically Scanned Array Radar AN/APG-77 (capable of overloading enemy radar sensors)
1x20mm Vulcan gattling gun, 480 rounds
Air-To-Air Missiles in Internal bays (so as to not disrupt it's stealth capabilities)
Passive Stealth
Unit Cost: US$137 Million.

My verdict on this matter is that it is not actually possible to create a variable fighter based on current technology. Reasons Below:

1. Power Plant: The main issue, the powerplant are thermonuclear engines. Obviously their output power is higher than the F-22 raptor's despite the stats, because the anime was created in 1980 when 25000 pounds of thrust was unbelievable. The VF-0 Phoenix also used traditional fuel engines but had a very short service range. However it's my firm belief that to operate a machine that can transform in the atmosphere requires a high amount of power. Current technology can't provide that sort of power, save for perhaps thermonuclear fusion power, which hasn't been invented yet.

2. Transformable: Another issue that I have is the transformable ability of the VF-1. The F-22 Raptor is already packed full of stuff that's required. There's no way that there is enough space for several dozen servomotors to transform it into a battroid.

3. Density of exterior: The VF-1 is reputedly as tough as a tank. In the anime, the VF-1 repeatedly crashes into buildings and still survives, and can even fly. You can't do that with the F-22. It chips something, its gone. The tough tanklike exterior comes from overtechnology. It's not something we can achieve with current technology, without making the VF weigh like 50 tons. The F-22 itself weighs 19 tons without arnament.

4. Dexterity: In real life, we're struggling to make robots that are dextrous and speedy enough to perform everyday tasks. The VF-1 can engage in a 50-foot tall Zentraedi warrior in hand to hand combat, and not just punching either, but also throws, kicks, and trips. In addition to this, the VF-1 can also perform fine motor movements such as putting on a Zentraedi uniform (Max Jenius did this once), and grabbing civillians without crushing them.

In my opinion? No. Can't be done on modern technology. Give it 30 or 50 more years, unless a big alien ship with easily reverse engineerable technology appears.


who says it has to do all the things a vf-1 can do?
why not just have it transform into guardian mode just for a start?
when it comes to the advancement of weaponry its quite scary. look at ww1 and ww2. massive amounts of tech was created and put into the feild in very little time is astonishing.

if u reall y wanted to make one. u would find ways for instance....

figure a way out to lighten the frame.
make the engines as fuel effiecnt as possible.
do you really need payload bays, why not mount weaponry like any other plane.

are u actually gonna fight in space. that produces a whole new set of problems. it has to to be air tight. on top of that it has to be able to survive atmosphic re-entry/ exit.
how do u know the controls dont change or are pressure sensitive when do ing fine motor controls?
the f-22 is made out of composite materials. which help give it stealth capabilities and light.
i really think u comparing a vf-1 to a f-22 raptor is not really equal.
the f-22 is built for speed and stealth. the vf-1 is not.

but if u want to start simpler then start with the exo suits from appleseed.

also where are u gonna find a 50 ft. tall person to fight?!
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Posted 7/17/08 , edited 7/17/08

Beyond-the-Grave wrote:

who says it has to do all the things a vf-1 can do?
why not just have it transform into guardian mode just for a start?
when it comes to the advancement of weaponry its quite scary. look at ww1 and ww2. massive amounts of tech was created and put into the feild in very little time is astonishing.

if u reall y wanted to make one. u would find ways for instance....

figure a way out to lighten the frame.
make the engines as fuel efficent as possible.
do you really need payload bays, why not mount weaponry like any other plane.

are u actually gonna fight in space. that produces a whole new set of problems. it has to to be air tight. on top of that it has to be able to survive atmosphic re-entry/ exit.
how do u know the controls dont change or are pressure sensitive when do ing fine motor controls?
the f-22 is made out of composite materials. which help give it stealth capabilities and light.
i really think u comparing a vf-1 to a f-22 raptor is not really equal.
the f-22 is built for speed and stealth. the vf-1 is not.

but if u want to start simpler then start with the exo suits from appleseed.

also where are u gonna find a 50 ft. tall person to fight?!


There might be a problem with regards to lightening the frame. For starters, humanity hasn't discovered light enough materials that can withstand issues like metal fatigue/stress, heat, pressure, etc. Unless you wanna build a VF entirely out of titanium and iridium (We'd have to begin mining the core of the earth for that)

How do you suppose to make engines as fuel efficient as you say without compromising power output? Remember the law of energy "Energy is neither created nor destroyed, it is only transformed from one form to another" Ergo you can only go so far with the fuel we have at hand (Petrol, solar, nuclear, you name it) It's easy to say on paper but it's not possible just yet. (Not antagonizing nor being pessimistic)

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Posted 7/17/08 , edited 7/17/08

mixtech wrote:

... Unless you wanna build a VF entirely out of titanium and iridium (We'd have to begin mining the core of the earth for that)


Actually, titanium and iridium are not all that uncommon (titanium can found in titanium sands and extracted without too much trouble - Florida is one of the world's leading producers, and iridium is most commonly found during and as a byproduct of copper mining)...You would not have to be mining the core of the Earth for either material. And actually, in all likelihood, you probably would not find either material in significant quantities within the Earth's core either...The core is over mostly iron and nickle, with a few other (usually lighter elements) that like to bond with the two...

Now that that has been taken care of...You could also use significant amounts of carbon fiber and aluminum alloys (can be some of the strongest alloys that man can create - cite the 710 MPa tensile strength aluminum-lithium Weldalite; Kobe Steel has recently developed a new alloy that has a tensile strength of 780 MPa). Both of these materials are exceptionally light and strong and could be used along with titanium and iridium alloys for most parts in a VF. However, a craft made out of these materials would be expensive to the obscene (especially when you consider many of the production methods that would be needed), and even if it could be made strong enough to withstand an in-flight atmospheric transformation, the G-forces would still present a problem. Its already been said quite a few times, that when the profile of a craft (moving at speed) is changed in flight to suddenly create much larger amounts of drag, both the craft and the pilot would be subjected to rather significant G-forces (think of a race car hitting a wall head-on at 200mph, but without the "car" absorbing 50% of the energy instead of 90%). The G-forces would most definitely cause the pilot to black-out at the very least. Now, granted, this would not be a problem in-space as an in-flight transformation would create no added drag and the craft would continue at its previous velocity, until this is changed by the pilot. Therefore, no added G-forces until the pilot decides to vector his thrust and/or engage thrusters to change direction or try to stop...

So once again we come back to the practicality of a VF - I for one don't see a need for such a craft, while one could very easily fill its roles with a variety of other machines. If you want a space superiority fighter, then build a machine for that explicit purpose (not all too difficult). Same goes for a battle suit / powered exoskeleton or a tank or aircraft or whatever...There really isn't a need for a VF. It would be an expensive novelty and nothing more, as other role specific machines could be developed to easily outperform it.
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Posted 7/17/08

sheighton wrote:

Its already been said quite a few times, that when the profile of a craft (moving at speed) is changed in flight to suddenly create much larger amounts of drag, both the craft and the pilot would be subjected to rather significant G-forces ...


I just wanted to add ... significant G-Forces due to the sudden deceleration caused by drag, for the benefit of the less scientifcally minded here.

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Posted 7/17/08
point taken.
but we are talking about building a weapon that can be used in air as well as land combat.
just remember if their is a need for this weapon then the tech WILL appear.
sad to say the same principal is not applied to medical tech as often as it is for war.

but i think the f-14 tomcat is just a little bit bigger tho int terms of length. the wingspan of the vf-1 is greater than the f-14.
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Posted 7/17/08 , edited 7/17/08

Beyond-the-Grave wrote:

but i think the f-14 tomcat is just a little bit bigger tho int terms of length. the wingspan of the vf-1 is greater than the f-14.


Actually, as far as fighters go, the F-14 would be significantly larger than either the VF-0 or VF-1...

VF-1

Length - 14.23 m (or ~46ft 7in)

Height - 3.84 m (or ~12ft 6in)

Wingspan
    * 14.78 m fully extended (or ~48ft 6in)
    * 8.25 m swept

F-14

Length - 62ft 8in

Height - 16ft 1in

Wingspan (unswept) - 64ft 1in

You could probably make an argument that the F-14 was the air superiority plane of its day, as it probably was the ultimate interceptor with great speed, range, rate of climb, and it of course had the AIM-54 Phoenix missile that allowed it to hit another aircraft often before even coming into the enemy's RADAR range (the AIM-54 had a range of over 100nm, or in other words, in excess of 120 miles). The F-14 was designed alongside the AIM-54 with the intention of shooting down Soviet bombers before they could get into range to use long range anti-ship missiles against the carrier, but once you remove that threat, you remove the need of the expensive and maintenance needy F-14...When there is a role, there's a platform to fill it, but when that role disappears or is filled by something that can do it better, the platform becomes unnecessary and/or obsolete - this is the exact reason why I would argue that the VF will never be practical even if one could be built (which, as I said before, I do believe possible in the relatively near future)...
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Posted 7/18/08
just gotta find a way to shrink a nuclear reactor into the size of an engine
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Posted 7/18/08

sheighton wrote:


I still say that a power suit would still be the most practical with today's tech (the US could actually build this today if it wanted it put the necessary time and effort into it)...

^ Anyone who has seen Uchū no senshi (Starship Troopers) will know what this is... ^.^

And yes, it would fill a nice role too...Fast moving heavy infantry that could go head to head with a tank as long as it they are properly equipped? Yeah, that would fill a nice role...I say equip the troopers with 7.62mm Dillion M-134 Gatling Guns...3000 rounds per minute...An ammunition drum would be nice...Best part is that you wouldn't really have to worry about weight that much as the servomotors would take care of the lifting... ^.^

So my vote, is leave the air to the Apaches and the Raptors and the JSFs...Put the idea to where it might actually be of use... ^.^



First of all....Starship Troopers is one of my all time favorite books!!! The Anime was OK I guess. Hell of a lot better than those live action movies.

Second, I totally agree power suits for the ground and jets and choppers for the sky. (Check out Gasaraki for awsome close to real day mobile suits.) Transformable jet type mecha wont really be a viable option until we get them out in space. Even then, in space the transforming systems still seem far to complex to me to ever happen. Most likely things will be more gundam like.

We can still dream though right?
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Posted 7/19/08 , edited 7/19/08
Wait a minute Starshiptroopers had an anime!!!??? or are you referering to the computer CG series?

Talking about this theme, actually kawamori wanted to do a mecha that could exsist in the reality, the result was the valkyrie he made, and in computer simulations the Vf-1A could exsist in its fighter form,its G-Walk form (could maintain this form for a few minutes, even more minutes if there was a more powerful and efficient engine, and without arms) , bu the real problems start in the battroid form, standing still it would be swallowed by the ground, it would need special floor just to stand still, not even walk, there isn`t an engine capable of doing that, the other problem is transforming it would take a few minutes, to do it in just one second, it would need something more efficient than hydraulics, and that hasn`t been invented,and finally the OS for movement, to do cool manuevers it would need more than 8 o 7 super comuters, and obviously there is not many space.
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Posted 7/20/08

Skull_Leader wrote:

Wait a minute Starshiptroopers had an anime!!!??? or are you referering to the computer CG series?

Talking about this theme, actually kawamori wanted to do a mecha that could exsist in the reality, the result was the valkyrie he made, and in computer simulations the Vf-1A could exsist in its fighter form,its G-Walk form (could maintain this form for a few minutes, even more minutes if there was a more powerful and efficient engine, and without arms) , bu the real problems start in the battroid form, standing still it would be swallowed by the ground, it would need special floor just to stand still, not even walk, there isn`t an engine capable of doing that, the other problem is transforming it would take a few minutes, to do it in just one second, it would need something more efficient than hydraulics, and that hasn`t been invented,and finally the OS for movement, to do cool manuevers it would need more than 8 o 7 super comuters, and obviously there is not many space.



No!!!!!!!!! not the CG that was crap. There was an anime made in the early 90's. I know at least the fisrt few are on crunchy. Think 6 episodes were made.
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Posted 7/20/08

DuGeMon wrote:


Skull_Leader wrote:

Wait a minute Starshiptroopers had an anime!!!??? or are you referering to the computer CG series?


No!!!!!!!!! not the CG that was crap. There was an anime made in the early 90's. I know at least the fisrt few are on crunchy. Think 6 episodes were made.


1988 - 1989 actually, and yes it was 6 eps (only ep 1 is on CR)...It has been called the best adaptation of the book to date, and it probably is. I mean, at least it did not completely bastardize the story like in the movies or the CG series...I mean, hell "Blue Gender" was a better adaptation of Starship Troopers than the movies were and it wasn't even the same story!!! >.>
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Posted 7/21/08
wow...
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Posted 7/24/08
most of the issues are addressable with the advancement of technology aside from the transformation process. The biggest issue people are concerned with isn't the act its moving but the fact its airstream would be so radically different. I see a computer being able to calculate a maximum safe speed and then basically drawing a red line on the airspeed indicator that tells you not to transform beyond this speed.

in fact that is the exact solution they used in macross zero if you watch the final episode during the super sonic dogfight he uses a maneuver called a cobra head, which drastically drops his airspeed and then he transformed and shot at the other fighter battleoid. so if you look at it that way it comes down a matter of speed of transformation extremely efficient and powerful servo motors could do this, but we don't have ones that fit the bill yet.

so if you look at it from the extensive computer modeling angle it all comes down to how the hell do you make it transform so fast. also just to get it out there quite a few people seem to be thinking of putting guns on the inside of fighter.
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Posted 7/24/08 , edited 7/24/08

starfoxx wrote:

most of the issues are addressable with the advancement of technology aside from the transformation process. The biggest issue people are concerned with isn't the act its moving but the fact its airstream would be so radically different. I see a computer being able to calculate a maximum safe speed and then basically drawing a red line on the airspeed indicator that tells you not to transform beyond this speed.

That is a rather sensible idea, but it would still be rather impractical as that speed is likely to be rather slow if the transformation were to be performed in an atmosphere...


in fact that is the exact solution they used in macross zero if you watch the final episode during the super sonic dogfight he uses a maneuver called a cobra head, which drastically drops his airspeed and then he transformed and shot at the other fighter battleoid. so if you look at it that way it comes down a matter of speed of transformation extremely efficient and powerful servo motors could do this, but we don't have ones that fit the bill yet.

Despite Shin Kudo's performing a Pugachev Cobra (actual name of the maneuver - not "Cobra Head") to slow down, you can hardly say that it is indicative of the VF-0 requiring a slower speed at which to transform. In fact the exact opposite is demonstrated in most of the previous fights - most notably any between Roy Focker and D.D. Ivanov.
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