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Post Reply Is it possible to make a Variable Fighter with today's tech?
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Posted 7/25/08
Even if we are capable of making VFs, chances are they wont be practical on today's battlefield.

A VF in its aircraft mode is capable of high speed maneuver. However, a VF in its battroid mode, though agile, is not as fast as its aircraft mode. Given the precision of today’s weaponry, and without the influence of Minovsky particles, a VF in its Battroid mode is nothing but a moving target.

Since a battroid is vulnerable on today’s battlefield, then the transformability of a VF is a burden more than a benefit. In order to make a fighter transformable, certain compromises in its engineering and design must be made. This will make a VF (in aircraft mode) inferior to a pure fighter jet in terms of performance. Therefore, I think a VF is impractical nowadays.
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Posted 7/25/08
Minovsky particles... Gundam what?
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Posted 7/26/08 , edited 7/26/08

brennan wrote:

On G-Forces:

I'm not a scientist, but it's to my understanding that G-Force is not reliant on the planet's gravitational effects, but rather it is the effect simulating gravity caused by acceleration and deceleration. It is measured using the planet's gravitational acceleration. 1G is 10m/s, while 3G is 30m/s. As of such G-Force will continue to apply even in space, so long as there is acceleration and deceleration. The human body will still feel G-Force badly even in space.


Well, deceleration due to change of aerodynamic profile of the Veritech would not be a problem in space. However, it's not due to gravitational effects, rather, due to the lack of a significant atmosphere (i.e. vacuum or near vacuum), it does not matter if the thing traveling is shaped like a plane or shaped like a crumbled piece of toilet paper, without an atmosphere and without air resistant, the object would still continue to travel at about the same speed throughout its change in structure/morphology/shape i.e. transformation. So if the pilot stays in the same position and facing relative to the direction of travel, he/she would not feel any G-force. No acceleration/deceleration = no G-force.

But the problem comes in when the pilot's position/facing changes while in transformation. He'll probably feel like a cat in a washing machine's spin cycle... So if they can match the cockpit position and facing with the transformation so as that the cockpit or pilot's position don't change drastically during transformation, i.e. transformation around the cockpit with the position of pilot's position as the 'pivot', I think transformation in space would still be possible.

As for eye tracking targetting... that's really not a problem. We've been doing eye tracking (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eye_tracking ) for research long enough... It's used even in driver research. To make it more robust, we could just implant reflectors into the pilot's sclera for the trackers to track... If we can do this for cosmetics, what's stopping military purpose?



Although I'll love to have someone make a Veritech so that I can fly one, I do have to agree that it would not be practical on the modern battlefield unless it can fly better than a dedicated jet in Veritech mode and at the same time be more robust than an Main Battle Tank in Battleloid mode... If not, people will just be making pot shots at them with Hellfires or even shoulder carried anti tank weapons, RPGs, Hi caliber anti material rifles, big bag of C4/high explosive when it's running around in battleloid mode... Imagine a battleloid stepping on an anti-tank mine... Fly in, transform, step on an anti-tank mine, looses his foot, fall down... Enemy goes after the pilot with a spade/entrenchment tool

Imagine someone going: "I killed a $140 million Veritech with my $140 RPG / (insert your favorite shoulder launch ATGM or anti tank mine here)!)
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Posted 7/27/08
how bout we just build the sdf 1?
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Posted 7/27/08 , edited 7/27/08

aya_cool wrote:
...and without the influence of Minovsky particles...


Reality check...My advice is not to bring idiotic fantasy bits into an otherwise well-thought argument...

And why do I feel that the whole G-Forces portion of this debate is turning into something akin to "a plane on a treadmill"??? Oh and FYI, yes the plane still takes off (a BASIC physics understanding is all that is needed to know this)...
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Posted 7/27/08

sheighton wrote:


aya_cool wrote:
...and without the influence of Minovsky particles...


Reality check...My advice is not to bring idiotic fantasy bits into an otherwise well-thought argument...

And why do I feel that the whole G-Forces portion of this debate is turning into something akin to "a plane on a treadmill"??? Oh and FYI, yes the plane still takes off (a BASIC physics understanding is all that is needed to know this)...



Aye, Minovsky particles (This was intended to be a little piece of humor) ^_^
Well, allow me to make a little modification to my argument:
Instead of "without the influence of Minovsky particles", how about "without state-of-the-art ES/EA/EP systems equipped" ?
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Posted 7/31/08
gerwalk mode though is surely possible
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Posted 7/31/08 , edited 7/31/08
You know, after watching this video (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=891jH3wZD7s&feature=related and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U7W5kK6p85o&feature=related - I was looking at videos of the Su-47 and came across this) I think that I am going to alter my opinion of in-flight transformation...a bit...IF you can create something this maneuverable you can radically slow the fighter in a relatively short period of time. IF you were to then couple this with the ability to transform VERY rapidly and put slightly more powerful engines in the craft (Sukhoi's planes can do a nose up of around 70 degrees and still continue forward motion - Su-47 is likely capable of around 80 degrees - so it already has some pretty powerful engines in there). THEN it would be practical for short periods of time (unless in space, wherein the time would be as long as it was useful in combat). HOWEVER, this does not address the issues of armor or GERWALK or battroid ground combat, ONLY in-flight transformation so as to obtain a tactical advantage. Still, I am sure that you could add a even greater amounts of thrust vectoring and do away with the need for GERWALK to VTOL...

Oh and the Su-47 makes the maneuverability of the Su-27 through Su-37 look WEAK! Honestly, I would be tempted to say that it is probably the most maneuverable aircraft on the planet...
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Posted 7/31/08 , edited 7/31/08
Keep in mind logistics like this:

Current Jet engines are 'only' supplying thrust to the plane. They are not overly considered when considering the electronics of the vehicle. A variable transforming fighter needs as much actual 'thrust' as current engines, as well as supplying immense ammounts of power to hydrolic systems, etc. Even with todays technology, you'd not be able to put a companion battery pack to supply the extra power needed above what the engines produce, to actually create a transforming vehicle of size, mass and mobility even close to a Veritech/Valkyrie.

IF we where able to produce engines that met these requirements, your still talking about structural materials that are beyond what we can produce. Your talking about metals that can withstand intense pressures from just moving them around, not even taking into account any extra pressures from wind (flying and going through gerwalk/battroid modes) or highspeed landings in a VTOL fashion.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lxun63oteCY

I do appologize for posting video links on here, but this is an example of what happens when you take plane (with current 'technololgy level' materials) and apply severe wind resistances. This example is just a plane starting to go into a turn at mach1 speed. I can almost gaurantee you a plane going even half that speed would result in the same ending if you tried to apply some form of transformation that results in massively increasing surface area against wind forces.

IF we could produce engines to power them. And IF we could produce highly structurally sound metals that where still light enough to be put into flight, then its possible, however unlikely, that it could be built.

Of course, thats not even taking into account the MASSIVE G-forces the human body would sustain in going through these maneauvers. Basically, the human body would be either squished, ripped apart, or at the least be thrown around so severely as to induce severe internal trauma to the pilot. Remember, your not talking about steady increase to high G's... your talking about going from high G's to none in a matter of seconds.

While the thought is highly entertaining... like others have posted... Its utterly impossible with todays technology. Even a few hundred years, I doubt it would be possible. When we can get people to other planets or star systems. Safely. THEN.. maybe. Cause thats the kind of advancements you'd need to overcome to get there (taking into account materials that are far stronger/lighter to produce and build with, as well as propulsion systems that aren't reliant on liquid-based or non-abundant fuels).

******

This is based soley on 'planetary' usage BTW. I believe that we could produce a vehicle of similar look to a Veritech/Valkyrie, and have it transform in space. However it would be highly cumbersum and slow while transforming (slow being in the margin of 15-20sec for a tranformation, which in a war/military standpoint is basically a piece of cannon-fodder) and unlikely useable for military purposes. That being said, It would almost be a novel idea in the case of future space expansion. I.E. having a 'heavy thrust' capable vehicle that can maneauver around and be as mobile as a person when required. But also, like stated earlier, in space, it doesnt' matter what the shape of the object is when travelling through space. So it would be more cost effective to create something that doesn't transform, and just has the thrust built into it (jetpack style maybe) to get it around, and just always have the appendages out that are required to do the building/fixing work its made for.

Again, a novel idea, and would look hella cool.. but considering how our society works around money and cost effectiveness, even if we 'could' build one.. I doubt we would.

But all I gotta do is close my eyes, and its there. Not sure about the rest of you
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Posted 8/1/08
The biggest problem I see with the VF is that of the extreme G-force associated with transformation. As noted in earlier posts, such G-force is so huge that a regular human body cannot possibly take without serious injury or death. Sophisticated gravity manipulation is one way to solve this problem. Another way to solve this problem is to strengthen the human body, by means such as advanced genetic engineering, hormone enhancement, etc. Yet another way to deal with this problem (note that I do mean "deal with", not "solve") is to remove the human pilot so that G-force damage to the human body is no longer a problem. If the human pilot is removed, then who shall control the VF? Two possible candidates there are----AI or RC. We can either remote control the VF or we can make the VF fully automated.

Even today, the science community still have no consensus on the ture nature of gravity. We are not even at the infancy of applied gravatational science, not to mention making any equippments for gravity manipulation. As for genetic engineering, we are new to this science, I must tell you. We can't even use genetic technology to cure cancer. As for AI, I think the AIs we have nowadays are good for civilian flights, but not smart enough for military piloting. Given 20 years of development, AIs may be ready for the battlefield. Finally, RC. We are more than capable of remote-controlling miliary mechinery. Believe it or not, it has been tried back in WWII by the Germans. Today we are using RC scout planes in Afgan and Iraq. It works, but a RC plane cannot match a manned plane in terms of handling and performance. As you can see, all of these methods I have mentioned above (except RC) are impossible with our current technology level; and the RC method is rather impractical.

Therefore, I have to agree that VF is a a novel idea, but very unlikely to be build in real life.
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Posted 8/1/08 , edited 8/1/08

Ragnarkov wrote:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lxun63oteCY

I do appologize for posting video links on here, but this is an example of what happens when you take plane (with current 'technololgy level' materials) and apply severe wind resistances. This example is just a plane starting to go into a turn at mach1 speed. I can almost gaurantee you a plane going even half that speed would result in the same ending if you tried to apply some form of transformation that results in massively increasing surface area against wind forces.

TERRIBLE example. The F-14 Tomcat was made to withstand speeds well in excess of the Mach 2.4 that it could hit with full afterburner. THAT was indeed a F-14 and that was CLEARLY not a problem created by wind sheer (most likely it was a problem that occurred with one of the engines - my bet is that the pilot took a seabird into one of the engines).


Of course, thats not even taking into account the MASSIVE G-forces the human body would sustain in going through these maneauvers. Basically, the human body would be either squished, ripped apart, or at the least be thrown around so severely as to induce severe internal trauma to the pilot. Remember, your not talking about steady increase to high G's... your talking about going from high G's to none in a matter of seconds.

I was thinking this same thing earlier when I was thinking merely of the craft traveling in a linear motion at high speed and then transforming, sustaining high G's, and rapidly changing its speed (due to a massive change in its drag coefficient) without changing its velocity to slow the VF first...HOWEVER, someone then mentioned the Pugachev Cobra and how it might slow you down enough to perform a transformation in-flight. Now, while the Pugachev Cobra is nice at air shows, it is widely considered nearly impractical in a dog fight. Still, there are similar maneuvers that will generate the desired effects...

Watch the videos I put in my previous post. They show what Sukhoi's aircraft are capable of...You might very well find that it could be possible from a standpoint of physics to make an aircraft transform in atmospheric flight without severely damaging the craft or pilot...


While the thought is highly entertaining... like others have posted... Its utterly impossible with todays technology. Even a few hundred years, I doubt it would be possible. When we can get people to other planets or star systems. Safely. THEN.. maybe. Cause thats the kind of advancements you'd need to overcome to get there (taking into account materials that are far stronger/lighter to produce and build with, as well as propulsion systems that aren't reliant on liquid-based or non-abundant fuels).

The two really have nothing to do with each other...IF we wanted to spend the money to do it we COULD build a space craft capable of interstellar travel right now...Granted it would have to be assembled in orbit and of relatively decent size, but that's no matter. We have the materials and the engines capable of making the craft. We know that we can rotate sections of it to create a form of artificial gravity through centripetal force. We know that we could have it self-sustaining for long periods of time. The ONLY real problem is that it would be traveling VERY slow (relatively speaking) and it would take years to reach the closest star system (Alpha Centauri ~4.365 lightyears from Earth; nearest system suspecting of having Earth-like planets - Epsilon Eridani ~10.522 lightyears from Earth) in this manner. You would have to have some extraordinary people onboard just to have them keep their sanity during the long trip (that or a way to put them into some form of cryosleep)...Anyways, I digress; I was just pointing out that the two really have nothing to do with each other...

Oh and yeah, the "few hundred years" bit makes me laugh...You do realize that a few hundred years ago was even before Napoleonic, let alone modern, warfare right? Yep, back in the days of muzzle loading cannon and muskets... ...Few hundred years my ass!


This is based soley on 'planetary' usage BTW. I believe that we could produce a vehicle of similar look to a Veritech/Valkyrie, and have it transform in space. However it would be highly cumbersum and slow while transforming (slow being in the margin of 15-20sec for a tranformation, which in a war/military standpoint is basically a piece of cannon-fodder) and unlikely useable for military purposes.

And how exactly did you figure 15-20 seconds? Are you an expert in hydrolics and other things that would be necessary to transform a VF like servo motors? I mean, yes I do realize that hydrolic systems are slower than pneumatic systems, but I am sure that something could be devised to up the transform speed...What it would involve or how fast the transformation would be, I can't say, because I am not an expert in that field...
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Posted 9/3/08
it is not possible with today's technology as many of the issues such as overcoming the G-forces caused by the immense power of the thermonuclear thrusters, impracticality of transformation and the issue of armor. However some of the technology such simple movement of wings already exist, like the F-14. However the hydraulics that operate the movevable wings are heavy and it affects the manuvebility and speed of the aircraft. Furthermore, in order to manufacture armors that can withstand a supersonic crash, extensive use of lightweight but strong materials such as titanim and carbon nanotubes have to be used extensively even then it is still not good enough. One way to overcome the armor problem would be to manipulate the arrangement of the atoms into a tetrahedral one.Another way would be to artificially link all the bonds with more atomic bonds than under normal circumstances.However both methods are still out of human understanding.
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Posted 9/4/08
I'm not going to lie. I'm not good with physics or engineering but I have to say this. Valkrye's were made possible only due to the alien technology found on the Macross which was way ahead Earth's technology of the time. So therefore, I really think it would take hundreds of years to be able to create something like that. Besides, we haven't really mastered space travel yet if you think about it.
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Posted 9/5/08
No can do. All we build is an outdated lame Space Shuttle.
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Posted 9/5/08

brennan wrote:


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.



it must be said negative g-forces are more dangerous to people than positive. the man who discovered this had found all the capillaries in his eyes were busted and was blind for a while. negative g-forces can rip a man apart.

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