Service entry dates for Confed fighters

AD

Finder of things, Doer of stuff
IIRC, in the novel of Price of Freedom, it was an Arrow fighter that crashed during launch after Blair detonated his torpedo early that helped disable the Lexington, so Confed was still using the Arrow, we just don't see them flying with Confed colours during the game

No we do se a plain confed Arrow in WC4. They're green. There's actually three different Arrow paint schemes in WC4. There's the blue and red pirate Arrows, the green confed ones, and the Grey/silver with purple markings ones that can cloak that we attribute to the Black Lance but are likely some kind of elite Confed squad anyway.
 

Kyle Maverick

Rear Admiral
No we do se a plain confed Arrow in WC4. They're green. There's actually three different Arrow paint schemes in WC4. There's the blue and red pirate Arrows, the green confed ones, and the Grey/silver with purple markings ones that can cloak that we attribute to the Black Lance but are likely some kind of elite Confed squad anyway.
Oh, well either way, Deathsnake's comment about the Arrow not being in use by WC4 is wrong. I've not played the game in years cos of my little sister borrowing the game then moving so it's in a box somewhere, hence my not remembering the Confed Arrows
 

starfox1701

Petty Officer
That makes no sense. The Thunderbolt and Longbow designs don't lean themselves to atmospheric centric flying. (That's not to say it's impossible to see flying bricks cruising around, in ER we see Ferrets flying inside Vukar Tag's atmosphere) A fighter designed primarily for atmospherics is something like the Ekapshi (which is an atmospheric fighter only)

The Waterloo was testing the Crossbow because it was smaller than the Broadsword and could be stored on smaller carriers. ER also mentions that the Broadsword cannot fit onto the Wake-class CVEs without taking up far too much space. That is why they mount Sabre fighter/bombers instead.

The Longbow as ground attack doesn't make a lot of sense. It's got a glass nose piece that is overexposed to ground fire. The F/A in the Longbow is more than likely talking about strictly space-based missions where the Longbow can be a fighter (look at all those missiles!) and an attack aircraft (Four torpedoes!)

I don't think that the nose is as big a weakness as you think. Also it is likly that ground attack missions would requier different ordinace then a traditional cap ship strike. Of the 4 known bombers and strike fighters from that time frame Longbow has by far the most solid looking spaceframe. It also carries the largest ordince load. I think the comparision to a modern A10 is very apt.

I think that the Longbow, Hellcat and Thunderbolt are not so old. Why? Because the fighters are still in Service in 2673. The Arrow is old - yes. In WC4 these fighters are not longer used by the Confederation. But the Thunderbolt, Hellcat and Longbow are still in use.

The fact that WC3 fighters are still in service only a few years later is no indicator of whats new and whats old. Fighters like the Ferret and Arrow have served for 50 years or more. 3 or 4 more years in that context doesn't seam that out of the norm.
 

Dundradal

Frog Blast the Vent Core!
I don't think that the nose is as big a weakness as you think. Also it is likly that ground attack missions would requier different ordinace then a traditional cap ship strike. Of the 4 known bombers and strike fighters from that time frame Longbow has by far the most solid looking spaceframe. It also carries the largest ordince load. I think the comparision to a modern A10 is very apt.

I don't think any fighter with a glass nose canopy is comparable to the A-10 which baths the pilot in a titanium bathtub. It carries a large number of anti-fighter missiles and four heavy weapons hardpoints. The Broadsword is more heavily armed with six heavy hardpoints and gives the impression of being more suited to atmospheric operation. The Broadsword is more heavily armed in the that key area. If anything is supposed to be a rugged fighter it would be the Thunderbolt VII, clearly playing homage to the A-10 Thunderbolt II.

Yes, different mission profiles require different ordinance. End Run mentions the Anti-Radar Submunition missile (that's the start of the WCPedia entry) which is used against ground targets. Both Rapiers and Sabres carried the weapons to strike at Vukar Tag and on Largkza surface's during the Raid on Kilrah in 2667.
 
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starfox1701

Petty Officer
I don't think the windows are glass. It is probably some kind of balistic transparent plasteal. Broadswords are in my mind far better ship hunters but in an atmosphere that size and bulky shape is going to work against them. Besides without knowing all the ground attack missiles we cant judge that the hardpoint configuation for the Broadsword makes it a better ground attack canidate. It might be that primary ground strike missles don't use the heavy HP's which would would disadvantage Broadswords. This is a definite possibility since fighters with the A10's mission profile don't carry long range missiles. An A10's primary missles can't engage targets beyond 15 miles. and are relativly small compaired to antiship harpoons and tomahawks. Now I personly love Broadswords but would hate having to take one on a ground attack mission. The shape creates lots of drag and I have no afterburners for menuvering or the climb back into space.
 

Farbourne

Rear Admiral
I want to go back to LOAF's comment about ships from other sources being in the early game. I had always thought that the Raptor did indeed look just like a Rylan Gunstar, but I had never noticed a Firefox...is that the Morningstar?

Any others? The Salthi resembles the player ship from Descent to my eye, a Ralari resembles a Narn heavy cruiser, the Tallahassee an Earth Aliance Destroyer, the Ferret a Colonial Viper, and the Concrodia an EDF Space Battleship... Any other ships that seem to be drawn from other things?

Obviously, some of these are coincidences...there's only so many ways to draw a space fighter. But I wonder if any of them were inspired...
 

Bandit LOAF

Long Live the Confederation!
Sorry for the catch-up, I'd been meaning to keep better track of this thread.

On the Bloodfang the only problem I see is that by name the fighter is over 10 years old. For a wartime fighter thats a really long development process. Thats probaly the main reason I would lean in the direction of a special limited deployment.

That just brings you back to the original question, though: is the Bloodfang in Wing Commander II the same as the Bloodfang in Wing Commander III (and: is it even named Bloodfang if that doesn't appear on screen?) (And the same question applies to the 'Bloodfang' in the Wing Commander II demo, which of course isn't even so-named internally. Otherwise you have only two years between Thrakhath's ship in WC3 and the one in WC3...)

Any others? The Salthi resembles the player ship from Descent to my eye, a Ralari resembles a Narn heavy cruiser, the Tallahassee an Earth Aliance Destroyer, the Ferret a Colonial Viper, and the Concrodia an EDF Space Battleship... Any other ships that seem to be drawn from other things?

The thing to remember here is that time is linear... so Wing Commander (1990) probably didn't borrow from Descent (1995) or Babylon 5 (1994.) I do believe the Snakeir came straight from "Gundam," though, although I'm not familiar with that franchise and have no idea what the original ship was.
 

starfox1701

Petty Officer
Well thats the question. I see no reason for them to be different classes of fighters with the same name. In my way of thinking the WC2 fighter and WC3 fighter are the act same type of fighter. The differences in the models are so vast that it just doesn't seam practical to try shoe horn them both in and then come up with a reason why they are the same but so differnt. I say just pick the model you like the most and use that one all the time. Makes since and you don't have to shoe horn an explanation in that the history really doesn't need anyway. Same goes for the Strakha.
 

Bandit LOAF

Long Live the Confederation!
Well thats the question. I see no reason for them to be different classes of fighters with the same name. In my way of thinking the WC2 fighter and WC3 fighter are the act same type of fighter. The differences in the models are so vast that it just doesn't seam practical to try shoe horn them both in and then come up with a reason why they are the same but so differnt. I say just pick the model you like the most and use that one all the time. Makes since and you don't have to shoe horn an explanation in that the history really doesn't need anyway. Same goes for the Strakha.

I am thinking of Wing Commander III's claim that the Excalibur was developed specifically to counter the Kilrathi Bloodfang; that seems like a late development if the Bloodfang has been around since 2656.

The Strakha is an interesting case since we see both of the designs in one place: the intel memo announcing that the ship exists in the Kilrathi Saga manual, which identifies the 'bar of soap' version as a prototype and the pointy one as the production model.
 

Dundradal

Frog Blast the Vent Core!
I don't think the windows are glass. It is probably some kind of balistic transparent plasteal. Broadswords are in my mind far better ship hunters but in an atmosphere that size and bulky shape is going to work against them. Besides without knowing all the ground attack missiles we cant judge that the hardpoint configuation for the Broadsword makes it a better ground attack canidate. It might be that primary ground strike missles don't use the heavy HP's which would would disadvantage Broadswords. This is a definite possibility since fighters with the A10's mission profile don't carry long range missiles. An A10's primary missles can't engage targets beyond 15 miles. and are relativly small compaired to antiship harpoons and tomahawks. Now I personly love Broadswords but would hate having to take one on a ground attack mission. The shape creates lots of drag and I have no afterburners for menuvering or the climb back into space.

Thinking and knowing are two different things. There is no evidence of "ballistic transparent plasteel" anywhere.

The fighter that looks like it's designed to have lifting surfaces is not well suited? Yet a giant flying dart is? Think about that for a second. If you are doing atmospheric flying what would you rather be in? I'd rather have something that has lifting surfaces in case damage inflicted upon the ship causes all its controls to fail. A Broadsword has the ability to at least attempt to glide. The Longbow is like a lawn dart. It's going straight down.
 

Bandit LOAF

Long Live the Confederation!
I don't think lifting surfaces are such a big deal in Wing Commander. I mean, we can stop and hover indefinitely in an Excalibur...

... but this whole discussion is strange. There's no evidence anywhere that any of these are supposed to be ground attack craft.

I don't think anything we fly is equivalent to the A-10; the closest you get is the Excalibur, since you actually use it for ground attack missions and it gets classified as a "Space/Atmospheric Fighter-Bomber"... but even then, it's clearly a fighter-bomber like a Tornado and not a dedicated ground attack craft. The thing that makes the Warthog special is that it's a DEDICATED ground attack craft. You're not using them for torpedo runs or dogfights or anything like that. There's just no fighter like that in Wing Commander.

Both the Broadsword and the Longbow are supposed to look like World War II strategic bombers -- B-17s and B-29s. They're out of place on a carrier, but that's obviously the inspiration for the design... from the glass cockpit on the Longbow to the ball turret gunners and the paint scheme on the Broadsword. Action Stations does talk about how space-to-ground bombing missions were one of the pre-war carrier roles and it's possible that's part of the Broadsword's early design history... but it's still not an A-10.

(You can imagine the other bombers like the Banshee and Crossbow being more along the lines of traditional carrier-based torpedo planes... but the Broadsword and Longbow are supposed to look like strategic bombers.)
 

starfox1701

Petty Officer
I am thinking of Wing Commander III's claim that the Excalibur was developed specifically to counter the Kilrathi Bloodfang; that seems like a late development if the Bloodfang has been around since 2656.

The Strakha is an interesting case since we see both of the designs in one place: the intel memo announcing that the ship exists in the Kilrathi Saga manual, which identifies the 'bar of soap' version as a prototype and the pointy one as the production model.

The first recorded encounter with a Bloodfang I know about is at K'Tithrak Mang in 2667 so that makes the development time on Excalibur much more reasonable.

I never bought the whole prototype/production model idea because it doesn't actually answer the question of why they look so different. It just says they are and expects that to sell.

Thinking and knowing are two different things. There is no evidence of "ballistic transparent plasteel" anywhere.

The fighter that looks like it's designed to have lifting surfaces is not well suited? Yet a giant flying dart is? Think about that for a second. If you are doing atmospheric flying what would you rather be in? I'd rather have something that has lifting surfaces in case damage inflicted upon the ship causes all its controls to fail. A Broadsword has the ability to at least attempt to glide. The Longbow is like a lawn dart. It's going straight down.

No but modern aircraft in the real world don't use glass for cockpit windows so it makes since that 700 years in the future they wouldn't revert to 1920s technology for windows. What ever the material is called I promise you it is weapons fire resistant just like the rest of the ship.

Actually neither of them could glide. The Longbow like you said has very lightly in the way of arrow dynamic lifing surfaces but it has a shape that over all would help to minimis drag and there for friction at higher speeds. The Broadsword on the other hand while it looks more like a convetional airplane has several large flat surfaces facing forward that would create alot more drag. Also the turrets completly distort and dirupt the airflow under the spaceframe. What this means it that while the Broadsword looks aerodynamic it is actuly not at all. Second Longbow has the benefit of both a better trust to weight ratio and afterburners over the Broadsword. These are both very improtent factors in both a fighters ability to menuver in an atmosphere and return to space after a mission.

It is a point of fact that modern jets jets don't glide well at all. They are just too heavy and fall too fast when compared to older planes like the B17 or P51. Considering the lack of functioanl aerodynaics that most WC fighters display I would imagine that they are all like F117s. You lose the flight computer and you better bail out unless you want to die because you are not going to crash land them; just crash.

I don't think lifting surfaces are such a big deal in Wing Commander. I mean, we can stop and hover indefinitely in an Excalibur...

... but this whole discussion is strange. There's no evidence anywhere that any of these are supposed to be ground attack craft.

I don't think anything we fly is equivalent to the A-10; the closest you get is the Excalibur, since you actually use it for ground attack missions and it gets classified as a "Space/Atmospheric Fighter-Bomber"... but even then, it's clearly a fighter-bomber like a Tornado and not a dedicated ground attack craft. The thing that makes the Warthog special is that it's a DEDICATED ground attack craft. You're not using them for torpedo runs or dogfights or anything like that. There's just no fighter like that in Wing Commander.

Both the Broadsword and the Longbow are supposed to look like World War II strategic bombers -- B-17s and B-29s. They're out of place on a carrier, but that's obviously the inspiration for the design... from the glass cockpit on the Longbow to the ball turret gunners and the paint scheme on the Broadsword. Action Stations does talk about how space-to-ground bombing missions were one of the pre-war carrier roles and it's possible that's part of the Broadsword's early design history... but it's still not an A-10.

(You can imagine the other bombers like the Banshee and Crossbow being more along the lines of traditional carrier-based torpedo planes... but the Broadsword and Longbow are supposed to look like strategic bombers.)

Actually there are a number of dedicated ground attack aircraft including versions of both the F 15 and F 16. Both the A4 and A6 where deicated ground attack fighters. What makes the A 10 special is that she is a Tank hunter as here primary role. A squadron of A10's was intended to maul up to a full battalion of enemy armor per sorte.

My compaison of the Longbow to tha A10 was ment to highlight the simalarities of their ordance HPs. A10s don't carry allot of heavy bombs. They use a combination of smaller missles and light bombs. It was seggested that Broadsword's supperior heavy ordenice carring capacity made it the better ground attack craft. I was attempting to show evidence that the opposite; while being very counter intuative, was likely the case. After all there is little doubt that tin the real world the A10 is one of the best; if not the best air to ground killing machine on the planet.

I never considered Strategic bombers as insperation for Longbow and Broadsword because so many light and medium aircraft had turrets back then. I can see the corilations but think that planes like the TBF Avenger, Douglas A-20 or Mitsubishi Ki-51 might better discribe the roles the designers where tring to fill. The Broadsword, because she is so much bigger then other WC fighters might actually have been inspiered by the B25s used in the Doolittle raid off of Hornet and Enterprise.
 
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Mace

Vice Admiral
@starfox, the early wing commander 2 demo, features a bloodfang(different model though), flown by Thrakhath to meet up with his father in 2656 or 2657 adressing him that he not only managed to destroy the tiger's claw, but was aware that confed blamed it on Blair. It's here in the file section.
 

Dundradal

Frog Blast the Vent Core!
No but modern aircraft in the real world don't use glass for cockpit windows so it makes since that 700 years in the future they wouldn't revert to 1920s technology for windows. What ever the material is called I promise you it is weapons fire resistant just like the rest of the ship.

Again, thinking and knowing are not the same thing.

Actually neither of them could glide. The Longbow like you said has very lightly in the way of arrow dynamic lifing surfaces but it has a shape that over all would help to minimis drag and there for friction at higher speeds. The Broadsword on the other hand while it looks more like a convetional airplane has several large flat surfaces facing forward that would create alot more drag. Also the turrets completly distort and dirupt the airflow under the spaceframe. What this means it that while the Broadsword looks aerodynamic it is actuly not at all. Second Longbow has the benefit of both a better trust to weight ratio and afterburners over the Broadsword. These are both very improtent factors in both a fighters ability to menuver in an atmosphere and return to space after a mission.


It is a point of fact that modern jets jets don't glide well at all. They are just too heavy and fall too fast when compared to older planes like the B17 or P51. Considering the lack of functioanl aerodynaics that most WC fighters display I would imagine that they are all like F117s. You lose the flight computer and you better bail out unless you want to die because you are not going to crash land them; just crash.

Again, a whole lot of assumptions without anything to support the statements. They can't glide? Based on what evidence? Thrust to weight ratio? Where exactly are you pulling these things from? I'm trying not to be a jerk here but your counterarguments are just things you are pulling out of thin air without any sort of back up.

The Broadsword, because she is so much bigger then other WC fighters might actually have been inspiered by the B25s used in the Doolittle raid off of Hornet and Enterprise.

Colonel Doolittle and the Raiders only took off from USS Hornet. USS Enterprise was covering the Hornet and her task group because Hornet's planes were struck below decks for the raid.

Not only that, LOAF just said the Broadsword was inspired by the B-17.
 

Quarto

Unknown Enemy
No but modern aircraft in the real world don't use glass for cockpit windows so it makes since that 700 years in the future they wouldn't revert to 1920s technology for windows. What ever the material is called I promise you it is weapons fire resistant just like the rest of the ship.
We can certainly assume the cockpit canopy is strong and designed to be as resistant as possible, and certainly it would be a good deal tougher than anything we know today. However, the same thing applies to weapons - they are more powerful too.

We do, as a matter of fact, see that guns in the WC universe can penetrate the canopy: in WC4, when your ship takes damage, you can actually have holes in the canopy. Is it easier to make a hole in the canopy than it is in the armour? We don't know, but it does seem safe to make the assumption - after all, there's a limit to how thick you can make the canopy while retaining transparency.

That said, I'm sure the cockpit glass is not a significant consideration in proving that the Longbow is not the A-10 of the WC universe. We can see that right off the bat - it's simply not meant to be the A-10, and it shares no similiarities in design nor role with the A-10.
 

starfox1701

Petty Officer
@starfox, the early wing commander 2 demo, features a bloodfang(different model though), flown by Thrakhath to meet up with his father in 2656 or 2657 adressing him that he not only managed to destroy the tiger's claw, but was aware that confed blamed it on Blair. It's here in the file section.

Yea I know but it was another 10 years before Confed encountered any version of this fighter. If they didn't know about the fighter they could not be planing a counter for it, right?

Again, thinking and knowing are not the same thing.

Right there is nothing that says what the windows are made of or that they are exceptionally vulnerable or an exceptional weakness for fighters.

Again, a whole lot of assumptions without anything to support the statements. They can't glide? Based on what evidence? Thrust to weight ratio? Where exactly are you pulling these things from? I'm trying not to be a jerk here but your counterarguments are just things you are pulling out of thin air without any sort of back up.

Actually there is no assumptions here. It is simply a basic understanding of aerodynamics and the application of basic math to the listed mass and acceleration charicteristics of the fighters. A Longbow masses less then 25% of a Broadsword and has better then 3 times the acceleration. She also has afterburners which the Broadsword lacks. Neither fighter is functinally aerodynamic. By this I mean that neither fighter actually has any surfaces designed to generate lift. Fighters incapable of generating lift will not be able to glide at all. Without lift the object will lose momentum and quickly become a victim of gravity.

Not only that, LOAF just said the Broadsword was inspired by the B-17.

No he said it looks like a B17 wich is a matter of paint job. However early B25s where painted just like early B17s.

That said, I'm sure the cockpit glass is not a significant consideration in proving that the Longbow is not the A-10 of the WC universe. We can see that right off the bat - it's simply not meant to be the A-10, and it shares no similiarities in design nor role with the A-10.

As I said before I was merely using the A 10 as an example in general of what characteristics would make a good ground attack fighter and how Longbow seams to have more of these then Broadsword. Since ground attack plays little or no role in any missions you fly in the earlier games we have no hard data on any dedicated ground attack craft.
 

NinjaLA

Alex Von T.
nope.. it's 10 years before you, the player, encounters it. It's thrakhath's personal fighter. Are you suggesting that he doesn't bother to fly in any campaign the entire time blair is in exile?

and thrakhath strikes me as the kind of cat who would pimp his own ride when the mood fits.
 

starfox1701

Petty Officer
nope.. it's 10 years before you, the player, encounters it. It's thrakhath's personal fighter. Are you suggesting that he doesn't bother to fly in any campaign the entire time blair is in exile?

and thrakhath strikes me as the kind of cat who would pimp his own ride when the mood fits.

No just that no Confed forces that encoutered the fighter lived to tell the tail. Without an earlier contact report that's the most logical conclusion
 
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