Ship Speeds

Gliderboy

Spaceman
I've often wondered what was with WC ships and how darn fast they go. In the games, you're dog fighting, going several hundered kilometers per second :eek: , at that speed, you would be going way to fast to even see the other guy before you hit them. Also, you would never be able to land head to head with some of the carriers like the Midway or the Concordia. Is there an answer, WC masters, please help me ;) .
 

Lynx

Spaceman
Gliderboy said:
I've often wondered what was with WC ships and how darn fast they go. In the games, you're dog fighting, going several hundered kilometers per second :eek: , at that speed, you would be going way to fast to even see the other guy before you hit them. Also, you would never be able to land head to head with some of the carriers like the Midway or the Concordia. Is there an answer, WC masters, please help me ;) .

Actually, in the games, the ships move only at a few dozen meters per second with speeds similar to WW2 fighter craft. It's just the speed gauge that shows you that insane number, since the speed isn't measured in kilometers or meters but a WC klick is about 0.13 m s0 500kp/s would be actually 65 meters per second.
 

Nomad Terror

Rear Admiral
I don't buy that.

By those speeds you couldn't possibly hope to cover any sort of significant ground in the vast distances of space.
 

Lynx

Spaceman
Use your brains. If you were flying at hundreds of kilometers per second you wouldn't be able to do anything at all.
You aren't crossing huge distances in space in any WC mission...the usual distance between nav points is about 26-80 km.
 

Gliderboy

Spaceman
Lynx said:
Use your brains. If you were flying at hundreds of kilometers per second you wouldn't be able to do anything at all.
You aren't crossing huge distances in space in any WC mission...the usual distance between nav points is about 26-80 km.
I saw some info about some of Confed's carriers and how they have a several thousand kilometer bubble around them filled with fighters flying CAP patrols. It might be your klick theory, but I seem to recall reading kilometers, I'll check back with the solid info later. However, if this is true, those ships would take a heck of a long time to get there and back. Also, if they fly the speed of WW2 fighters, that means they go slower than modern day aircraft :confused: !
 

Gliderboy

Spaceman
Strike that whole several thousand kilometers, it actually said just a few hundred, which makes a whole lot more sense.
 
I always just assumed that the insane speeds were your cruising speed. Like, in a straight line, a Ferret is capable of pulling 500 kps. However, the twists and turns of space combat require a constant adjustment in thrust in order to realign and steady the individual craft. I figured that once you began twisting and turning, your velocity dropped considerably because you were having to continually adjust against your own momentum. SO, while you might have your engine juiced, the fact that you're constantly manuvering scatters the thrust and lowers your "real" combat speed.

But that does nothing to account for the noise. Isn't space supposed to be silent?
 

Gliderboy

Spaceman
Yeah well, whats a game without nice loud explosions :D ? Also, to add to what you were saying about twists and turns lowering the thrust, it seems plossible. However, a human pilot can barely survive 9gs which you get turning sharply at a relativly slow speed. If you snapped a Ferret around that was going 500kps, you would come back looking like a little puddle on the floor :eek: .
 

Gliderboy

Spaceman
McGruff said:
That's where the magic inertial dampening system comes in.
Don't you just being able to make stuff like that up. Jump Drives, inertial dampeners, anti-matter guns, it's all good in sci-fi :D !!!
 

Iceman16

Vice Admiral
Gliderboy said:
Yeah well, whats a game without nice loud explosions :D ? Also, to add to what you were saying about twists and turns lowering the thrust, it seems plossible. However, a human pilot can barely survive 9gs which you get turning sharply at a relativly slow speed. If you snapped a Ferret around that was going 500kps, you would come back looking like a little puddle on the floor :eek: .

iirc theres a dampening field thing inside the cockpit so the pilot doesnt feel the gs, or at least signifigantly reduces the amount of gs
 

Lynx

Spaceman
Gliderboy said:
I saw some info about some of Confed's carriers and how they have a several thousand kilometer bubble around them filled with fighters flying CAP patrols. It might be your klick theory, but I seem to recall reading kilometers, I'll check back with the solid info later. However, if this is true, those ships would take a heck of a long time to get there and back. Also, if they fly the speed of WW2 fighters, that means they go slower than modern day aircraft :confused: !

It's not a theory, it's fact. Just fly by a carrier. Even with afterburner it takes you at least a few seconds to fly by it. If you were in fact flying a few hundred kps you would be so fast that by the time you'd realize you've flown past something it would already dozens of miles away.
 
Yeah, I think our best bet is the click theory. The reality of a Ferret going head to head with a Salthi hits my tiny little brain like a firehose hits a saltine cracker.

If we take KPS as Kilometers, imagine how fast missiles and guns must travel... sheesh.
 

Bandit LOAF

Long Live the Confederation!
Repost:

Ships in the Wing Commander universe travel at Kilometers Per Second (KPS) relative. This means that the listed speed (in kilometers) is that which a ship can achieve in the absolute optimal conditions... but it also means that it is the speed in comparitive units (speed undefined) which it will always achieve compared to ships in the same situation. What sort of factors effect a ship's speed? Here are some:

- Availability of Fuel. Wing Commander's spacecraft maintain their speed using spaceborn hydrogen, which is collected via electromagnetic fields. Available hydrogen is significantly limited two important factors. First is location: spaceborn hydrogen is far less common 'in-system' than it is in deep space. Second is competition. Ten ships in the same area will each recieve only a portion of the fuel that would otherwise be available to a single ship. This aspect is further complicated by the fact that large ships mount significantly more powerful ramscoops - so a group of fighters around a carrier will recieve only a tiny fraction of the available fuel.

- Maneuvering Requierements. A ship which is travelling in a straight line with its scoops fully open is taking in significantly more fuel than ships which are maneuvering in any way. During any sort of maneuver, scoops are 'resized' to allow ships to change direction. During this time, less fuel is taken in. A group of fighters engaged in combat will therefore travel significantly more slowly than a formation traveling from one point to another.

- Proximity of Objects. In deep space the effects of gravity generating objects is almost zero; therefore, a ship does not need to compensate for them. As craft travel deeper and deeper within a solar system, they must expend more and more thruster power negating the natural pull of things like stars and planets.

Our example will be the P-64C Ferret. According to Joan's Fighting Ships (2664), the Ferret has a maximum speed of 500 kps. Traveling in a straight line with scoops fully open in deep space, the Ferret may actually travel as fast as 500 kilometers per second. However, once we put it under normal circumstances it will move much, much slower. Near a planet engaged in combat our Ferret may move as slowly as 500 meters per second (watch the targetting VDUs in Wing Commander or Wing Commander 2... distances to targets in combat are listed in meters, while distances to Nav Points are listed in kilometers).

Now lets put our Ferret up against a Kilrathi Sartha. The Sartha has a listed speed of 400 kps. Therefore, in deep space with no factors affecting it the Sartha will travel at 400 kilometers per second. But it's fighting a Ferret now, and they're both mixing it up in combat... and their speed may be decreased by a factor of ten or one hundred. It will, however, always be relative. As long as they are under the same set of variables, the Ferret will always move 20 percent faster than the Sartha.

So far, so good! So how do ships travel quickly from one place to another? Simple -- they close their scoops and use stored onboard fuel. In this way, they can speed up to levels approaching the speed of light (in one particularly desparate incident, a Terran Confederation fleet crossed the Sol System in under half an hour). There are several caveats. 'Scoops closed' travel must be meticulously planned. A ship must know beforehand that it intends to travel exactly from Point A to Point B in a specific amount of time, so that it can spend half its voyage speeding up and the second half slowing down. Such travel cannot be interrupted, and absolutely no maneuvering is possible. It is therefore not something that can be used in a combat situation. Finally, since it uses onboard fuel ships must spend time 'recharging' their fuel supplies in open space before traveling normally again -- which can take days or weeks (or, of course, no time at all with the aide of a tanker or drydock facility).
 

Crowley

Rear Admiral
I have a nagging feeling I've read about them ramscoops in some WC game manual. One questions that arises here is what exactly is done with the scooped hydrogen?
 
BOOM! Yeah, now that I remember it, I read something similar about the scopes in a strategy guide. But do you have an answer for the sound query LOAF? rather, has some piece of WC source material I've never come across explained that?
 

Gliderboy

Spaceman
BenoitBrunet2 said:
BOOM! Yeah, now that I remember it, I read something similar about the scopes in a strategy guide. But do you have an answer for the sound query LOAF? rather, has some piece of WC source material I've never come across explained that?
The sound thing just makes the game a good one. If you are really looking for realism, you can just turn the volume off and turn the voices full on, if that is an option. As for me, I LOVE my big explosions. KABOOM!!!
 
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