WC Physics

Saturnyne

Vice Admiral
The afterburner thing in Wing Commander has bothered me... why does one need to keep them active if there is no resistance to stop your craft? According to physics, if you fire off your afts, and turn them off, you'll continue to cruise along at that speed.

I have come up with something of a theory as to why. I'll need some clarification on a point, though...

First, about the craft's engines. They don't use up fuel, and are always on, unless the ship is at a complete stop. Chances are that the ships have some kind of retros or inertial dampening system such as the type mentioned in Star Trek so it will stop when the engines are off. Likewise, these dampeners would probably provide the resistance the afterburners need to keep firing. However, that is unlikely. In order to turn and flip the way the ships do, the engines would have to be active the whole time you're flying. That way, they can help turn your ship as you manuever through space.

Now, the afterburners. When they fire, the ship uses the fuel allocated it to keep them ignited. If a pilot fired them once, and they turned off, then the ship would continue on in one direction no matter where the pilot turned their ship. Hence, the engines must remain activated to help the ship turn. So, the pilot needs to keep the afterburners on to turn the ship as quickly and sharply as possible. At least, that is my theory.

Here is the point I need clarification on: Let's say Tamara Farnsworth goes out in a Panther (Hehe :) ). She fires her afterburners and accelerates to 1200 KPS. After turning the afterburners off, the ship continues to coast at 1200 KPS. Could she use the regular engines, which are designed for slower speeds, to turn and manuever as easily as if she had kept the afterburners on?

Something about the turning of ships...

The ships obviously cannot use wingflaps to turn and twist the way they do. The Panther and Vampire also have nacelles (sp) to turn their engines for them, so the nacelles (sp) just have to re-align, and the ship can travel in the new direction. Is the turning mechanism in ships explained in the novels? The only theory I can think of that makes sense is that there is some kind of gyro turning the ships which would provide the force or weight to turn the ship, but I haven't thought out yet just how that would work.

Any thoughts? I know LOAF is miffed about the flight physics... Am I way off? Am I onto something? Could it explain what's going on in WC? Now, obviously the way ships turn differs in each game... but if my theory is right, it could still apply to all the games. The games would just handle them slightly differently in terms of turning and such.
 

Fenris

Spaceman
This got discussed in another thread, I don't remember for sure which, but in the Forstchen novels, he uses the resistance of free hydrogen in space on Bussard intakes to explain the atmospheric performance of ships in space.
 

g2megatron

Spaceman
Because using real time space pyshics would suck loads of guano....

instead of dogfights
you would just bounce around unable to aim or hit anything
to turn youd have to take into account your current speed turning ratio the other vessels behaviour

just to come into position to fire would take minutes thus its not fun playing in real space physics....
 

TheFraix

Vice Admiral
I wish that the WC games made a better work on the physics. WCP has the best gaming physics, though still a bit unrealistic.

But hey, the movie was pretty fine... though pretty much retro.


But this one: Can you imagine having a fighter engagement in space with velocities of hundreds of kilometers per second?
 

Napoleon

Spaceman
Ok first off if it was real physics yes you could fly it would just be alittle more dificult, you could control forward/backward movement by having an equal number of forward as rear engines, with ducting and thrusters to turn. And then you would have autoslide all the time which would be quite cool.
 

Meson

Swabbie
Banned
Saturnyne, the answers to your wuestions are foun din the novels and movie handbook.

You see, in WC fuel is collected thorugh intakes called Bassard (sp?) collectors, commonly known as "scoops." There are also scoops in the engines, as attempts to recycle fuel. This gives you nearly infinite fuel supply; however, it has one draw back, it tends to create some sort of drag force on the craft. This is why engines are on all the time, to combat this "scoop force". Afterburning happens when you turn off the engine scoops.

Now in WC, there is comething called "autosliding," under this you close all the scoops, including the intertial dampening scoops. In this state, you fly as you would normally do according to real physics.

If I had the time right now I would go into details, but I'm sure others such as LOAF and Vondoom (if he's still comes here) will post the details here anyway.
 

Earthworm

Spaceman
Originally posted by Meson
Afterburning happens when you turn off the engine scoops.
Where did you come up with that idea Meson?

Now in WC, there is comething called "autosliding," under this you close all the scoops, including the intertial dampening scoops. In this state, you fly as you would normally do according to real physics.
Erm, hardly. You don't close down the scoops while autosliding. And I wouldn't consider flying with autoslide engaged "real physics".
 

Mekt-Hakkikt

Mpanty's bane
I-War has the most realistic physics I have seen until now. (I do not remember Elite anymore though, it is such a long time ago that I played it). But I do not think that WC cares anything about physics. If the programmers think it adds a cool effect they add it, if it complicates things they drop it.
What always seemed strange to me: In WC1/2 your engines use fuel, even when not flying with afterburners, more slowly though. But if you ran out of fuel you could keep flying with your maximum cruising speed, only the ABs did not work anymore.
 

RFBurns

Spaceman
If you want real world physics, grab a copy of Microsoft Flight Simulator 2000 Pro. Climb into a Learjet 45 and try to land on a 6,000 foot runway with 30Mph crosswinds on manual ILS approach! Oh and the surface winds gust to 50Mph!
If that isnt real enough, grab one of Janes ATF sims and try that on a carrier! :D

RFBurns
 

Manjana

Spaceman
The Microsoft Flight Sim 2000 is really good (if you are ever able to run it on your PC..f. ex. my one is too slow for it). But everything 'realistic' has its frontiers at the reality. I could never compare a Flight Sim with a real airplane. It is nice, I also began with it but today I do it just 4 fun. WC is also a little different from this, because it is more for me than just fun. It comes for me after my first flying hobby. But this is the special mentality. It is more behind it than at the others!
 

Dragon

Spaceman
LOAF have already explain that fighters use scopes to colect fuel, the "atmosferic type of flying" is caused by just that.
 

Mekt-Hakkikt

Mpanty's bane
Originally posted by RFBurns
If you want real world physics, grab a copy of Microsoft Flight Simulator 2000 Pro. Climb into a Learjet 45 and try to land on a 6,000 foot runway with 30Mph crosswinds on manual ILS approach! Oh and the surface winds gust to 50Mph!
If that isnt real enough, grab one of Janes ATF sims and try that on a carrier!

RFBurns

Eh, why should we use a Flight simulator with AIRcrafts when we want real space flight physics :confused: ?
But I have to agree, I never managed to land in Jane's ATF. In the F-117 loaded with two bombs I even had problems taking off :) .
 

Saturnyne

Vice Admiral
That doesn't make total sense, Meson... if afterburning is simply closing the scoops, why doesn't fuel replenish when you revert to flying under normal propulsion? Other than to say that they remain open the whole time one is flying, and so the afts have to keep burning to keep the ship moving forward... that makes a little more sense to me.
 

RFBurns

Spaceman
The Aircraft sims, or at least some of them will give you a feel for real world physics whilst piloting. I was just giving an example of what can give you some real world flight physics, and I dont think there is any space sim out there yet that has us flying the shuttle!! Be neat if there was tho! Anyway, if you do want a taste of landing an F-14 Tomcat on an aircraft carrier in choppy seas with wind gusts over 50Mph in foggy weather while its raining at night, there ya go!! :D

RFBurns
 
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