I flew something I shouldn't have.

Richard Bong

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This might make a few of you have a good chuckle, but whenever I'm reading something something that pertains to the military, the voice in my head switches to people that remind me of the military, such as Ronald Lee Ermey. So when this vid started talking about how the USAF was partially behind this effort, the back of my mind wanted to switch to his voice. RIP Gunny
When it's the Air Force, I think Chuck Yeager or Jimmy Stewart.
 

Shadow Reaper

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I never much thought about the voice. I’m curious how Hermeus thinks they’re going to keep a precooler that turns stock engines into multi cycle hypersonic engines as civilian. Like, is there even a 1% chance this is ever going civilian? Not until a dozen other nations are flying hypersonic. Not in our lifetime. USAF is going to lock this down and put it into a dozen different platforms. I’ll be surprised if they even share it with the US Navy. Certainly, nothing that isn’t protected by the Defense Department is going to get this until at least another dozen nations are flying something similar. 20 years to the civilian market is guessing conservative.

Reaction Engines in the UK was doing this same kind of work over a decade ago, and their spaceplane seems to have disappeared. Their SABRE technology is very likely working quietly and totally not on target as originally, for the civilian market.

I think these companies only pretended to have civilian transport plans to get paid more. It’s pretty obvious the defense sector is gonna gobble this up. Indeed, any civilian use would essentially place this cutting edge defense tech in the hands of anyone bold enough to steal it—like the Chinese.


It’s an air-breathing rocket. People have been talking about this for seven decades. Hermeus will be lucky if USAF doesn’t give it to Lockheed Martin just to speed it into deployment.

This kind of stuff usually vanishes. Years ago the Aussies built a Rotating Detonation rocket engine and now if you search, you’ll find all sorts of development happening in the US, but not a hint of the original breakthrough accomplished by a bunch of Aussie students and their teacher. That’s the way of these things.

Combining this precooler with an O2 liquifier and rotating detonation is a prescription for an extremely efficient surface to space engine. That we may see in our lifetime. That could yield true aerospace fighters—stuff of Star Citizen.
 
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Richard Bong

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I never much thought about the voice. I’m curious how Hermeus thinks they’re going to keep a precooler that turns stock engines into multi cycle hypersonic engines as civilian. Like, is there even a 1% chance this is ever going civilian? Not until a dozen other nations are flying hypersonic. Not in our lifetime. USAF is going to lock this down and put it into a dozen different platforms.
Compared to everything else I've seen on the NGAD this engine is actually slow.
 
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Talonsbane

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I never much thought about the voice. I’m curious how Hermeus thinks they’re going to keep a precooler that turns stock engines into multi cycle hypersonic engines as civilian. Like, is there even a 1% chance this is ever going civilian? Not until a dozen other nations are flying hypersonic. Not in our lifetime. USAF is going to lock this down and put it into a dozen different platforms.
Sadly, I have to agree with this entirely.
 

Dirtbag_Leader

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Ooh, this discussion suddenly got more fun, so I'm chiming in! I'm rather firmly on Team-Lightning for the P-38 being the 'best' fighter of the era, which in addition to @Shadow Reaper 's point about the nose guns having no parallax, it ALSO sported that deliciously destructive 20mm cannon surround by all the 'normal' .50 cals! Now on the other hand were I lucky enough to be able to pick one up in RL (ha!), I'd probably rather *actually* own/fly/maintain a P-51 than deal with all the dual-engine-and-fuselage complications of the P-38.
I was fortunate enough to get to see Glacier Girl fly at an airshow once one thing that really stood out was how QUIET the turbochargers made it. With a 'normal' Merlin, you tend to hear the thunder of the exhaust and the delectable shriek of tortured air screaming in pain as it's thrashed to pieces and bludgeoned into the intake but the supercharger (LOVE that sound!) quite a bit over the propeller noise, especially with open throttle. But those twin turbocharged Allisons were really just a subdued hum well below the level of the propeller hum and it was. . . really kinda creepy! Der Gabelschwanz Teufel moniker suddenly made even more sense to me after that experience.
I'm also 100% in agreement that the Vanguard is Black-Widow inspired, and also is why the Sentinel is my favorite of the variants as it seems the most P-61-esq! Radar FTW!
 

Shadow Reaper

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Well, again a big fan of the P-38, but I should mention two issues here. First, there was actually a kind of parallax between the trajectories of the 20mm v the 50 Cals. The 20mm was aimed up compared to the latter and the two didn’t converge except at a specific distance. Luckily, the 50 cals were generally enough on their own to down a target. At just the right range, a target got both at once, which will ruin anyone’s day.

Second was, there were quite a few P-38 pilots lost to the “Mach tuck” phenomenon. At high speed found only in a dive, the center of pressure on the craft slipped backward causing the tail to flutter and rear control surfaces to lock, forcing the plane into an unrecoverable dive. Quite a few pilots were killed by this and really it’s unfair to generalize that it was from inadequate training. It was a design flaw that Kelly Johnson solved with the introduction of dive flaps, which were not as popularly misconstrued as air brakes. They actually deformed the pressure gradient so it didn’t slip backward (while simultaneously slowing the plane). The flaps did not make it into production until the end of the war so there was indeed a pilot-killing design flaw drivers contended with throughout.

So there were these two issues. You can read more about it in Ben Rich’s most excellent book “Skunkworks”. Rich was Johnson’s successor at Boeing.

If there’s a Mach 5+ bird in design, I haven’t heard about it. That would be very surprising to me. NGAD is really intended as a gen 6 fighter. Maybe it uses precooler, rotating detonation, methane, etc. but pushing a fighter to Mach 5 seems odd to me since you can’t maneuver much at that speed. Maybe they’re doing it just to get interdiction ability, etc. Certainly, the whole industry knew about precooler possibilities decades ago.

It is also possible something like NGAD burns hydrogen. Usually jets burn kerosene, same as Soviet rockets and Falcon 9, because volumetrically, it’s the highest energy fuel. Hydrogen is the highest energy fuel by weight, so the US used it in the Apollo program and the Shuttle. However, methane is between these, easy to compress into liquid, easy to handle on the ground. It’s what is in Starship, and New Shepherd. Kelly Johnson looked hard at both methane and hydrogen for the SR-71 Blackbird but put it off to the future because of the technical challenges. Any gen 6 craft might use either methane or hydrogen. Especially now that we’ve learned hydrogen’s volumetric issues can be solved by diffusing it into metal and coaxing the molecules far closer than even a liquid, hydrogen fueled planes could become a thing with an appropriately light metal.

Paul Czysz wrote some great stuff about precoolers early this century. He has a great book if you want to search. I have a copy somewhere. I actually met him at a conference about 2008. Amazing guy. But this whole notion of compressing air until it liquifies, and separating out the O2 or not, that goes back to the 50’s I think. It’s long been held as radical tech just out of the reach of funding.

NGAD has funding for whatever they want, so yeah. Totally believable.

Btw, as to the superturbochargers on the P-38, I was once told that particular piece of kit was so highly valued it was the only technology the US did not share with the UK during the war. Dunno if that’s true. I also heard that the trumpet shaped cover on the top of the cowling was there as a distraction and had nothing to do with the supercharger or its location. Pretty sure that’s true.
 
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Richard Bong

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Well, again a big fan of the P-38, but I should mention two issues here. First, there was actually a kind of parallax between the trajectories of the 20mm v the 50 Cals. The 20mm was aimed up compared to the latter and the two didn’t converge except at a specific distance. Luckily, the 50 cals were generally enough on their own to down a target. At just the right range, a target got both at once, which will ruin anyone’s day.

Second was, there were quite a few P-38 pilots lost to the “Mach tuck” phenomenon. At high speed found only in a dive, the center of pressure on the craft slipped backward causing the tail to flutter and rear control surfaces to lock, forcing the plane into an unrecoverable dive. Quite a few pilots were killed by this and really it’s unfair to generalize that it was from inadequate training. It was a design flaw that Kelly Johnson solved with the introduction of dive flaps, which were not as popularly misconstrued as air brakes. They actually deformed the pressure gradient so it didn’t slip backward (while simultaneously slowing the plane). The flaps did not make it into production until the end of the war so there was indeed a pilot-killing design flaw drivers contended with throughout.

So there were these two issues. You can read more about it in Ben Rich’s most excellent book “Skunkworks”. Rich was Johnson’s successor at Boeing.

If there’s a Mach 5+ bird in design, I haven’t heard about it. That would be very surprising to me. NGAD is really intended as a gen 6 fighter. Maybe it uses precooler, rotating detonation, methane, etc. but pushing a fighter to Mach 5 seems odd to me since you can’t maneuver much at that speed. Maybe they’re doing it just to get interdiction ability, etc. Certainly, the whole industry knew about precooler possibilities decades ago.

It is also possible something like NGAD burns hydrogen. Usually jets burn kerosene, same as Soviet rockets and Falcon 9, because volumetrically, it’s the highest energy fuel. Hydrogen is the highest energy fuel by weight, so the US used it in the Apollo program and the Shuttle. However, methane is between these, easy to compress into liquid, easy to handle on the ground. It’s what is in Starship, and New Shepherd. Kelly Johnson looked hard at both methane and hydrogen for the SR-71 Blackbird but put it off to the future because of the technical challenges. Any gen 6 craft might use either methane or hydrogen. Especially now that we’ve learned hydrogen’s volumetric issues can be solved by diffusing it into metal and coaxing the molecules far closer than even a liquid, hydrogen fueled planes could become a thing with an appropriately light metal.

Paul Czysz wrote some great stuff about precoolers early this century. He has a great book if you want to search. I have a copy somewhere. I actually met him at a conference about 2008. Amazing guy. But this whole notion of compressing air until it liquifies, and separating out the O2 or not, that goes back to the 50’s I think. It’s long been held as radical tech just out of the reach of funding.

NGAD has funding for whatever they want, so yeah. Totally believable.

Btw, as to the superturbochargers on the P-38, I was once told that particular piece of kit was so highly valued it was the only technology the US did not share with the UK during the war. Dunno if that’s true. I also heard that the trumpet shaped cover on the top of the cowling was there as a distraction and had nothing to do with the supercharger or its location. Pretty sure that’s true.
The Engine issues that Doolittle complained about were due to inexperience. With the right settings, the engines were just fine. However those settings were finicky, and required following multiple steps, in the right order, to switch from cruising mode to combat mode. Getting it wrong caused our aircraft engines to do bad things, both in high altitude flight and when transitioning into or out of combat mode.

My understanding of the AETP is that it burns normal JP-4.

For lots of reasons, Hydrogen makes for a very impractical fuel.

It wasn't that the US wouldn't share the technology with the Brits. The turbo chargers weren't ready when the Brits wanted the planes, so ordered them without.
 

Shadow Reaper

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Hydrogen is very impractical, but the breakthrough of storing it inside solid metal does offer many different kinds of mitigations and advantages. Kelly Johnson was convinced it was the ultimate fuel well before anyone dreamed it could so easily be compressed to the density of a solid by diffusing it into metal, yet this is common today and why we have 1,000 mile range hydrogen fueled sports cars.

Engineers often get obsessed with optimizing around a single figure of merit. That’s what gave us the Saturn 5 and Shuttle. It would have given us Venturestar had not Al Gore botched that so badly by handing contracts to cronies instead of competent engineering firms. People have no idea how deeply it hurt the US space program that X-33 failed under Gore.

Optimizing around the lightest weight fuel generally gives highest performance, which is what we saw with Apollo and Shuttle. So it can be worthwhile. What it used to mean was you needed a big tank intrinsic to your design, but that’s not the limiting factor now. If you can design in metallic storage you may be able to do some top shelf chicanery.

Twenty years ago, NASA’s chief propulsion scientist was enamored with the notion of metallic hydrogen formed by using billions of tons pressure on a diamond anvil that yielded hard hydrogen fuel that would have been exceedingly dangerous. (This was actually accomplished on a test, non-commercial basis at Harvard.). I attended one of his presentations. It was easily the most dangerous propulsion scheme I’ve ever heard of.

Today, that’s solved in large measure and we have commercial applications using that solution. I’m not saying this is easily adapted to aircraft. I’ve never seen those numbers. I am saying that if it can be adapted to aircraft while retaining the advantages of energy over mass, that’s probably what NGAD is.

Methane is cheaper and easier to manage, but whatever gets you to space. Mach 10 doesn’t get you to space. Low Earth Orbit is Mach 26. But for now, Mach 10 would be nice.
 
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Blind Owl

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Yep that's the scope of it. It's cigs attempt to force close dog fighting engagements while allowing for two different travel speeds.
CIG introduced the concept a year ago as almost ready for us. It got brought up at this years Citizen Con as almost ready for us, and put it into an "experimental mode" in Arena Commander.

"Master modes" is the latest effort to force slower and closer combat.

Essentially, yes, in combat you will be stuck around SCM speed, and if you go above that (which will require use of the Quantum Drive and, I suppose, a different "mode") you get no guns, missiles or shields.
Thanks Lads! Appreciate the input.
 

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Thanks Lads! Appreciate the input.
This also includes a re-tuning of every ship in the game, although that will mostly apply to medium and below. Ships from the Connie size and up are (per Yogi) intended to fight more 'Naval style' than anything resembling dogfighting.

Along with this the combination of resource management, armor, weapon changes and turret balance will make larger ships much harder for smaller ships to kill. Yogi has been trying to paint the picture for quite some time now; hopefully there will be something more formal than him replying to questions that will provide a clearer picture.

CIG is strongly (pathologically imo) pushing the game in the multicrew/multiplayer direction which is quite understandable, but as with all things there needs to be a balance for the casual player to make acceptable progress.
 

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Thanks to @marcsand2 who posted about the experimental modes in Arena Commander for us to try out (and earn a badge if you want), you can give a version of Master Modes a go in Master Modes: Vanduul Swarm indefinitely, and in Master Modes: Duel. I only played each long enough to earn the badge, but from memory you have boost (afterburner) in SCM Mode just like we have in the PU now, and quantum boost in Quantum Mode. I think it was the same keybind for both.
 

Ayeteeone

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You can get into Arena Commander and test part of the system right now with the Gladius. SCM control includes 'boost' which is your max G accelerations and only lasts as long as you have boost to spend.

NAV mode is also available. This is where your weapons turn off and the shield energy is stored, allowing the ship to reach it's stated max speed. In practical terms there aren't any other noticeable differences from what we have now. The full system has not been made available to the playerbase as yet.
 
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Talonsbane

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So when is the afterburner supposed to be available? Only in QT mode? There’s just the two modes?
My "afterburners" are available shortly after I consume spicy foods or anything with peppers, onions or beans. Now if only I had a way to efficiently convert that into fuel for my van that isn't disgusting.
 

Richard Bong

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*scratches my head confused* How is the Ares Inferno, a small ship built around an S7 Gatling gun, not a big gun but a missile platform? Perhaps look into a MISC Freelancer MIS that has 4x S3 pilot controlled guns & a ton of missiles? MISC days are Nov 24-25 to rent 1 for free for a day at the IAE center.
The Ares has a bigger gun and a large haul of size 3 missiles, plus can mount a couple of torps.

The choice would depend on your target selection, what else you've got, your available crew, and aesthetics.

I've had a Freelancer a couple of times, and hate both the view from the cockpit and the appearance. Like the Connie, it's not that the Freelancer is bad, I just don't like it.
 

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NOTE: This assumes that CIG will have the QT Snare pull target out of QT about 20km - 10km from the attacker? If they get pulled out at 5K, there's no time to react. What will CIG decide. I digress again.
Snares were set up originally to drop the ship being stopped about 18km away, somewhere on a sphere around the Mantis. Our testing with them consistently placed the 'target' ship at that distance, meaning the chase would be on. I haven't tested it at all recently, so that may have been adjusted. Am Definitely expecting to see Snares reworked after Master Modes is released, but no idea when or in what manner.

There is a website which is moderately useful for planning interdictions - https://snareplan.dolus.eu/
 

Richard Bong

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Snares were set up originally to drop the ship being stopped about 18km away, somewhere on a sphere around the Mantis. Our testing with them consistently placed the 'target' ship at that distance, meaning the chase would be on. I haven't tested it at all recently, so that may have been adjusted. Am Definitely expecting to see Snares reworked after Master Modes is released, but no idea when or in what manner.

There is a website which is moderately useful for planning interdictions - https://snareplan.dolus.eu/
I still don't see much utility in a snare. Allowing a person to set waypoints, very prevalent in current navigation software, would render them pretty useless.
 
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